Competitors in last year’s Riviera Sportive cycling event.
ISLANDERS are being offered free places in a unique cycle race as part of a weekend of two-wheeled activities.
The Wight Riviera Weekend, on May 18 and 19, will include a host of cycling activities, from mountain biking and family cycle rides to the headline event, the Riviera Sportive road race.
Organisers hope to encourage new people to take part in the sport.
The 25km, 62km, 121km or 163km-long race, which sets off from Yarmouth at 10am on Sunday, is the first in the country to offer a partially closed road format, as the first 25km of the ride will have traffic-free roads.
Martin Harrison, partner in event planners, Cycle Event Organisation, said: "Lots of people are coming into the sport and realising it is really accessible. This race suits everyone from experienced riders to those just starting out."
Cycle Event Organisation is giving away 12 free entries for Islanders, which are worth up to £39 each.
Martin said: "We want people who are willing to share their stories with us as they prepare for the race and contribute to our Facebook page."
Organisers hope this year’s race will have around 1,000 riders and are encouraging Island entrants to use the race to raise money for their favourite Island charity.
Martin said: "Last year, the weather wasn’t great but there were still lots of people. Then the Olympics happened, the sun came out and the world went mad for sport.
"I was cycling round the IW before I was involved in Cycle Event Organisation and its a brilliant place, off-road and on-road."
To apply for one of the free places, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 0118 9886041.
Those who do not secure a free place on the ride can get 25 per cent off entry fees by using the code WRD2013 if they enter online at www.wightriviera.co.uk.