Mountain bike riders across the country are invited the tackle an exhilarating 40km Off-Road Sportive 18th August 2012
Mountain bike riders across the country are invited the tackle an exhilarating 40km Off-Road Sportive through the beautiful Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This brand new route will take riders through the stunning and varied trails within the Blenheim Palace Estate as well as onto the byways of the local countryside.
The Off-Road Sportive, specifically designed for mountain bikers, is a new element adding variety to the growing Festival of Cycling, Bike Blenheim Palace, taking place over two days on 18th – 19th August. From the start line, cyclists will head south on the tarmac roads of Blenheim Estate before heading north up the west side of the Estate. The undulating and gnarly off-road section will take riders through a stunning array of plants and trees – lucky cyclists might even spot local deer and other wildlife!
The route will zigzag through Blenheim Palace’s stunning private woodland before crossing open countryside, heading towards the village of Charlbury. The bridleways will take riders through attractive farmland, in and out of copses and on numerous minor ascents and descents.
Riders are rewarded with a well-earned rest-stop around the halfway point (24km) then turning through the village of Stonesfield and crossing a picturesque river setting before climbing back up to East End (at around 28 km). From this point there will be a great descent through the bridleways, continuing back over the river before climbing up to the village of Combe.
A fast tarmac section will lead north along the road to the stewarded T-junction (at around 34 km) before the route returns the Blenheim Palace Estate where a breath-taking off-road trail meanders through the trees, out through a field, and onto the road that heads towards Blenheim Palace and the finish line.
Paul Orsi, Bike Blenheim Palace Event Director comments: “We’ve been wanting to provide an offroad element for mountain bike riders for a long time, it’s fantastic to be able to bring this awesome new route in 2012 now that the event has grown to two days.”