A BIG cycle event in May should be popular with the people of Salisbury and surrounding areas, Wiltshire Council hopes.

Laurie Bell, associate director at Wiltshire Council said the Cycle Wiltshire event on May 3 and 4 would provide great opportunities for community involvement.

On May 3, a mass-participation ride will take place from Salisbury and the following day up to 100 professional cyclists will take part in a race from Wilton.

Speaking to Salisbury Area Board, Ms Bell said the elite cycle race on Sunday, May 4, would be a high-profile event.

She said: “It’s going to be huge and it will be televised. It is part of the cycle calendar, it is going to be great for spectators and it will attract a lot of visitors.”

Ms Bell said the two-day Cycle Wiltshire event was part of Wiltshire Council’s programme of events to build on the 2012 Olympic legacy. She said: “We are very keen that Salisbury and the communities to the south get actively involved. People are going to want refreshment and accommodation.”

On Saturday, May 3, the Cycle Wiltshire Sportive event is open to all cyclists and will offer the choice of three distances: 100 miles; 64 miles and 20 miles. The rides start from Five Rivers Leisure Centre in Salisbury at 8.30am with registration between 4pm and 8pm on the preceding Friday evening or from 7am on Saturday morning.

On Sunday, May 4, about 100 riders from up to a dozen professional teams will be taking part in the Cycle Wiltshire Grand Prix, which is a round of the British Cycling National Road Race Series. This starts at 11am in Wilton where it also finishes, after taking in a route that includes Burcombe, Barford St Martin, Compton Chamberlayne, Fovant, Ebbesbourne Wake, Bishopstone and Broad Chalke. There will be four large laps and six smaller laps.

Ms Bell said as part of the Olympic legacy, Wiltshire Council was also planning a Big Pledge initiative in which people would promise to do something to boost their own health and the well-being of their community. She said: “We know that the more communities come together, the better people feel.”

For more information go to wiltshire.gov.uk/cyclewiltshire.