Southern Sportive close their 2011 season on October 9th with an exciting new finale event on the stunning Cotswold Edge!
Big wide smooth roads, twisty quiet lanes, steep climbs, flowing descents, fantastic views - This ride has it all! The ride features a choice of 128km,101km and 73km distances, with up to 2100m of climbing involved and an interesting choice to be made at the end! Starting from the quiet village of Hawkesbury Upton, you'll ride out on wide smooth roads, twisty quiet lanes, steep climbs and flowing descents, and through amazing countryside with fantastic views; the perfect sportive mix! From the start, the ride immediately makes for the back roads as it twists its way through quiet lanes, warming you up the challenges to come, before turning you north along the western edge of the Cotswolds, where you start to see why they call this 'the edge'. Working north towards Dursley and Stroud steep, twisting climbs carve their way though some of the prettiest parts of the Cotswolds, past tiny stone cottages and grand mansions flow alike. As the climbs open out, your reward is a series of stunning views over the meandering Severn Estuary, rising on the far bank to the Forest of Dean. On a clear day you might even see glimpses of the Black Mountains!
The route descends by the estuary and turns back through the vale until it's ready to deliver it's coup de gras; a choice of two ways into the finish! Neither offers an 'easy' option; both require some work and a fair bit of climbing. But while the direct route brings you straight up to the finish on a slightly more manageable grind, the organisers give you the option of taking on the very lovely but brutal 1:5 (20%) climb of Kilcott Hill, just a short detour away from the finish line! The choice is yours and the official direct route into the finish is challenging enough. But if you want to finish your season by bagging one last major climb - and if you have the legs and resolve for that final calf burning epic - choose the Kilcott Killer finish. It adds 4km and 50m of (steep!) climbing to your ride, but the views are worth it and you'll earn a highlight in the results list and a free 2011 Southern Sportive t-shirt for your efforts!
As with all Southern Sportive events, excellent organisation and support will form the backbone of your ride, with comprehensive, easy to follow route signing, well stocked feed and support stations, Perfomance Cycles mechanical support vehicles and RFID rider timing completing a total ride package. Route and event details, and online booking can be found at southernsportive.com.