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Closed Road Sportive Coming this Spring on the Isle of Wight

by Holly Blades

There's a new Closed Road sportive riding comes to the South of England this Spring, at Southern Sportive's brand new Isle of Wight event, the Wight Riviera Sportive on May 20th. The Wight Riviera Sportive covers the best of the Islands quiet roads and spectacular views, with options from 62km to 154km, racking up over 2200m of climbing across the Islands steep downland profile.

The sportive is the headline event of a bigger Cycle Wight weekend, a festival of cycling on the 19th & 20th May, with rides for road and mountain bikers, and family and leisure cyclists.

The Wight Riviera Sportive is the first in the UK to use the new Sportive Avantage format. Sportive Avantage is an exciting new cycling format devised by the Southern Sportive team, that combines a classic sportive route with a closed road lead out, a new event concept providing the perfect challenge for the widest possible range of cyclists.

From the start, you ride out onto a closed road starting loop of approx 25km (called the Avant loop), That takes you past the Needles and onto the southern coast road at Fresshwater Bay, before passing back to the start area and out and onto the open road part of the sportive. The Avant Loop to be taken on as a standalone challenge for for those wanting a shorter and traffic free ride. The rolling road closure also allows the sportive to feature a proper mass start, giving it a real sense an atmosphere and occasion for both for riders and spectators.

Once out on the open road sections of the sportive, the course moves onto the tranquil roads of the wider Island (very few roads on the Isle of Wight could ever be described as 'busy'). The route is a coastal gem, winding up and down the Island's rolling chains of hills. The ever changing scenery is quite breathtaking. Low, leafy valleys pass through classic English villages, along airy country lanes  between the hedgerows and up onto high vantage points up on the downs, with views across the Island and beyond!

Broad cliff-top roads present sweeping seascapes, before the route dips again, switching you from  the coast back to picture perfect villages and countryside at the  Islands heart. The downland geography rises and falls with a soaring tempo, sending you out of the saddle and down into the drops by turns, as the ascent tally rises. By the finish, 2200m of vertical will have  ganged up on your legs, and a constant barrage of scenic inspiration will have assaulted your senses. It's little wonder that Lonely Planet Guides named the Isle of Wight amongst their world#s best cycling destinations!

Fun and family friendly rides form a big part of Cycle Wight too, and the Island is rich with attractions, making it an ideal weekend for cyclists with either non cycling or casual cycling families or partners. Getting to the Island is cheap and easy too. There are three main crossings on the south coast, and both Island ferry companies, Red Funnel and Wightlink, have got behind the event with big travel discounts that can get you to the Island for just £6.45 return as a foot passenger, or from under £10.00 per person return for vehicle crossings.

The event centre is just 200 yards from the nearest ferry, making it ideal for a day crossing, or the event is perfect for a longer weekend break, with an great choice of accommodation and activities available on the island.

Get full details and book now at, or find full Cycle Wight Weekend details at

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