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Ride at the Heart of a Revolution - Wiggle Motion in Mercia

by Nick Gregory

Ancient Mercia was an early Anglo-Saxon kingdom ruled over by King Wulfhere  - hence the name Wolverhampton. The industrial revolution rolled out in a number of places, but modern Mercia can pretty much claim to be the catalyst. Taking in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ironbridge, where the process of smelting iron with coke was perfected, it's where the modern industrial world got in motion.

Both routes on the Wiggle Motion in Mercia have been modified for 2014 but still cover Cannock Chase, the Wrekin and the Severn Valley. Based out of Wolverhampton, it's not long until riders find themselves out in the quiet countryside making their way gradually up to the top of Cannock Chase - a steady climb that's good for early season training.


In fact, for the most part, this sportive is about gradual climbs - except if you choose the long route, where you'll find a couple of real testers. Former Olympian and 4 times World Champion, Hugh Porter MBE, cut his teeth in these areas.

Cannock Chase is the smallest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on the mainland UK. Not only that, it then leads to a wonderful downhill, fast section towards Penkridge as the route heads east to the first feed station at 31 miles.


Shortly after the feed station the short route splits off to re-join the long route further south by Ironbridge. The Long route continues on towards Newport and then Shrewsbury and down passed The Wrekin before the big climb up Gleedon Hill, through Ironbridge and then up the short, sharp climb of Sutton Hill before heading back to HQ at Aldersley Sports Village. 

With two route options to choose from, this is a great opportunity to see how your early season fitness is coming along. Wiggle Motion in Mercia makes for a great way to start your sportive season by keeping the mileage high, but the climbing low.

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