Fired up by the Dragon

Why does it always happen to me? Sunday’s Eastbourne Festival Sportive was meant to be a gentle potter around the Sussex lanes and it would have been without that 40mph headwind.

It was blowing a gale on the seafront at the start but this was nothing in comparison to the strength of the wind at the summit of Beachy Head. Full marks to everybody for staying upright or averaging more than my lacklustre 12mph.

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Never-the-less this was certainly a good event, with huge potential to grow in future years.

Next stop is the Dragon Ride and all of us lucky enough to have an entry received our ride numbers this week.

There’s a revised course for the Welsh epic, potentially even tougher with the Bwlch climb coming much later, after half distance, when everyone will have just a little less in their legs. With 1,700 metres of climbing in the 75-mile route, I’m under no illusions that I’m going to be in for a tough old time.

Plans are now under way for a special Cycling Weekly sportive to round off the season at the beginning of October.

After your tremendous response to our 120th anniversary issue we are encouraged to round off our landmark birthday year with a special ride.

Meet the staff and sample the best traffic-free lanes in Surrey, it’ll be a grand day out. Full details coming soon.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly