The three round Gore Bike Wear Road Sportive Series (bit of a mouthful that) which launched last year is back again for 2009 with another series of big rides around the UK's celtic fringe.
The rides announced today included the choice of 80-100 mile Classic routes, or 40-50 mile Standard ones. The Scottish ride also has a 120 mile Extreme route.
1st round – 4th July 2009 in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales
2nd round – 1st August 2009 in Selkirk, Scotland (featuring the ‘extreme’ loop)
3rd round – 19th September 2009 in Ruthin, Wales
Entry is now open. To enter online or download an entry form head over to www.gorebikewearsportives.com. The site has all the event and location details, lots of tips and advice, course distributions and course maps as well as downloadable entry forms and online entry.
The organisers of this year's series reckon they have put together the most fantastic 80-100mile (‘classic’) road challenges taking in the best road climbs that Wales and the Scottish Borders have to offer. For those who don't want to go quite that far there are also 40-50mile (‘standard’) options on all the rides. The idea is to open them up to a wide range of riders and abilities. With three locations to choose from and with all together 7 courses on offer sportive riders off all abilities should be able to find a suitable challenge.
The GORE BIKE WEAR Road Sportive Series ’09 (phew!) rides are one loop events with the start and finish positioned in the same location as the event village, registration and event camping. The start will open at 8am on Saturday and will stay open for approximately 1 hour to give everybody the chance to have a relaxing start to their ride at the time of their choosing.
The courses are fully marked but just in case anything happens to the roadside marking every rider will get a small ‘backup map’. Energy food sponsor High5 will be on hand around the course with energy drinks, bars, and gels as well as with bananas and water. Alongside the energy backup, mechanics will be out on the course too to help everybody with any technical problems.
Each ride costs £25 to enter and that covers:
Ride entry – 40/ 50 mile ‘Standard’, 80 / 100 mile ‘Classic’ sportive or 120 mile ‘Extreme’ Sportive
After ride’ food
Feed and service stations
All the camping – Friday to Monday
Option to do Mountain Bike skills and riding tuition (check the marathon website for suitable times).
The campsite is open from Friday to Monday, so what to do with the rest of your time? Well the organisers hope you might want to have a go at one of the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon series rides which take place on the Sunday based at the same location – they're obviously hoping too that some of the mountain bikers will use the sportive ride as a proper warm up for hitting the dirt on Sunday.
So you can make it a proper weekend – in fact the organisers would positively encourage you to bring family and friends along as well. You won't have to rought it, showers and toilets are going to be available over the whole weekend – all part of the entry fee.
Fur further details on the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon Series 2009 which runs parallel to the road sportive events please go to www.mtb-marathon.co.uk.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.