IMAGES: Hollyoaks star in Harrogate cycle for Epilepsy Action

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Over one hundred cyclists took to the streets of Harrogate for the first ever Epilepsy Action Harrogate Sportive.

Starting and finishing in the town, the event challenged riders to cycle either a 33-mile or 72-mile route through the Yorkshire countryside.

Harrogate's Tom Robinson, Jonny Webb, Fergus Ellis, Matthew McWilliams, Ben Chalkley, Sam Rushworth, Tom McWilliams, Jamie Bonsels and Phil Webb took part in the event (s).

Harrogate's Tom Robinson, Jonny Webb, Fergus Ellis, Matthew McWilliams, Ben Chalkley, Sam Rushworth, Tom McWilliams, Jamie Bonsels and Phil Webb took part in the event (s).

So far, the cyclo-sportive has raised over £4,000 for Leeds-based charity Epilepsy Action. Epilepsy Action, the UK’s leading epilepsy charity, works to support the 600,000 people with epilepsy in the UK. There are around 44,000 people with epilepsy in Yorkshire.

Leading the way at the cyclo-sportive was Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson, along with her close friends Natalie Turner and Jess Lomax. Natalie, Jess and Nikki, aged 31, 32 and 30 respectively, took part in the 72-mile route in the lead up to a bigger challenge they are undertaking. At the end of October, they will cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise funds for charity ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’. The trio also had a further, more personal, reason for taking part in the sportive for Epilepsy Action because Jess’s sister has epilepsy.

Nikki arrived in Harrogate fresh from her win at the Inside Soap Awards where she was awarded ‘best actress’ for her role as Maxine Minniver in the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks.

Also taking part in the sportive was a group of men who all grew up in Harrogate. Despite now living all over the country, the team of nine, who studied together at St Aidan’s and St John Fisher’s Associated Sixth form, reunited to complete the cycling challenge.

Carl Foster, fundraising events officer at Epilepsy Action, said: “We are thrilled with the success of the first ever Epilepsy Action Harrogate Sportive.

“It was brilliant to see so many cyclists challenging themselves to ride the distances through the beautiful Yorkshire scenery, developing the legacy of the Yorkshire Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France.

“We want to build on the success of the Harrogate Sportive so that it becomes a regular event in the Harrogate calendar so watch this space!”

Epilepsy Action worked with Cycle Yorkshire and British Cycling to develop the Harrogate Sportive. Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people and 87 people are diagnosed with the condition every day in the UK.

Each year, Epilepsy Action directly helps over 1.2 million people through a range of services, including its Epilepsy Helpline 0808 800 5050, branch network, specialist nurse scheme and website: www.epilepsy.org.uk