MEN looking to lose a few pounds got into the saddle for a gruelling exercise challenge inspired by the world’s greatest cycling race.
Fitness enthusiasts gathered at the Spinning Gate shopping centre in Leigh to show off their pedal power with a Tour de France cycling challenge.
The team managed to ride a total of 710km over the five days of cycling, the equivalent of riding from Leeds to the northern French city of Lille. The distance smashed the target of 546km, the distance the Tour de France will cover on English soil this year.
The cyclists also received support and encouragement from Leigh MP and shadow secretary of state for health Andy Burnham, who visited the Spinning Gate and took on a challenge to see how quickly he could complete a mile in the saddle.
The massive cycling challenge was completed by participants on the Trim Down Shape Up programme, shoppers passing by the stand and staff working at the Ellesmere Street centre.
Former programme participant Royston Brett won a pair of designer trainers for covering a greater distance than anyone else taking part, completing 410km over the course of the week and 100km in a single sesion.
Mr Brett, from Atherton, said: “Trim Down Shape Up helped me change my whole way of thinking about food and exercise. I used to eat all the wrong foods but now I have changed my whole lifestyle, diet and exercise. I would advise other men to join. This programme works if you work with it. It’s great fun with male orientated activities such as football and basketball and it has a great social atmosphere”.