“Sportive” is a word that you won’t see all that often on BM, but it’s a popular one over in the road cycling world. Think of a sportive as a road bike enduro and you won’t be far wrong. We’re telling you about the Tour of the Cornfields, though, because it kind of bridges the gap between MTB enduro and conventional sportive.
Based in South Cambridgeshire, the Tour of the Cornfields (2 September) is along similar (albeit flatter) lines to the famous Hell of the North Cotswolds. The route uses narrow lanes, farm tracks, byways and wide off-road paths, with over 50% of the 58 mile distance being off-road. It’s described as “ideal for cyclo-cross bikes” but the organisers say that anyone on an MTB would enjoy it. Which sounds entirely plausible – HONC is ideal for CX bikes but 98% of the field rides MTBs.
The route will be signposted and written directions will be provided. You’ll follow a number of ancient tracks and roads, including the Harcamlow Way and the Icknield Way, as well as crossing the site of the abandoned medieval village of Clopton.
The start is at Whaddon Village Hall, Whaddon, Herts. There’s a limit of 150 starters due to parking availability, so you’d be well advised to enter in advance via www.riderhq.com. Advance entries close on 25 August.