Corrie, Emmerdale and Shameless stars join thousands in the Great Manchester Cycle

By Rebecca Pocklington

Excited soap stars competed in the Daily Mirror Great Manchester Cycle joining 7,000 keen riders in the Monday sunshine.

Emmerdale cast members completed the longest route of 52 miles, for their chosen charity of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, followed in the 26-mile race later by Corrie, Shameless, The Bill and other celebs.

The day was split in to a longer route of 52 miles, followed later by the most popular option of 26 miles and later again by the family oriented 13 miles.

The route started and finished at the Etihad Stadium in Sportcity, showing riders much of the city centre.

Rik Makarem, Emmerdale’s Nikhil Sharma, said: “It was good I really enjoyed it, especially MediaCityUK, it was like the Manchester Monaco.”

He expressed his pleasure that the soap had completed the longest route, beating their rivals Coronation Street, who opted for the shorter 26-mile route.

He added: “It’s all in good nature really.”

Rik, along with his colleagues Tom Lister and Tony Audenshaw, was riding for the charity after it approached the show, but he had his own personal reasons.

He added: “My grandmother had Leukaemia so my reason for doing this today was for her.”

Tom said that the course was good fun and he didn’t think he’d enjoy it as much as he did.

He added: “I was a little bit sick in my mouth when I passed Old Trafford!”

The stars completed the 52 miles in just less than two and a half hours, a top time on the day.

Tom said: “It was quite flat so you were able to go fast. I’ve loved every minute of it really and I’ll definitely be back.”

He then added that they had beaten Corrie and shown them that they had more metal.

CHRIS FOUNTAIN: Corrie star refuses to train but completes 52-mile race

In the 26-mile event later in the day, Chris Fountain from Coronation Street completed it and expressed his happiness that the weather had held out on the day.

He said it was the first bike ride he had ever done and had hardly done any training for it.

Another star to complete the 26 miles was Ciaran Griffiths, who plays Mickey Maguire in Shameless.

He said: “The weather was perfect and the condition out there were good.”

The ex-soap star has quit the show and is now focusing on plays and writing sketches.

“I feel good, it’s given me something to focus on, keep me out of trouble at weekends,” he said.

“I wanted to do different parts and fingers crossed I can do that now and show people what I can really do.”

SHAMELESS: Ciaran Griffiths enjoys ‘perfect’ conditions to race


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