With all 700 places on Saturday’s time trial selling out in the first week and pre-entries for Sunday’s Gran Fondo at 6000 and climbing, The Tour of Cambridgeshire looks to be a must do event.
Top UK riders Matt Bottrill and Julia Shaw will both be riding the Time Trial, with an eye on qualifying for the World Championships in Denmark. The first prize of £1500 is probably a big incentive as well and organisers, Vericool, have made sure that male and female winners will receive equal prize money.
Julia Shaw will also race the Gran Fondo on Sunday, which means she will have two chances to qualify for the World Championships and another chance to take home £1500 for the first woman home in the Gran Fondo. This could be a very lucrative weekend for Julia!
Such a big prize fund for an amateur race – there are smaller prizes for the various age related categories as well – will be a major attraction for some riders. The fact that the organisers have given equal prize money to both sexes will also hopefully go some way to encourage more women to take up bike racing.
If you haven’t pre-entered the Gran Fondo, there is still time – entries close 12 noon on Friday 5th June; however entries for the race portion are now closed. Even if you aren’t racing you can still enjoy riding on a fully closed route, a rarity in the UK.
With Sunday’s event already at six thousand riders, and with more entering on-line and on the day, arriving early to register will be vital
Sunday’s Gran Fondo is a single loop covering 128 kilometres, with a few short sharp climbs the course’s main feature will be the crossing of the Fens. Flat they may be, but locals are warning us to watch out if there’s any kind of wind. This could be your only chance to practice your echelon riding on British roads like the pro’s do, from gutter to gutter!
BritishCycleSport will be represented by myself and Simon Whiten. We’ll both be riding in Handsling Racing kit. If you see us come and say “Hi”, as after not managing to do any racing this year, the Tour of Cambridgeshire will be my first race of the year, so I will be quite happy to hang onto the back of the bunch and talk bikes!
As well as the Time Trial and Gran Fondo, the Tour of Cambridgeshire will have plenty of distractions at the event base, the Peterborough Arena, with Rutland Cycling and various other exhibitors showing off the latest kit and offering you a chance to lighten your bike and wallet.
The organisers have posted a series of videos that they would like riders to watch before riding the event, check the first one out below.
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