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CX Sportive is Back for a New Season with New Additions to the Calendar

by Nick Gregory

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Fancy something different for the winter? The CX Sportive season is back and it could be the perfect ride for this time of year. CX Sportives use a mix of tarmac lanes, farm tracks, bridleways and trails to create varied and exciting winter friendly courses of up to 80km in length. There's a unique, friendly atmosphere, an amazing mix of bikes and riders and real sense of camaraderie. 

CX1

The Cotswold Edge CX50 - 11 Oct 2014 

Welcome to CX50 - shorter, sharper courses for a faster and slightly more technically demanding CX Sportive experience. The Cotswold Edge is maze of folded hills, big, steep climbs and delectable descents. The rocky base creates a firm riding surface off road, complemented by a network of quiet, winding lanes that lead you through some spectacular scenery. 

The Salisbury Saxon CX - 9 Nov 2014 

This is perfect CX country - in fact it could have been created for the event. The course area is a natural amphitheatre for your riding pleasure. The tiny river Ebble traces the floor of the valley that forms the backbone of a course which winds constantly up and down to the north and south. Ancient drove roads atop each of these downs, along with the narrow valley road, form the main arteries of the route, while the lanes, tracks and trails between the three weave in the detail; testing climbs that top out at 20%, descents that will send your stupid grin count off the scale, and a procession of picture box villages, scenery and views to lift the most wintry soul! 

CX2

The Woodcote Wildwood CX - 25 Jan 2015  

This is the fourth year for the original CX Sportive, returning once again to Woodcote and this excellent Chilterns course. Set where the Thames cuts the Chiltern Hills, the ride heads up into the jagged profile of the Chilterns on a mix of surfaces to test your pace, performance and handling. The route takes riders south to the Thames, dropping on farm tracks to Mapledurham, to break you into the rougher stuff nice and easily. From there it's onto Goring on a mix of roads tracks that include a first taste of bridleway, before the final stretch south levels out to take some of the strain out of your last miles back to the finish. 

The South Downs Sting CX - 8 Mar 2015  

The South Downs are ideal muscular CX terrain, and the iconic South Downs Way features prominently on this course. The broad, straight chalk surface is perfect to get the wheels spinning, until the lung busting climbs and long, sketchy descents intervene to put any rider's mettle to the test. Off the sides of the South Downs ridge, the course expands into a different mix of territories; from the steeper technical north side to the long sweeping slopes to the south, mixing tracks, trails and low valley lanes to great effect. 

CX3

Courses will vary by event, but a typical breakdown would be: 60% Road (mostly back lanes, some rougher surfaces), 25% fast tracks (fire road/farm track), 10% bridleway, 5% singletrack (semi-technical off road). This variety is what makes these events such a blast, keeping you alert and on the ball to the changing demands of the course all day. 

Off road sections are picked to be rideable on skinny cross tyres, with maybe just one or two short sections that could get you thinking about shouldering your bike. CX Sportives are not just for cross bikes though - CX, high quality hybrids and 29ers are all perfect for these events too. But the organisers actively encourage riders to tackle the course on whatever bike they like, and they even credit your choice of machine in your results listing. So there is no excuse to stop riding this winter. And if you're new to CX, now is the time to jump in and try it out - you won't look back! 

Full details and event entry can be found at www.cxsportive.com





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3 Comments

durim1
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