News – Tour of Cambridgeshire


5,000 riders signed up for the UK’s first closed road Gran Fondo race/sportive – the Tour of Cambridgeshire

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News – Tour of Cambridgeshire

Closed road Gran Fondo and UWCT Time Trial in Peterborough on 6 & 7 June 2015

London – Tuesday 21st April 2015 – The UK’s first closed road race/sportive gran fondo is proving popular with UK cyclists as 5,000 people have already signed up to the Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo and Chrono taking place over the weekend of 6 & 7 June 2015.

The Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo and Chrono on 6 & 7 June 2015 is proving a hit with cyclists in the UK keen to experience what it is like to ride a proper continental style closed road race/sportive gran fondo. 5,000 riders have already entered the 126km Gran Fondo on Sunday 7th June with six weeks still to go and the organisers have space for up to 10,000 riders in total.


The bulk of the riders are from the UK and Ireland but there are many entries from mainland Europe and even ones from Hong Kong, USA and Russia. The oldest entrant so far is 80 years old while the youngest is 16. The club with the largest amount of entrants (who will win a £500 donation to the charity of their choice) is Cambridge CC with 42 riders. Female riders are well represented with 12% of the field with the majority of women riders taking part in the non competitive side of the event.

The racing aspect of the Gran Fondo has proved very popular with the £1,500 prize for first male and female overall proving a big draw as are the prizes for each age category in male and female throughout the Masters categories. Riders wanting to race will be gridded according to race license category while the rest of the field will be able to enjoy the closed roads.

The closed road 28km Chrono time trial on Saturday 6th June was an instant hit with all 700 places selling out in less than a week. This is a UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) qualifying event where the overall male and female winners will each receive £1,500 and the top 25% in each age category in male and female will qualify for the UWCT Time Trial World Championships in Denmark in September. The organisers hope to get extended road closures for next year’s event which will enable them to break the world record for the largest number of entrants for a time trial.

Belgian cycling legend and UWCT representative Erwin Vervecken made the trip to Peterborough recently to check out the course and officially launch the event. “I’m really excited about the Tour of Cambridgeshire Chrono time trial on 6th June which will be the first UCI World Cycling Tour event to be held in the UK” says Erwin. “Having ridden the circuit for the 28km closed road time trial, I can safely say the wind and terrain are going to make for a tougher than expected course. The 126km mass participation Gran Fondo event on Sunday 7th June will see thousands of cyclists take to the closed roads in the area promising a spectacular event, great for cycling in the region and the UK”.

One of the event ambassadors who joined Erwin for the day was GB international rider Hannah Payton who is impressed with the organiser’s stance on equal prize money for male and female racers. “The Tour of Cambridgeshire is one of very few events where race distance and prize money is equal for both male and female riders. Hopefully even more will join in to race or simply enjoy the riding on the closed roads”.

Tom Caldwell from organisers Vericool Sports Management takes up the story on happenings so far; “The response to the UK’s first ever closed road gran fondo and UWCT time trial event has been tremendous. We were overwhelmed at the time trial selling out all 700 places in less than six days and with 5,000 places alreadytaken on the closed road Gran Fondo it goes to show that UK cyclists are keen to sample what a real race/sportive gran fondo similar to the format already popular on mainland Europe is like”.

Both events will start and finish at the spacious Peterborough Arena with ample free parking on site for thousands of cars and easy access to road and rail networks. A trade village, catering facilities and commentators will help keep all entertained on site over the weekend. The Gran Fondo will start at 12:00 noon on Sunday 7th June allowing for a more leisurely start to the day for all.


For more details and to enter please visit

Notes for Riders
The Gran Fondo is a very exciting type of race that is open anyone, from top class racer – Elites etc. A rider who is a member of a UCI team or who has scored UCI points in the previous 12 months may not enter the Time Trial. They may enter the Gran Fondo however. A rider who is currently serving a UCI suspension or ban for breach of the rules including doping may not enter either race.

The Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo has riders aged from 16 to 80. A UCI Gran Fondo is a race and not a Sportive, the riders can choose any bike they want (road bike, mountain bike, city bike, hybrid bike, cross bike…) with exception of tandem bike or recumbent. In a road race event, time trial bikes are forbidden, no bike that has tri-bars, aero-bars, clip-ons, prayer bars, cow bars or Spianachi bars.

Riders who have a racing licences, (Full British Cycling, TLI, LVRC, Non-UK, a valid licence from their own National Governing Body) can chose to be placed in the front pens/gates. Riders without racing licences will be placed in the rear pens/gates. Pens/gates at the front will be allocated by age, licence type and team etc. Women with racing licences can chose to be in the very front pen/gate.

No team cars are allowed. There will be neutral service and at the feed stations mechanics to sort out any mechanicals. Feed stations will have water, energy drinks/food and other offerings. There will be commissaires on the course and in the lead cars. Full first aid back up.


Five minutes from the start, the tapes/ropes between each pen will be removed and the whole race will be lead out for a rolling start on to closed roads. A gun starts the race and timing starts. The timing stops when a rider crosses the line.

Each rider is given a time and a finish position; overall and in their age group/gender

The Gran Fondo this year is not a full qualifier for the Final in Denmark, but we do have 21 “wild card” entries to be allocated, this will be done on finishing positions and time. There is no time limit to finish the event but there is a 12mph time for the closed roads. A car will be at the back behind the last rider averaging a 12mph from the start, when the car passes, riders the road will be open, marshals will still be in place along the route and the feed stations open.

Riders will be told that the road is open behind them and will have to obey the Highway Code.

Bikes for the TT that are used in CTT events will be OK for this event and do not need to meet UCI regulations. We will be using common sense on the day and expect the riders to, no radical unsafe positions or bikes. If a riders qualify for the final in Denmark, then their bikes will have to meet UCI regulations for that event. No licence is required for the TT event, but if a rider qualifies for the final again they will need a UCI licence from a NGB, for the UK this will need to be a full British Cycling licence.

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