The route of the British Cyclosportive, taking place on July 1st, has been confirmed by British Cycling. The 117mile (187km) ride will give participants a unique chance to do a mass start event starting in London and finishing close to the English Channel, tracing much of the same route as stage 1 of this year's Tour de France. Entries open on March 1st, and the field will be limited to 5000 riders.
The ride will start in Greenwich, and will pass the National Maritime Museum, heading out of London past the Thames barrier across Kent towards Canterbury. The route will take in some of the south's most famous and picturesque towns, including Rochester and Royal Tunbridge Wells before passing Kent County Cricket Club, Canterbury's famous Roman city walls and finishing on Rheims Way.
"We are delighted to offer the rare opportunity to ride such an iconic route," said Jonny Clay, competition and events manager of British Cycling. "It has a mix of climbs, rolling countryside and flat terrain that will appeal to all levels of cyclist. There will be transponder chip timing and four feed stations along the fully waymarked and marshaled route. Riders will be able to experience what it's like to take part in a major tour event, without having to go abroad or get back on their bikes the following morning."
The British Cyclosportive will benefit the Geoff Thomas Foundation charity. Thomas, an ex-England football star, is suffering from leukaemia, and is using cycling as a form of therapy. He will be riding the event and will be trying to entice his former teammates out of their boots and onto a bike. He will use it as a warm up for his Tour de France fundraising challenge, where he and other cancer survivors aim to complete every stage two days after the professional riders.
Towns and distance from start (km)
Woolwich: 6 Dartford: 20 Gravesend: 31 Rochester: 40 Aylsford: 54 Tonbridge: 78 Royal Tunbridge Wells: 87 Horsmonden: 103 Sissinghurst: 116 Tenterden: 129 Stubbs Cross: 146 Port Lympne: 159 Farthing Common: 167 Canterbury: 187
Entries will go live on www.everydaycycling.com at 12pm on March 1st. Alternatively, call Pennine Events on +44 (0)1695 682020 from March 1st. Entries cost £40, including a £2 voluntary donation to the Geoff Thomas Foundation. Transport back to the start is available at a cost of £12.