Format is one of our predicted trends for 2012 - here's your chance to try it out...

One of the predictions we recently made for 2012 was continued growth in cyclocross sportives, and if you’re within striking distance of the M4 corridor there’s a great chance to try the format out next Sunday at Woodcote in the Chilterns, between Reading and Oxford.

Woodcote first hosted a CX Sportive last year, and this time round three routes will be on offer with distances of 40km, 60km and 80km on offer, the latter featuring 1,207 metres of climbing.

All three routes provide a variety of surfaces ranging from quiet country roads to byways and what organisers Cycle Events Organisation (CEO) describe as some technically challenging off-road segments.

One thing you emphatically don’t need to take part is an actual cyclocross bike – last year’s entrants took part on everything from MTBs to single speed road bikes fitted with ’cross tyres, and as CEO says, “Your choice of steed will define your ride.”

It adds: “Will the versatility of an MTB offer the best performance over mixed terrain? Will the pure speed of a road bike make up for time lost on the short, occasional off road dismounts? Or will the CX bike give you the best return where it counts?

“Your bike choice will even be included in your results listing, so you can see how different bikes stack up on the day. Full route marking, RFID rider timing, top notch catering and first class, friendly organisation and support all feature as part of the event.

Prices are £15 for the 40km route, £16 for 60km and £17 for 80km, with registration open from 8.30am next Sunday morning, 29 January.

Details of how to enter, plus a full breakdown of each route including profiles showing the type of surface as well as elevation, can be found on the CX Sportive website.


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 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.