By Nigel Wynn
Breast Cancer Care's Bike Blenheim Palace Festival of Cycling takes place this Sunday, August 21, in and around the grounds of the famous Oxfordshire stately home.
The programme for the event includes 60- and 100-mile cyclo-sportives in the surrounding Cotswold countryside; a 20km time trial on closed roads; the Brompton World Championships folding bike race; Breast Cancer Care's Pink Ribbon challenge ride; and family rides through the grounds. Over 5,000 cyclists, friends and family turned out to the event in 2010.
This year's open 20km time trial has again attracted a top field, including multi-national-time-trial-champions Michael Hutchinson and Julia Shaw, and multi-Paralympic champion Sarah Storey. Last year's event was won by Matt Bottrill in 27-14, with Rebecca Slack posting the fastest women's time of 31-37.
Registration for the time trial closes at midnight on Wednesday, August 17. A full start list for the Cycling Time Trials sanctioned event is due to be published on Thursday, August 18.
Both cyclo-sportive routes take in the beautiful surroundings of Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds countryside. The rolling terrain provides a challenging ride, but your efforts are eased by the well-stocked feed stops offering hot and cold food and drinks.
Entries are still available for both the 60- and 100-mile routes via the official event website. Over 1200 riders took part in the sportive last year.
The sportive routes take in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
For those that want to ride a shorter route than the sportive, this year the Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon Ride is on offer, taking in a 26.2-mile loop including a refreshment stop half way.
Entry to the ever-popular Brompton World Championship folding bike race has now closed, but it is still a spectacle worth watching.
Riders and spectators are welcome to turn up on the day to watch the action, or take advantage of the short family cycling routes. Admission tickets are priced £4.50 for children and £9 for adults. Concessions are available for over-65s, students and those registered with special needs.
For more information on all of the above events and for online entry, go to the Bike Blenheim Palace official website.
Bike Blenheim Palace programme
7.30am Time Trials starts
8.00am Cyclo-sportive starts
9.00am Pink Ribbonride starts
12.00pm Brompton World Championships
12.45pm Courses open to general public
10.00am-5.00pm Ongoing demonstrations in Arena
6.00pm Event closes
Venue address: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP
Bike Blenheim Palace 2010 photo special