A TRIBUTE cycle ride to a former Cotswold Olympian will take place in the area.

Cotswold cyclist Sharon Laws from Bourton-on-the-Water died aged 43 in December after a battle with cancer.

The Cotswold School, where she previously went to school will now hold a 43 mile cycle event to mark every year of her life on her birthday on Saturday July 7.

It is with great pleasure The Cotswold School announces The Sharon Laws Sportive in association with British Cycling.

Born in 1974, Ms Laws was a British professional cyclist who only turned professional at the age of 33, having previously competed in adventure racing and endurance-mountain biking.

She began riding on the road to train and it was at this time she was noticed and her ability confirmed. She quickly became part of the 2008 Summer Olympics cycling team in Beijing and also in 2008 she won the British National Time Trial Championships.

Ms Laws also won the women's 2012 Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, the 2012 British National Road Race Championships and was part of the ITV4 commentary team for the channel’s coverage of the 2017 Women’s Tour.

In late 2016, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and from there underwent a year-long battle with the disease. She died on December 16 2017.

In the run up to the Tour of Britain that ran through Bourton-on-the-Water last September, she kindly took time out from her treatment to inspire students at The Cotswold School with talks about a life in the professional cycling world.

Will Morgan, principal of the school commented: “Sharon was a lovely lady, a fantastic cyclist and good friend of the school.

"She even took the time out to speak to our children before heading into Cheltenham for radiotherapy a couple of hours later. Amazing support and dedication. We are delighted to be holding this event, in our 30th year, but we hope to hold as an annual event, as a long-lasting tribute to Sharon.

"We really want to create something very special here. Please do save the date and do consider rising to the challenge to cycle 43 miles…to mark each year of Sharon’s short life. Alternatively, we are also calling out for volunteers to help on the day. With many thanks.”

The cycle will take place from The Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water, to the Rissingtons, Bledington, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Burford, Windrush, Sherborne and back into Bourton-on-the-Water.

A shorter loop for children and families and a longer route for those who want a bigger challenge is also available for the cycle ride, visit http://bit.ly/SharonLawsSportive to sign up.

Money raised from this sportive will be divided 50/50 between Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust - https://www.jostrust.org.uk - and The Cotswold School.