Entries are now open for the 2012 edition of the Bike Blenheim Palace cyclo-sportive, which takes place on August 19.
Riders can choose between a 60- or 100-mile route along quiet roads through the beautiful Cotswold countryside, starting and finishing in the grounds of Blenheim Palace.
Both routes are challenging but far from mountainous, and suit a wide range of riders.From the Palace grounds, the routes head north west through the villages of Stonesfield, Charlbury and Stow on the Wold on their way to a rest stop at Lower Swell where the route splits.
The 60 mile route will return to Blenheim Palace through Lower Slaughter, Little and Great Rissington, Great Barrington, through Shipton under Wychwood, Minster Lovell and on to Long Hanborough Combe and then Blenheim Palace.
The 100 mile route will head off from Lower Swell making its way to Buckland, Winchcombe, Guiting Power and back to Lower Swell from where it will follow the 60 mile route back to Blenheim Palace to the finish line, where participants can meet up with friends and family.
Entry to the sportive costs £35 which also includes entry to the cycling festival and Palace grounds. The event features ample car parking, electronic timing, and food and drink at the well-stocked feed stations
There’s also a family ride around the grounds of the Palace, suitable for all ages, and a 26.2-mile Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon ride.
In addition, an off-road sportive has been added to the schedule on Saturday, August 18, covering 40km of trails around the estate and surrounding countryside.
The sportives are part of the Bike Blenheim Palace festival over August 18-19, which also includes a wide range of events, attractions and trade stands displaying a larger-than-ever range of the latest bikes and kit.
More information and online entry for events is available via the Bike Blenheim Palace website.
To get a flavour of the event, watch the video clip below.
Bike Blenheim Palace website
Bike Blenheim Palace 2011 photo gallery