Entries for one of Britain’s most anticipated sportives, the Dragon Ride, open on Monday and if previous editions are anything to go by are likely to sell out in double-quick time.
If you’re thinking of entering – and you’d better be fast with your fingers on Monday morning if so – here’s some tips from one of cycling’s greats, Stephen Roche, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and World Champion, whose son Nicolas won Stage 18 of the Vuelta today.
“It’s a long, long ride whichever route you are doing,” says Roche of the event, which is orgaised by Human Race.
“Firstly don’t overestimate your fitness and don’t underestimate the challenge because out there it’s always tough. They are very undulating roads which are energy sapping.
“Be honest with yourself, if you’ve only done a bit of training don’t try and stay with the fast riders, just keep with a suitable group and try to finish.”
Roche, who in 1987 became just the second rider to win the so-called Triple Crown of cycling, the Tour, Giro, and rainbow jersey in the same year, continues: “It’s not a race, it’s a cycling event. You don’t own the road so be safety conscious and respect the rules of the road.
“The camaraderie is very, very important. If you pass a hole in the road, shout hole to your fellow riders so they are aware of it.”
He added: “After all you’re all there to have fun. It’s a Sunday on the bike and it’s the famous Dragon Ride, so enjoy.”
Entries open at 9am on Monday 14 September, and you can find out more details about the routes on offer and pre-register here.
Here's a video showing highlights of the 2015 event.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.