The organisers of the popular Merida MTB Marathon series have turned their attention to sportives, with the first Gore Bike Wear Road Sportive due to take place on 24 May.
Ruthin, Wales, plays host to the ride, which offers entrants a choice of 40-mile route with 1080m of climbing and 80-miler with 2069m of climbing. The courses have been carefully selected to provide the riders with tough challenging climbs through some of the most spectacular scenery to be found in North Wales.
Both routes head out of historic Ruthin along the pastoral Vale of Clwyd towards the coast. The climbing starts as the route goes through the centre of Denbigh past its 13th century castle. Moving up onto the moorland above the town the route cuts back to pass Lyn Brenig, famous locally for its fishing and watersports.
Next stop is Cerrigydrudion where the two routes part company. The 40-milers heading back to Ruthin through Clawdd-Newydd, while the 80-mile route carries on to Bala and its fabulous Lake. Back to Corwen through the town centre and over the river before taking the scenic back roads towards Llangollen.
Then comes the final challenge, the Horseshoe Pass. Chris Boardman still holds the record for the ascent here. The final miles take in a descent of the Nant y Garth Pass before the return to Ruthin where you will be welcomed back at the event village with free tea, coffee and cake in the event village.
Find out more information and get your entries in at the Gore Bike Wear Road Sportive Series website.