Those of you who were lurking on road.cc last year will remember the Gore Bike Wear Road Sportives - we rode the Llanwrtyd Wells one and enjoyed a super ride with some tough climbs. Well, they're back: this year with a new name and website: www.roadsportives.co.uk.
There's two events this year, 22 May in Builth Wells and 31 July in Selkirk. Each of the weekends features a road sportive on the Saturday followed by a Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon on the Sunday: if you like a bit of dirt as well as the open road then you can enter both: you'll get a discount and camping is free for the whole weekend.
The Welsh round has some familiar sections: although it's moved down the road from Llanwrtyd Wells the longer 85-mile route still goes up the Devil's Elbow which will have you wishing you'd fitted that new SRAM Apex 11-32 cassette. The shorter 50-miler misses out that particular gem (and the Twyi valley, sadly) but you still get to chew on 1,800m of climbing along the way.
Selkirk also features two routes, a 47-mile loop to the south west of the town and a 95-miler with 2,700m of climbing. A couple of laps of Selkirk before you set off (or a wrong turn!) should have you over the imperial century.
Energy food sponsor High5 will be present at both events with energy drinks, bars, and gels as well as bananas and water. We even got crisps last year. Alongside the energy backup, mechanics will be out there to help everybody with any technical problems.
Entry fee for all the rides is £25 and includes post event coffee/tea & cake, feed stations, camping all weekend, parking facilities, showers, bike washing facilities, finishing prize, spot prizes and the option to do a Mountain Bike skills and riding course. If you enter the MTB marathon on the Sunday you'll get a tenner off.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.