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We celebrated our 125th anniversary with 125 miles in the saddle in the glorious Cheshire countryside last year, and so successful was the event that we’ve decided to give it a regular slot on our sportive calendar. With an epic 23 per cent climb and a timed lap of the international Oulton Park Circuit among the route highlights it’s easy to see why!
Starting out at the revered Oulton Park Race Circuit we first send you off on an untimed lap of the circuit, which as well as easing you into the sportive gives you an opportunity to recce the circuit before that all-important timed lap.
Fresh off the track you are invited to explore rural Cheshire and some of the best scenery it has to offer. Epic riders start by heading north for a quick dip into Delamere Forest Park, while those who have opted to ride the Standard route continue off to the west before heading south. Epic riders, in the meantime, continue their northern loop by zigzagging their way over and under railways and brooks.
Now heading south we rejoin the Standard and Short riders and in unison are treated to a fleeting glimpse of Beeston Castle’s remains — shortly after which the course splits for a second time sending Epic riders further west to catch a glance of Wales over the River Dee.
From here we start on an easterly tack passing through the pretty village of Audlem, then on up to Wybunbury. Soon after, the Short riders will veer off west to head for home, while the Standard and Epic riders continue towards their toughest challenge of the day, Mow Cop.
With just under a mile of continuous climbing, and the gradient incrementally increasing as you get closer to the top, this is not a climb to underestimate, so make sure you have sufficient fuel in the tank!
Just after the level crossing you will begin your ascent. Starting out with a fairly comfortable nine per cent average, the road soon ramps up to a cruel 2o per cent before easing off prior to the reaching the sharpest gradient of the climb. Now, with mind and body locked in battle, you must mine deep into your reserves as the road rises at a ridiculous 23 per cent. But with great physical exertion comes a steady flow of endorphins, and after all of your hard work you will be rewarded with views of the picturesque Mow Cop Castle and a wide-angle shot of the fantastic Staffordshire and Cheshire countryside.
As we now head west for home, all that climbing can only mean one white-knuckle descent down to Astbury, after which we continue to wind our way through Cheshire’s canal-bordered lanes. Closing in on the finish, after an Epic 125 miles we put you through your last test, an all-out sprint to the finish line via a timed lap of Oulton Park circuit.
Closing in on the finish, after an epic 125 miles we put you through your last test, an all-out sprint to the finish line via a timed lap of Oulten Park circuit.
We want to encourage young riders to enjoy the pleasure of cycling. That's why all riders under 16 years ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Valid ID will be requested on the day.
Online pre-entry is the easiest way of entering and saves £5.00 per person vs. entering on the day. Online pre-entry will save you time on the day of the event allowing you to simply pick up your registration pack from the Pre entered registration points. Please note: If an event reaches its capacity we will have to close the event to riders wanting to enter on the day. It is therefore best to pre enter online to avoid disappointment!
On the day entries are available at all our events as long as the event has not sold out prior to the event day. On the day entries are subject to an additional £5.00 per person surcharge. Payment can be made with cash or cheque. You can fill out an entry form when you arrive at the event. One entry form must be completed per person. Wiggle Customers will not be able to receive any loyalty discounts on the day.
Although all our rides are non competitive events (i.e. not races), most people still like to know how well they've done. With this in mind we will time each participants ride. When you complete your ride your time will be calculated and these timings, along with the timing Award you achieved, will be displayed on the Website. Each rider will receive a timing award of either; bronze, silver or gold, depending on their average speed. Of course, some riders aren't bothered about all these awards and just cycle for the experience and stunning scenery.
SportivePhoto will be taking pictures of all riders at this event. Please visit www.sportivephoto.com once you have taken part in the event to view your photos!
By purchasing an event entry you agree to the UK Cycling Events terms and conditions.
Route distances and elevations are approximate and subject to change. Changes can be due to road closures or for safety reasons. Any changes will be kept to a minimum where possible.