Twenty-five time stage winner of the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish, has launched his own sportive that will hit the streets around Chester and North Wales on August 9.
The Rise Above Sportive starts and finishes on the cobbled streets of Chester, offering three routes ranging between 75 and 185km that all feature challenging climbs and spectacular scenery.
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Former World Champion, Cavendish, will join riders along the route just over two weeks after he is due to complete the 2015 Tour de France.
Cavendish said: “I’m very excited to launch the inaugural Rise Above Sportive. We first discussed the idea 18 months ago and have been going through the planning process ever since. I’ve pushed everyone involved to deliver an event that will provide the participants with a real premium rider experience.
“Our plan is to eventually have a fully closed road event so it was key for me to have some closed road sections in the inaugural one. I’m super happy that Cheshire West and Chester Council have kindly agreed to close some cobbled streets in and out of the city centre.
“The parcours we’ve chosen for all three routes will be really special and testing for any level of rider. Longer term, I have a vision to grow the Rise Above Sportive to a two-day cycling festival in the years to come. I hope to see you there after the Tour de France.”
Both the 185km ‘Extremist’ and 120km ‘Purist’ routes feature the iconic Horseshoe Pass – a 6km climb at an average 5% – with the longer route continuing to Llyn Brenig and Clocaenog Forest.
Cllr Stuart Parker, of Cheshire West and Chester Councils, added: “We are delighted to be hosting the Mark Cavendish Rise Above Sportive in 2015.
“This continues our long standing involvement in cycling events and build on the legacy of the 2012 Olympics and Cheshire West and Chester Councils commitment to cycling. It is even more pleasing Mark Cavendish has chosen Chester to be the home of his event.”
Entries will soon be accepted via the official website, www.riseabovesportive.com