A new partnership between the UK’s largest mass-participation organiser
and a St Albans-based cycling club looks set to secure a bright future for the
latter’s flagship event.
After eight successful years of running the Chiltern 100, the Verulam Cycling Club has now joined forces with Human Race Events in order to grow the sportive to bigger and better things.
Launched in 2006, the event was the idea of local cyclist Eddie Spriggs who, after completing the Polka-Dot Challenge Gran Fondo a few years earlier, thought the South-East should have a similar event. In its first year it attracted 200 riders — last year 1,200 signed up within a matter of a few weeks.
Doug Driscoll, chairman of Verulam CC, told us:“We’ve always had good feedback about our well-stocked feed stations and well-signed routes, and we always put in lots of effort to make it professional. But Eddie felt he’d reached the end of the road with the event.”
In an attempt to move the ride forward, Human Race has relocated the HQ to Bovingdon Airfield, which allows for the capacity to be raised to 2,500.
There’ll also be more motorcycle outriders to improve safety and enhance the rider experience, and event finishers will have their time sent to them via text message shortly after they cross the finish line.
Gillian McVeigh from Human Race explains:“We’ve always admired this event. It’s in a really good location, close to London. The members of the [cycling] club are still involved with the event, so there will be familiar faces there on the day and plenty of local route knowledge from local people.”
The Chiltern 100 will take place on June 1 and it’s a challenging sportive set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There will be routes of 76 and 110 miles on offer, with the longer route including a relentless 21 hills with a total altitude gain of 2,700 metres.
Human Race has also committed to providing regular donations to the Verulam Cycling Club to help them establish a riding and coaching initiative for the youth of St Albans.
Cycling Weekly hit the hills hard in the Chiltern 100 under the heat of the first real summer weekend of