Cyclists descend on Manchester city centre

Gemma Atkinson and Olympic medallists line up
Image caption Some the country's best cyclists lined up at the start line

Thousands of cyclists descended on the streets of Manchester city centre to participate in the Sky Ride event.

Joined by Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas fresh from the Tour de France, people of all ages got on their bikes for the 12km (7.5 miles) race.

Participants set off at 1000 BST at the Castlefield Arena by the canals and followed the route which passes a number of city landmarks.

Most city centre roads will be closed until 1700 BST.

Manchester-born model Gemma Atkinson and some of the country's best cyclists, including Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton, lined up at the start line shortly before the race.

The route also goes through the shopping district by the Arndale Centre before turning left on Princess Street, going past the town hall and Chinatown.

Sky and British Cylcing are behind Sky Ride which aims to get more people using their bikes and keeping fit.

Last year more than 15,000 people took part in the Manchester event.