We're big fans of a chilled weekend away with a ride or two thrown in, so we're glad to hear that the CycleOps Power Road Sportive series, that runs in tandem with the Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series, is a go again for this year.
In 2011 the road sportives will be running at three of the weekends. The opener is on 21 May at Builth Wells in Wales, and that's followed by a English sportive on 2 July at Marshbrook and a Scottish one at Selkirk on 23 July. All of Great Britain covered then... You get the choice of shorter (40-50 mile) and 'classic' (80-100 mile) routes taking in 'the best road climbs that Wales, Shropshire and the Scottish Borders have to offer', we're told. Having done some climbing around Builth and in Shropshire too, we can confirm they're not short of hills round there. And Selkirk isn't noted for its flat topography either.
Sportive entry accounts for all the things you'd normally expect – parking, electronic timing, feed stations, signage, post-ride cake, goody bag at the finish – but you also get camping thrown in for the whole weekend, Friday to Monday. And, of course, there's the option to get muddy on the Sunday with a choice of distances on the MTB Marathon, with rides ranging from 25km right up to 100km. If you're not an expert on the knobblies there are also free tuition sessions, run by CycleActive, at each weekend
Entry to the sportives costs £27 and you can find full booking information online at www.roadsportives.co.uk. Entry is available online via Chain Reaction, and you'll get a 5% money off voucher for your next purchase if you book online.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.