Just a quick tip off; Entries for the Hell of the North Cotswolds open at midday Saturday the 5th January. Firstly some background from the organisers:
This ever popular classic cycling event promoted jointly by Winchcombe CC and Cheltenham & County CC will be held on Sunday14th April 2013 starting from the picturesque Cotswold Town of Winchcombe with a mass start of riders at 09-00 hrs. 2013 is the 29th year of the event. The first event in 1984 was the brainchild of the late Pat Smith and Tim Groom who had ridden the Paris-Roubaix sportif and wanted to bring the flavour of that event to the Cotswolds. The event has taken place in April each year except for two occasions. In 1986 it was abandoned due to deep snow, making it
impossible to travel and so it was postponed to September. Also, in 2001, when we had the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, a similar postponement also occurred. Last year the event attracted over 1100
Route. The event is aimed at experienced riders and there will be a 100Km route for the really keen riders and a 50Km route for those who know how tough the off-road Cotswold Hills can be! The routes will be
signed with direction arrows throughout, supplemented by a printed map and will also be available as a digital Tracklogs GPS route distributed via e-mail to all participants. The event will use a classic route consisting of tarmac roads and bridleways, including everything from technical rocky single track to rutted possibly muddy tracks and will offer a challenge to all riders. Refreshments will be available at approximately half distance….. A limit of 1200 entrants will be accepted and all entries must
be made in advance.
To my mind, this is one of the nicest events in the cycling calendar and here is my semi-anecdotal evidence to support it:
1. At £15 to enter, it’s a steal.
2. All the proceeds go to charity and the event raised over £3000 for a selection of charities (including Air ambulance and Cancer research). There is no cycle sportive profiteering here.
3. The course consists of lovely rolling countryside.
4. I do it on a cyclo-cross bike and come back knowing that I’ve had a proper day in the saddle (if you’re not used to extended stints off-road on a rigid bike, a mountain bike may be a better option).
5. I like the cakes, the atmosphere and the smiley people on the feed stations.
In short; this is one of my favourite events of the year. Highly recommended.
The Hell of the North Cotswolds is organised by Winchcombe CC and Cheltenham & County CC and is by no means as harsh as it sounds – the perfect classic event. Entries sell out within hours. Paris-Roubaix cycle art print available from Brian Opsal . Images below are appetite whetting and the real McCoy; Paris Roubaix.