The Joker Will Return For 2013
by Henry Peacock
Following on from its popular 2012 launch, the Joker returns to Southern Sportive’s event line up for 2013.
Fearsome Gold Hill Cobbled Climb
The event was conceived to take advantage of April Fools Day falling on a Sunday in 2012, and brings fun features and some novel twists to the standard sportive format. For 2013, the event will be on April 7th (as April 1st falls on Easter Monday), but will keep the same format that makes it the most enjoyable and innovative season starter on the calendar.
What sets the Joker apart is the introduction of a series of extra loops or route choices spurring off of the core circuit, each featuring specific challenges or obstacles. Probably the highest profile of these is the climb of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury; the iconic 1:4 cobbled climb featured in Ridley Scott’s famous 1970′s advert for Hovis, in which a bakers delivery boy pushes his bike up the dreaded slope. (The advert was such an enduring hit that the Hovis brand has remained connected to cycling projects and to the hill itself to this day. When Victoria Pendleton signed a sponsorship deal with the firm in 2010.
For each Jokers Challenge you complete, you receive a souvenir Joker playing card, and you’ll get an event t-shirt for completing the ride too. And for all the Jokers and Fools, you can be assured that the organisers will take the event as seriously as any other. As with all Southern Sportive events, you’ll get top notch support and route marking, well stocked feed stations and event catering, plus instant ride timing for those of you with performance goals in mind.
Great Switchback Roads
The Joker takes place on April 7th 2013 from Salisbury Race Course. Full details and booking are available at southernsportive.com.
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