The hugely popular Wooler Wheel cycle sportives will number three in 2015, with a second cross-border event added to the calendar.
Two of the rides will be limited to 1,000 riders and the other 500, and as the word continues to spread about the highly respected Wooler Wheel events it is more important than ever to enter early.
Entries for the Wooler Wheel Borderlands in May, the new Big 'Un in July, and the Classic in October are now all open via the British Cycling website.
Beth Mills of Wooler Cycle Hub said: "The Wooler Wheel events have grown year-on-year, and we are delighted to have now created the 'Triad', with the launch of our second cross-border ride - the Wooler Wheel Big 'Un.
"Many riders have tackled the previous two Wooler Wheel sportives in the same year, and we have now issued our entrants with a new challenge - to join the Wooler Wheel 300 Club by completing the three longest distances in 2015. Those riders who do so will cover just over 300 miles, and we will recognise that achievement appropriately."
Beth added: "The Wooler Cycle Hub's 'Routemaster' has created a fantastic challenge with the Big 'Un, taking riders around the Cheviots, along the south bank of Kielder Water and past the Kielder dam, and all avoiding the few busy roads in the area. This is a wonderful ride, aimed at elite riders, which covers 200km of some of the most incredible cycling roads in north Northumberland and the Scottish Borders."
Once again the 2015 rides will all start and finish at John Swan Ltd's auction mart in Wooler, and the organisers are indebted to the local company for their support. Further support for the 2015 events has come from Kielder Water and Forest Park, Marshall Leisure, Doddington Dairy and Northumberland National Park. Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative have continued their unstinting support of the events and will again provide mechanical support on the rides.
"We could not run the Wooler Wheel events without the support of all our partners, sponsors and especially all the volunteers who help to make the rides so special for those taking part," Beth said.
"Time after time the feedback we get from riders after the events is full of praise for our cheery marshals who provide encouragement to riders and of course for the wonderful routes themselves, which show off the very best of our region.
"We are looking forward to welcoming even more cyclists to north Northumberland and the Scottish Borders in 2015 with the expanded calendar of Wooler Wheel rides. We established the rides to bring people to the area, and in turn give local businesses a boost, and as our events continue to grow and rider numbers increase so too does the impact on the local economy, which is as important now as it has ever been."
Wooler Wheel route descriptions:
Saturday, May 16 - WW Borderlands
A repeat of the sportive introduced in 2014, with routes of 60, 100 and 170km, and a dedicated junior sportive of 30km.
The 170km ride takes in some of the best cycling routes in north Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, and iconic viewpoints, including Lindisfarne and Bamburgh castles, Scott's View near St Boswells, and the memorable climb up to Whitton Edge.
Entries close on May 3.
Saturday, July 25 - WW Big 'Un
A complete circumnavigation of the High Cheviots on quiet roads covering 209km (130miles), with an estimated total ascent of 3200m and a maximum altitude of 396m.
On reaching Kielder Castle, around the halfway mark, riders will not only be met with sight of a feed station but also the opportunity to grab a free sports massage. This ride does not go down any stretches of the A68.
Entries close July 12.
Saturday, October 3 - WW Classic
The original Wooler Wheel, and still a firm favourite. With routes of 50 or 100km, this is a great introduction for first time sportivers, but is still demanding enough for experienced cyclists. It is also the perfect way to wind down the season for elite riders.
Entries close September 20.
Published: Tuesday 06/01/2015
By Visit Northumberland