The dates for Southern Sportive’s 2014 series of events have been announced following a record-breaking 2013 season.
Back for a third year, the events kick off with The Joker, in Salisbury on Sunday April 6, with the surrounding hillside forming the backbone of the day.
Featuring Jokers Challenges – extra hills and off-route hurdles to tackle – and Fools Choices, free and easy short cuts with a sting in their tail, the sportive is a somewhat unique way to kick off the spring.
April closes with the St George’s Sportive, tackling the punchy Chilterns on Sunday April 27 with climbs and drops aplenty in the picturesque countryside.
Now in its eight year, the sportive, sponsored by Princes Risborough, also offers shorter but equally hilly routes for those new to the cyclosportive scene.
Swindon then hosts the Great Western Sportive – with a top distance of 100 miles and a capacity for 1,000 riders – in the Marlborough Downs with a new date – Sunday May 18.
The Reigate Rouleur also returns, fresh from its 2013 sell-out, which will roll out from Reigate College on Sunday July 6.
Heading East along flat roads from the North Downs, the punchy middle section takes in Kent Weald, Sevenoaks and Hever Castle before a long, fast run into the finish.
For those preferring to tackle some calf-burning climbs, the top 136km distance of the Woodcote Chilterns Classic on Sunday August 3 features 1,827m height gain.
The headline Southern Sportive also returns, with one of southern England’s first cyclosportives back for its ninth running on Sunday September 14.
Featuring four distances on the South Downs, the 71km short route, 112km mid route and 155km route are complimented by the 192km Gauntlet for riders looking to push their limits on the rolling course.
The Southern Sportive road season closes on Sunday October 12 with the steep climbs of the Cotswold Edge Sportive, having moved to the Renishaw site near Wooton-Under-Edge to cater for increased demand this year.
All events are now open for booking, with full details available at southernsportive.com.