Mass cycle ride opens Cyclopark near Gravesend

Cyclopark opening
Image caption The Cyclopark boasts a road race circuit and an international standard BMX track

Thousands of people have taken part in a mass cycle ride to mark the opening of an £8m "cyclo-park" in Kent.

The 43-hectare site near Gravesend is thought to be the biggest cycling park in Europe and is expected to attract thousands of cyclists.

Among its attractions are a 1.7m (2.8km) road race circuit and an international standard BMX track.

It has the backing of Olympic gold medal cyclist and world record holder Jamie Staff, from Ashford.

Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council, said: "Within this area there are nine-and-a-half million people living within a journey time of one hour or under.

"So let's hope that all the schools in Kent, [and] in London, help and support this fabulous facility."

Hugh Robertson, minister for sports and the Olympics, said: "This facility brings the excitement of the Velodrome at the Olympics to the people of Kent.

"People can watch their heroes... perform on the Olympic park and then they can come down here and practice what they've seen."

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