Peak District ready for Italian L'Eroica cycling event

Vintage bicycles Image copyright L'eroica
Image caption Only bikes made before 1987 are accepted into the festival

A cycling event inspired by a three-day festival in Italy is taking place in the Peak District for the first time.

L'Eroica was founded in a Tuscan village with cyclists encouraged to ride bikes built before 1987 and sample local food and drink along the way.

Cyclists from across the UK and Europe met for the launch of L'Eroica Britannia in Bakewell on Friday.

About 2,000 riders are expected to tackle one of three distances across the Derbyshire Peak District on Sunday.

The L'Eroica festival, which means heroes, centres on the village of Gaiole in Chianti, Tuscany and began in 1997 as a celebration of vintage cycling.

The routes all feature stops for cyclists to sample local meats, cheese, olives and wine.

This year the event has been exported to both the UK and Japan.

Organiser of L'Eroica Britannia, Gian Bohan, said: "We thought, after a glass of Chianti, wouldn't it be wonderful to do a British twist and bring it to our shores?"

Luciano Berutti, the face of the Italian festival and guest of honour in Derbyshire, said: "I've been made so welcome.

"The area, the scenery, what I have seen so far, I think it will be an incredible weekend."

Entrants include a rider from Berlin, Germany, who has cycled 1,400 km (870 miles) on a 1960s Mercier vintage bicycle, while carrying a tent.

Bakewell Showground will be the start and finishing point for three rides covering 30 miles (48 km), 55 miles (88.5 km) and 100 miles (160.9 km) on Sunday.

Image copyright L'eroica
Image caption L'Eroica in Tuscany has been happening every year since 1997

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