The Archer GP Chiltern Classic Sportive on Sunday, 5th August 2007 is to provide
a challenge ride on a Premier Series scale only a few weeks after the Tour de
The organisers state that the many British riders in the French events will
be ready tuned to take on this British version which is intended to become a
sportive classic over the years to match the grand prix race version which started
back in 1956.
Starting and finishing in Gt Missenden, it will follow a route of approximately
101 miles taking in all or parts of the six circuits used in the 52 years of
this classic race. The sportive version is not a race and runs under the normal
rules of the road, so it is possible to return to hills and lanes discontinued
for the race because the scale of the race has grown to make narrow lanes impractical
or traffic restrictions had made other parts of that circuit unusable.
A good example of this is the return to The Hale, near Wendover, used only
in 1959 when the winner, professional champion (the late) Ron Coe, criticised
the width of the lane for a major event. He was right, but now The Hale is a
quiet by-lane signposted as suitable for cycle touring. Perhaps a further sign
suggesting a very low gear should be added! Whiteleaf hill, in the current race
route, will be climbed twice, plus Hughenden, Longdown, Gore, Chesham, Penn
Woods, Witheridge, and others that have seen great deeds by riders over the
years of Olympic and World Champion status.
Past winners of the Archer International GP are being invited to take part
and although not a winner, among the first is ex-professional, team principal
and cycle shop owner Phil Corley who has declared his intention to ride and
hopes to bring along a number of other vintage professionals.
The event administration is in the expert hands of Graham Temple, promoter
of the very successful Forest of Dean Sportive for the past two years, heading
the same organisational team. Graham is a long standing member of the Archer
RC and will be applying the same high standards as for the grand prix race itself.
Although it is not a race, riders will have individual transponder timing, there
will be a ‘goody bag’ for every rider, showers at the finish, signage of the
highest standard both for routing and safety, feeding stations and everything
you would expect of an Archer RC promotion.
The entry fee is £20 and more details will soon be available on www.archergp-sportive.co.uk.
Arrangements are in hand for on-line entry which should be available very soon.
Any profits will go towards the extremely high costs of organising the main
Archer GP, especially paying for the road closure order and police support to
carry out that order..
For a lesser challenge to cater for less experienced newcombers to cycling,
or those of more senior years, the Amersham RCC is linking up to provide a 50-mile
sportive through the lanes skirting Tring, Ivinghoe and Aylesbury to provide
a much less demanding route, albeit with the sting in the tail of Whiteleaf
just five miles from the finish.
The entry fee is £12, without some of the extras on the main event, with
50% of the profit going to the MND Association charity (Motor Neurone Disease).
An early entry came from Bill Houghton, Unity CC, who rode in the original
Archer GP 52 years ago, but who accepts that the main event this time might
be too much of a challenge!
Website – www.archergp-sportive.co.uk