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CX Sportive Returns For The Winter And Spring Season

by Nick Gregory

Cold weather, wet roads and failing light make winter sportives a less than appealing proposition, but there's a perfect alternative as CX Sportive returns for the winter and early spring.

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. 

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The first three events announced are three returning favourites from previous years, with some new dates to be added soon: 

The Salisbury Saxon CX - 24 Nov 2013 

The Wildwood CX - Woodcote (nr Reading), 26 Jan 2014

The South Downs Sting CX - Duncton (nr Petworth), 9 Mar 2014 

Courses will vary by event, with each location shaped by it's own local character, 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. It keeps you warm too, with the rougher stuff getting you out of the saddle and working your whole body, before you settle back into the next stretch of tarmac to pick up the speed again. 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! 

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CX Sportives are not just for cross bikes though! CX, high quality hybrids and 29ers have all been big movements in the bike world recently, and all are perfect for these events. But the organisers actively encourage riders to tackle the course on whatever bike they like, and even credit your choice of machine in your results listing! In their first three years, the CX Sportives have become popular with mountain bikers looking for a rideable alternative to the winter gloop. The bravest souls on show are those riding their winter training road bikes with little more than a set of cross tyres fitted as a concession to the changing terrain! It's probably the hardest option for the day, but a choice that will earn the respect of your fellow riders. 

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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 cxsportive.com





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