Last year I rode almost all the Wiggle CX Sportive series of events and had a great time bashing around on new routes and trying an old favourite – the South Downs Way – on a ‘cross bike, something I had thought about, but never got around to trying. The organisers run a great little series that’s big enough to have all the support and logistics you want, while still being friendly and personal.
The series is already under way, the first event was the Wildwood CX on the 7th of February, which unfortunately for me clashed with the final event of the London Cross League. Next up though is the South Downs Sting on the 13th March. Three routes of 52, 60 and 72 kilometres will take you looping up and around the South Downs. On a crisp Spring day the view from the top of the Downs will make all that climbing worthwhile.
The series continues with the Surrey Hills Gravelcross that I rode last year (read my report here). The Gravelcross includes a little bit of an optional competitive edge wit a 3km timed loop to try your speed out on. But with the route going through the Surrey Hills Area of Natural Beauty, you can just ride and enjoy the views.
The next event is a little different from the usual format in that it’s billed as a “closed circuit Super CX Race, mixing classic cross & gravel racing on grand scale!” There’s not much information at the moment, but as soon as I find out more I’ll let you know what the format will be, all I know is it sounds like fun!
Following June’s race format and we’re back for the big one, the CX Century; 100 miles along the South Downs Way, Winchester to Eastbourne non-stop. I rode this last year (read all about it here) and rate it as a proper challenge, something to brag about around the cafe table. It’s a hard ride and you’ll want to get the miles in before hand, to condition your body to the hammering that no suspension and skinny tyres will deal out on these rides; probably a good idea to enter a couple of CX sportives as training eh?
With Autumn on the way the series finishes off with the White Horse Ridge and Gold Rush sportives. I rode the Gold Rush last year and it was a great end to the series, with the cobbled climb of Gold Hill and the final 8km blast to the finish making up for my early puncture!
This year I will be using the Wiggle CX Sportive series to test and review various bits of ‘cross related kit and bikes, so look out for my reports to see how they and I fare.
|Chain Reaction||Leisure Lakes Bikes||Evans Cycles||Wiggle|
|Cyclestore||Hargroves Cycles||Merlin Cycles||ProBikeKit|
|Ribble Cycles||Rutland Cycling||AW Cycles|