We're at the Cycle Show in Birmingham's NEC today, where new sportive Vélo Birmingham just officially launched on the main stage. The route is confirmed to start and finish in the city centre and deliver 100 miles of riding on closed roads.
Former England rugby captain Martin Johnson CBE was among the guests of honour up on stage and the big man says he "can't wait" to be one of the 15,000 riders on the start line in his home city on 24 September next year.
"My advice to anyone who is tempted to enter, but is doubting their ability to complete 100 miles, would be to just take the plunge and go for it," said Johnson. "I speak from experience when I say that with the right training it’s an extremely achievable goal."
Vélo Birmingham route
The 100-mile sportive will start in the heart of Birmingham city centre on Sunday 24 September 2017 and will take riders of all levels of ability on what the organiser CSM says is an "unforgettable" route through Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Sandwell and Dudley before returning to Birmingham.
And if you're wondering how hard the route is, Martin Johnson says that it's "much tougher" than RideLondon. So that's something to boast about to your London mates. Check out the full route here.
Vélo Birmingham will be combined with the third edition of the Birmingham BikeFest, a free cycling festival that includes a closed-road family ride along with cycling-related activities for all ages.
Register for Vélo Birmingham
Entries aren't open yet, but already more than 30,000 people have pre-registered interest for the 15,000 spots available. If you want to join in, you've got until 5pm on Wednesday 28 September to pre-register. Entries will go on sale exclusively to those who have pre-registered at 8am on Thursday 29 September during a Priority Booking Window and will be sold on a first come, first served basis.
Head to velobirmingham.com for more information.