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The Exmoor Beast Cycle Challenge Celebrates Ten Years of Roaming the West Country

by Holly Blades

Now on its tenth outing, the Exmoor Beast marks the start of the season of mellow fruitfulness for sportives, coming as it does at the tail end of the summer and ushering in the West Country autumn.

Thankfully the fabled local big cat that gave the event its name is not to be seen these days but, like its feline namesake, the Beast has grown its own legend - as a cycling challenge and a delight.

Sportive Photo

Run over the beautiful and challenging Exmoor National Park, often used by the Royal Marines as a training ground, the event offers three routes: 160km with over 3000m of climbing, a 121km medium route with around 800m less ascent and a Devon Cream Tea friendly 47km with 760m of uphill to work up an appetite.

Organiser Geoff Saxon from Final Corner is thrilled that the Beast has reached the decade milestone, incidentally just two years short of the general life expectancy of a puma:

"For the event's tenth visit to Dunkery Beacon I decided to add in some beastly fun by introducing a timed section. It starts after the notorious wheel-spinning cattle grid and finishes alongside the famous Beacon over the right shoulder of the hill at a staggering 1,270 feet. If you go for it's really going to hurt - if you don't, it's still going to hurt"

Sportive Photo

The tenth anniversary Exmoor Beast Cycle Challenge takes place on 17 September, starting and finishing at Tiverton High School, Tiverton, Devon. 

Last minute entries are available via the website for a day that promises to be the cat's whiskers.

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