UK sportive’s coming of age

It’s hard to believe, but Britain’s first ever sportive is about to become a teenager. The Circuit of Kent celebrates its 13th birthday on Sunday when 820 riders attempt 80 or 140-kilometre circuits, starting and finishing in Sevenoaks.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to turn up and ride on the day, as the event is a sell-out and entries closed a couple of weeks ago. The organisers could double the size of the field, but are keen to preserve the unique, friendly nature of their event, which even includes a meal for riders when they finish.

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Electronic timing isn’t unique to the Circuit of Kent, but it’s a shame that more events don’t post target times based on age and gender. This 50-year-old male has to beat three hours 14 minutes for 80 kilometres, which should be possible if I don’t stop at too may refreshment stops. There’s also the small matter of editorial pride, as I’m picthed against the formidable might of CW’s advertising department.

For anyone not riding the Circuit of Kent, you can still take us on in the Bike Blenheim Palace Sportive, on October 4. Entries are still open for both the 60 and 100-mile routes around the stunning Cotswold countryside. See you there.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly magazine.