Entries Open for Newly Formed Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival
by Holly Blades
Entries are now open for the first edition of the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival on Sunday 16 July 2017. The event brings together two existing highlights of the cycling calendar; the Chiltern 100 Sportive and the Chiltern Cycling Festival. The features that have made both events so popular in their own right will be retained, with the merger allowing entrants to enjoy these on a single day and a grand-scale at a unique celebration of cycling. Over 3,000 riders are expected.
Taking as its hub the Penn House country estate near Amersham, Bucks., the event will provide cyclists of all persuasions with a choice of rides around the grounds and out into the Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cyclists and non-riders alike can also enjoy the retro-inspired Velo Village, with its eclectic mix of cycling-themed stalls and entertainment.
Three road-cycling sportives are available at the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival, each delivered by Human Race Events, the UK arm of Le Tour de France owners, A.S.O., and the organisers of Dragon Ride L'Etape Wales by Le Tour de France and the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride. The sell-out Chiltern 100 Sportive will again provide some of the most picturesque, not to mention challenging, road cycling available in the UK. The 172km/107mile Gran Fondo is famed for its 21 gruelling climbs that present cyclists with over 2,400m of vertical ascent and reward them for their efforts with spectacular panoramas. Two shorter distances, the Medio Fondo (109 km/68 miles) and the Corto Fondo (52 km/32 miles) are also available, ensuring cyclists of all levels can enjoy the riding the Chilterns have to offer. Law firm, Blaser Mills, who have offices in Amersham and throughout the South East are kindly supporting the Corto Fondo.
Cycletta, part of Human Race's long-running series of women-only rides, will offer a fun and friendly environment for women of all ages and abilities to enjoy the 52km (32 mile) course and builds on the popularity of the Chiltern Cycling Festival amongst female cyclists (28% of entrants to the Festival's rides in 2016 were women).
The Amersham Classic 52km (32 mile) ride will provide participants with an opportunity to show off their finest vintage bikes, clothing and equipment.
All riders will have a chance to compete for the title of King or Queen of the Chilterns on the final, timed climb, before receiving a celebratory glass of Champagne, a finisher's medal and a goody musette on their return to Penn House. The Velo Village will offer a wide-range of attractions and entertainment for riders and their friends and families, including a family ride, the Vintage Concors D'Elegance parade of vintage bikes and equipment, more than 30 stalls featuring cycling clothing, equipment, gifts and collectibles, a beer tent and gourmet cuisine, live music and live coverage of Stage 15 of Le Tour de France. Entrance to the Velo Village will be free of charge, with ample free parking available.
Discussing the merging of the Chiltern Cycling Festival and the Chiltern 100 Sportive, Nick O'Brien, founder of the Chiltern Cycling Festival, said: "Both events have their own character, but what we're really excited about is bringing together as many cyclists and their families as possible and showcasing the riding the Chilterns has to offer and the rich cycling culture that surrounds it".
Doug Driscoll, Chairman of the Verulam Cycling Club, founders of the Chiltern 100 Sportive, added: "We're excited to see the Chiltern 100 continue to go from strength to strength. Combining the ride with the festival to form the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival will provide participants with the best of both worlds - a proper challenge on the bike and a fantastic celebration of the cycling scene back at Penn House."
Entries to the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival's three sportives are now open. Entries are available at a reduced 'early' price until the end of January. For more information and to enter, visit http://humanrace.co.uk/event/chiltern-100-sportive/
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