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Black Rat Challenge

19/05/2019 - Bristol - Sportive

Rating: Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 86.2% based on 132 reviews

After the overwhelming success of our event in 2018, we are delighted to bring the 10th edition of the Black Rat to you. 

We have kept the very popular start / finish location at Marlwood School in Alveston. With excellent facilities including a huge parking area, the school is perfectly located on the route away from busy roads.

We will have three routes to choose from, a Piccolofondo route of 86km, a Mediofondo route of 112km or a Granfondo route of 166km. The Granfondo route again climbs Gospel Pass (550m) in the Black Mountains.

The rides will start at 8.30am and last riders need to leave the start by 9.30am. After leaving the school premises, you will join country lanes for 6km until you reach the Severn Bridge.

The cycle lane that crosses the bridge will take you to Chepstow, where you will pass through the town and climb up to the village of Devauden.

From Devauden, all riders will follow the beautiful road to Raglan. This starts off with a fantastic descent, followed by a lovely undulating, quiet road through farmland and small villages. 

At Raglan, Piccolofondo riders will turn right and take the lumpy road towards Monmouth, 12km away.

After leaving Monmouth you will tackle the biggest climb of the day to Trellech. After passing through Trellech the route takes you back to Devauden and down the fabulous descent to Chepstow Racecourse.

You will then cross the Severn Bridge back to England and ride to Tockington before tackling Old Down Hill a few km before finishing at Marlwood School where your free Black Rat cider along with hog roast awaits you.

At Raglan, Medio and Granfondo riders will take the pretty road to Abergavenny. The road is fairly flat and quiet so you will have time and space to enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Mediofondo riders will turn right just after reaching Abegavenny where you will then immediately start climbing back towards Monmouth on another undualting road with lots of short sharp efforts.

At Monmouth, Mediofondo riders will join the Piccolofondo route as detailed above.

Granfondo riders will pass through Abergavenny and join the Old Hereford Road, which leads to Hay on Wye. This road now climbs steadily for 25km before reaching the highest point of the ride at the famous Gospel Pass at 550m. 

Of course, what goes up, must come down (but not all at once). After cresting Gospel Pass, you will immediately have a superb 5km descent on the mountain road. Then, when you reach the junction, you will need to turn right to start climbing for about 3.5km through the woods. After this, you can finally relax with a gradual descent to the feed station at Longtown.

After Longtown the route back to Monmouth is either uphil or downhill with hardly any flat, but the route is superb and everyone in 2018 said they found it tough but really enjoyable, with fantastic scenery and quiet roads.

Granfondo riders will join Medio and Piccolofondo riders at Monmouth and head back towards Chepstow via the tough climb to Trellech and Devauden and then on to the Severn Bridge back to the finish where your free Black Rat cider awaits you along with some hog roast.

There will be three feed stops en route for Granfondo Riders, two for Mediofondo Riders and one for Piccolofondo Riders.

All riders will be electronically timed and results will be available immediately.

Event Website

HQ/Start Address
Address Line 1 Marlwood School
Address Line 2 Vattingstone Lane, Alveston
Town Bristol
County Bristol
Postcode BS35 3LA
Event Facilities
Adequate Car Parking Facilities Adequate Car Parking Facilities
Changing Rooms Changing Rooms
Food & Drink (Pre/Post Event) Food & Drink (Pre/Post Event)
Sign-on at HQ Sign-on at HQ

Support for Participants
Route card with emergency contact details Route card with emergency contact details
SAG wagon following laster rider(s) SAG wagon following laster rider(s)

Organiser Details
Name Jeremy Humphries
Email Email Hidden
Phone 0117 3250777
Address Line 1 Unit 52, Spike Island
Address Line 2 133 Cumberland Road
Town Bristol
County Bristol
Postcode BS1 6UX

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