Daredevil riders have been quick out the blocks to snap up places on the Wiggle Dragon Ride’s fearsome new 305km distance, with places selling out on the first day of general sale.
Already known as one of the toughest sportives on the calendar, the Wiggle Dragon Ride also offers 223km and 153km route, with a 45km corto and cycletta route. The event will return on Sunday June 8, 2014.
But having announced the new Dragon Devil ride – a 305km route featuring 3,437m of climbing – there were no shortage of riders looking to challenge themselves to possibly the toughest ride of their lives however.
One such entrant is Brent Holmes, who has enjoyed success at the Dragon Ride and the Etape Cymru. He told RCUK why he had taken up this new challenge.
“I think the sportives these guys do are fantastic,” he said. “I don’t want to sound like I’m boasting but I’ve come first at the Etape Cymru and third in the Dragon Ride and I really enjoyed them.
“I was now looking for something with a bit more of a challenge and I thought if I don’t support something like this then no one will.
“Lots of people sent me the link straight away, saying ‘are you thinking of doing it?’ I said to all of them, ‘if I do then will you do it with me?’ And nobody took me up on that offer!”
Brent, who competes in the 45-49 age category, will now join the other hardy (or perhaps foolish!) riders in tackling the twisting Devil’s Elbow ascent, with sections of 20 per cent gradient, and the Devil’s Staircase, whose final kilometre is a wall of 25 per cent magnitude.
For those still doubting its difficulty, competitors in the 1992 Milk Race found the climb so tough some required assistance from the crowd to reach the summit.
Brent hopes intense training and favourable conditions will boost his chances of completing the gruelling route in his target time though.
“I’ve done long distances before, so I know I have it in me,” he explained. “But there’s also the climbing.
“I’m always going out at the weekend doing long distance. I live in Derbyshire anyway, which is ideal, because it’s very similar terrain to the Brecons.
“It’s going to take some serious preparation just to get your head around the distance. You’ll reach the 100 mile point, and then you’ve still got another 80 miles to ride.
“When I filled in the form it said how long do you think it will take? And I thought ‘I have no idea’ having never done that distance before.
“So I put down nine hours to put it out there – that’s the challenge. It will probably be more like nine and a half or ten but if you don’t have a goal it’s not worth it.
“I’m just really hoping it will be good weather – riding 300km will be tough enough, without having to do it in Wales if it gets wet and cloudy or windy!”
Limited spaces are still available on the 222km Gran Fondo, 152km Medio Fondo and the 47km Corto and women only Cycletta routes but all are selling fast.
For more information or to enter, visit www.humanrace.co.uk/cycling