Challenge Sportive Ladies Wave Announced
Organisers of the Cycle Derby North Derbyshire Challenge Sportive on Sunday September 18 are planning a special focus on women cyclists in recognition of the growth in the sport’s profile and popularity amongst women of all ages.
A special ladies-only 80km wave will be organised for the first time as part of the annual event although female cyclists also have the choice of entering the 40km or 160km routes if they prefer.
More than 1000 cyclists are expected to take part in the North Derbyshire Cycle Sportive - organised by Cycle Derby,which is part of Derby City Council and provides opportunities in cycling for people of all ages, and city-based HUUB Events, the company which brought the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon to the city in July.
The North Derbyshire Cycle Sportive will once again start from Markeaton Park and head up into the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District. There are three routes - aimed at all levels of age and abilities. All routes initially head out to Carsington Reservoir with the Radleigh Homes 40km turning back at Knockerdown. The 80km goes as far as Darley Dale, looping round Tansley while the 160km route goes up to Edale, coming back through Hope, Grindleford and Beeley before joining up with the 80km route again to return home to Markeaton Park.
There are regular food and water stations along all the routes, supported by High 5 Nutrition. The event is open to individuals and to teams of up to ten riders who will vie for the Geldards Team Challenge title- combining their distances in an attempt to travel the furthest over one sportive. Riders will then join family, friends and spectators at the event village back in Markeaton Park where law firm Geldards will also host a hospitality area with exclusive access for Team Distance Challenge riders throughout the day.
Cycle Derby’s Tracey Fletcher explained: “Women’s cycling in all its forms from road racing to cyclo cross is growing at a phenomenal rate which was galvanised by the public’s support for the Women’s Tour recently which came through Derbyshire. “We have had a particularly good response from women to the Spring Classic Sportive in May and now for the North Derbyshire Challenge Sportive in September. “We therefore wanted to recognise the growth of women’s cycling with a special wave dedicated to those who will be tackling the 80km distance. “Many more will be entering the Radleigh Homes 40km challenge, the 180km ultimate distance either as individuals or as part of the Geldards Team Challenge.”
The move was welcomed by Mickleover mother of two Jill Hyde (43) who joined the Derby Spring Classic Sportive in May and is a member of Samways Cycling Club. Jill had always enjoyed watching cycling events but did not get on two wheels herself until her father bought her a Raleigh Pioneer shopper bike five years ago. “I don’t drive so wanted a bike to get around more and it went from there. I progressed onto a Specialised Vita Sport hybrid bike which is much lighter. “After completing various Breeze women’s only and Sky rides, I did my first sportive in September 2014. “Having a ladies’ wave in the Sportive this year is a great idea and I think it will encourage more women to take part and enjoy the social side of things.”
Mark Smith from Cycle Derby continued: “The Spring Classic Sportive in May was a huge success with more than 900 people of all ages and abilities taking part. “The September event is undoubtedly more of a challenge due to the routes but equally as enjoyable with some breathtaking countryside to enjoy along the way.”
Claire Duffin is Event Director for HUUB Events. She concluded: “Many of the riders who took part in May have already signed up for the North Derbyshire Challenge and riders from across the UK are contacting us – keen to tackle the Peak District route. “We therefore expect the September sportive to be our biggest ever – highlighting Derby’s deserved reputation as one of the UK’s top cycling cities.” The event is expected to raise significant funds for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre which is aiming to raise an additional £150,000 this year.
The anniversary appeal will enable the centre in Skegness to take an extra 250 to 270 youngsters for five-day breaks on the east coast. This is in addition to the 450 who already go there every year. Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre Chairman Bill Tomlinson said: “We were delighted with the response by keen cyclists across the city, county and beyond who joined the Spring Classic Sportive and really helped to kick start our fund raising efforts in this our 125th anniversary year. “We were keen to have an event which covered the wider county as we support children from the length and breadth of Derbyshire and are grateful to Cycle Derby and HUUB Events for involving us in the North Derbyshire Challenge. “Our aim is to enable more deserving young people, some of whom are having trouble in their home lives and who may never even have had a holiday, to enjoy a much needed break by the sea, and create a sustainable future for the centre.”
Sign up for the September Sportive at www.cyclederbysportive.co.uk.