The Cycling Plus Sportive will be one of the highlights of this year’s BikeRadar Live festival at Brands Hatch in Kent on 10-11 July. We can now unveil the route of the 106 mile event, with the shorter 70 mile and 49 mile options also available.
The route has been created by Derek Williams, a familiar figure in Kent’s cycling fraternity. Derek founded the Circuit of Kent sportive, and few know the maze of quiet roads which criss-cross the county as well as he does.
It starts and finishes on the Brands Hatch circuit, heading in a south-easterly direction via Wrotham, West Maling, Hunton, Charing and Badlesmere. The return leg skirts around Ashford to the north, then winds through the lanes to Headcom, Staplehurst, Marden, Winchet Hill, Matfield and Shipbourne before finishing at Brands Hatch. The last 10 miles has a bit of climbing in it, so be warned.
While the route is rolling all the way, there are four key climbs: Hunton Hill (22 miles/36km), The Wynd (44 miles/70km), Winchet Hill (79 miles/127km) and Wrotham Hill (102 miles/164km).These are steep in parts, especially The Wynd which has 1-in-4 (25 percent) sections, so make sure you’ve got the gears to cope.
In total, the route is 106 miles/170km long with 4,530ft/1,380m of climbing, which we think will be enough to challenge you without breaking you. We wouldn’t want that!
Cycling Plus have a full preview of the route, ridden and written by David Motton, in their next issue, on sale on 4 May. Here’s a video of David riding some of it, which will give you a good flavour of the ride:
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- Distance: 106 miles/170km (full route on Bikely.com).
- Climbing: 4,530ft/1,380m
- Parking: Available at Brands Hatch on the day of the sportive (Saturday 10 July).
- Nearest railway station: Swanley.
- Food and drink: Three feed stops are planned. The first and second are at Headcorn (32 miles and 68 miles) where the two routes split. The third is planned for Brenchley, around 20 miles from the finish. There are pubs and village shops en route too (including The Black Horse at Pluckley).
- Where to stay: Camping is available at Brands Hatch (and space for campervans and caravans). If you’re riding the route at another time, try www.visitkent.co.uk or www.visitheartofkent.com.
- Bike shop: Cycles UK in Tonbridge is only a short distance off the route.
You can book online now at www.bikeradar.com/live or call the BikeRadar Live hotline on 0871 230 1085. One-day, weekend and family tickets are available, with prices starting at £15 in advance.