Gemma leads night riders

Actress Gemma Atkinson at Manchester to Blackpool cycle

Actress Gemma Atkinson at Manchester to Blackpool cycle

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HUNDREDS of cyclists battled against strong winds as they rode through the night to raise money for charity.

Around 600 riders took part in the Manchester to Blackpool Night Bike Ride – the first ride to be staged by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Led by actress Gemma Atkinson, whose father died of heart disease, participants cycled under the stars for 60 miles passing through Wigan, Bolton, Chorley, Preston and Lytham St Annes before they enjoyed a spectacular sunrise at Blackpool Tower.

Nancy Prior, Head of Events at the BHF, said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part, supported us and volunteered. Despite the bad weather, it has been a fantastic event.”

Kevin Moses, 45, of Thornton, of the Regenda Rockets team, said: “I got three punctures during the ride but giving up was not an option.”