It is customary to socialise into the early hours during the Christmas holidays, even to get up early to visit the sales, but now it appears that there’s another reason for nocturnal activity at this time of year, judging by the phenomenal response to the opening of entries to the Dragon Ride.

There’s no doubting this sportive’s popularity after it topped our recent reader poll for a second successive year, but it’s staggering to think that some 1,200 places were snapped up in the first 12 hours after entries opened at midnight on December 27.

This unprecedented demand has continued, and as we closed for press the organisers were close to 3,000 riders, with space for only a further 500 in either the 190, 130 or new 40-kilometre rides.

Act now and you could still get a chance to find out what all the fuss is about. You’ll sample the best scenery in South Wales, while riding a challenging course that has 3,000 metres of climbing on the full route.

Bwlch, Rhigos and the Brecon Beacons mountain roads are some of the toughest challenges you’ll face in the UK, but judging from your respsonse it seems that you just can’t get enough of it.

See you in Pencoed on June 6.

Dragon Ride website>>

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly