News: Hell of the Ashdown Sportive Blown Away

Dennis the Menace causes one Hell of a problem for Hell of the Ashdown Sportive

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News: Hell of the Ashdown Sportive Blown Away

Event Press Release

The Hell of the Ashdown Sportive, generally acknowledged as one of the best events of its kind in the South of England, was dealt a massive body blow by the advent of ‘Storm Dennis’. The ride, promoted by Catford Cycling Club, has been the go-to-event to test yourself against man, terrain and machine for almost 15 years.

Blessed with very good weather for the last two events, with a field of over 1400 riders who were looking forward to this very special Sportive, to be run on Sunday 16th February. The organisers scrutinised the weather forecast all week with the hope of running the event but on Saturday morning, with the Met Office still warning of many potential dangers, the reluctant decision was made not to run the event.

Even making this decision at such a late stage caused massive logistical problems for an event that takes almost a year of advance planning, with HQ, feeding stations, HQ cafe, in excess of 75 marshals arranged and positioned, timing mats etc, the list is endless. This organisation makes it impossible to move the event’s date from the allocated one in the Sportive Calendar.

The organisers had already moved the date of the ride a few years ago, when we were hit by a freak snow storm earlier in the Winter, to mid February when the weather is now normally milder. But, alas, ‘Dennis’ was looking as though it could have been dangerous for all concerned – not just the riders but also the marshals who were due to be out on the route for almost 8 hours.

Many of the marshals are from the event’s nominated charity that we have supported for a few years – The Chartwell Cancer Trust, based in Farnborough Hospital. So, as with any other year, after all the costs are catered for the club will continue to make a donation to them. The organisers are also looking into what can been done to reward those entrants who have come back year on year to ride the event, and will communicate this to them over the next week or so. We hope that everybody understands why we were forced into making this decision.

On behalf of The Catford Catford Cycling



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