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Hundreds of cyclists brave Le Petit Depart despite the weather

Skipton's Le Petit Depart was a roaring success as hundreds of cyclists powered through the Dales despite rain and wind.

Le Petit Depart 2015

The sportive, organised by Craven District Council and Skipton Cycling Club, offered two routes through stunning countryside.

Although some were deterred by the conditions, almost 700 cyclists braved the course on Sunday May 31.

Setting off from Skipton and travelling north into the Dales, the riders followed much of the Tour de France 2014 Stage 1 route, choosing between a 38-mile recreational ride and an 80-mile sportive.

Sean McKibben, chairman of Skipton Cycling Club, said: "One year on and the Tour legacy burns bright with another huge turnout at Le Petit Depart.

"We are very pleased that so many people turned out to enjoy our fantastic Dales roads and the sun even made an appearance!

"We are particularly pleased that so many locals turned up to ride the Recreational ride route and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

"Thanks to Craven District Council, it wouldn't be possible without their support, and of course our Skipton Cycling Club volunteers who do so much to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere."

Bruce Dinsmore, Craven District Council's sports development officers, said: "The event was a great success - there was lots of positive feedback from those who took part.

"It was drizzly and damp in the morning and sunny but windy in the afternoon, which made it more challenging for the riders, but they all did themselves proud."

This year Le Petit Depart partnered up with Welcome to Yorkshire to become part of a flagship regional cycle event series.

The second race in this series is The William's Farm Kitchen Cycle Challenge in Hornsea on June 21, followed by the Action 100 in York on August 16.

Any rider who completes all three events will be awarded with a Welcome to Yorkshire Cycling jersey at the end of the Action 100 event in York.

For more information, including results, go to http://www.lepetitgranddepart.co.uk

Further information on the two remaining sportives can be found at http://www.williamsfarmkitchen.co.uk/events/ and http://www.action.org.uk/york-100

Picture by Karl Rutins