My second Sportive of this year is the Jodrell Bank Classic from Team Torelli and starting at the same place as the Cheshire Mini Sportive last month – Poynton Leisure Centre.
As with last month, I stopped overnight in Macclesfield as registration opened at 7:30am and the start was at 8:30am. I arrived in plenty of time and registered and had a chat with fellow riders. As the weather was warmish I opted for Raiders summer kit with arm and leg warmers. A quick look around before the start revealed I was one of the only ones in summer kit. Do they all know something I don’t or are they all lightweights ;).
I just want to add something about the routing of the ride here as it was originally a fab looking 85 mile circuit of Cheshire, looping round the entirety of Tatton Park (was looking forward to this bit as I used to ride round here 25 years ago) before heading down to Each Dennis and then back via the side of Congleton, Macclesfield and the Pott Shrigley climb. Two days before the event they changed the route due to road closures near Wilmslow and cut out the Tatton Park and extended some other bits. This left a 68 mile route, which I was a bit disappointed to be a fair bit shorter than the original 85 miles. As it turned out on the day the route deviated from the revised route in 5-6 places and I ended up back at the starting line with only 66.5 miles on the clock.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the ride…
I lined up at the start, literally on the front row and had our picture taken by the official photographer. We then got our numbers scanned and set off.
There was a very strong wind from the west which was in our faces for most of the first 30 miles and was somewhat zapping on the legs. I still somehow managed to end up with an average speed of 17mph after 30 miles – how I did it I have no idea!
Shortly afterwards was the feed stop at Allostock near Knutsford. This was the same as last month and out of the back of a van in a lay by. Fuelled up I headed off again, doing pretty much a whole circuit of Jodrell Bank (can’t not do that on a Sportive with Jodrell Bank in it’s name!).
Then the rain started… it was only light but the kind that gets you soaking quickly. I was prepared and whipped out my gilet so not an issue.
The route after this was gently up hill all the way back to Macclesfield and then coming into Bollington the gradient kicked up quite a bit and carried on like this up into Pott Shrigley. The climb was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting and was not an issue. This part of the ride was especially pretty as you were in the hills at the side of the Peak District.
We descended from the hills and pretty much were soon back at the start point as the last part of the route was curtailed by yet more road closures. A fab ride nonetheless.
I retired to the social room and had some flan, cake and coffee and a good natter with other riders.
Really enjoyed that, despite the bad weather.
Finally, during the ride, two funny things happened to me:
I spotted a group of riders in perfect formation and all with the same kit on up ahead. As I approached and tagged on the back for a lift to rest my legs, I was they were the new Storey Women’s Racing Team. They were not going that fast so after a few moments I pulled out to pass them. That’s when I spotted the car in front of them with photographer leaning out of the window getting shots of them. I now know this is a brand new team only announced the day before, so presumably they were out getting publicity shots. I hope I did not ruin these by photo-bombing the shoot!
I was stopped by the side of the road having a gel when two ladies from the Team Torelli Pro Team cycled past (the team who run this event). They shouted over a friendly hello and I tried to reply but with a mouth full of gel I made a noice like Chewbacca from Star Wars. How embarrassing! They almost did a a double take and I got some funny looks off them when we got back to the finish line and I bumped into them in the social room.
Route: click here