This year, there were more than 7,000 entrants to the Cycling Weekly sportive series.
But of the thousands of entrants, 13 cyclists took part in four or more of the sportives, with one person completing all seven. Paul Owens, 43, from Grays, Essex, crossed the line of his final sportive, the Box Hill Original, a few weeks ago.
“I did the Box Hill one in 2012 and I really enjoyed it,” said Owens. “I thought I could do with a bit of a challenge and would try and go for all seven.”
Five sportives were added to our series this year, with new events in Devon, Wiltshire, North Yorkshire, East Sussex and Worcestershire, alongside two established rides in Surrey.
“I have family in Newcastle so the Ripon one was quite near me. The Malvern one was probably the hardest because I was cycling in Europe with friends – I got back on the Saturday night at eight o’clock and had to leave at about three in the morning to get to Malvern,” said Owens, who has participated in more than 30 sportives in the last two years.
And as for next year? “The family’s into it now,” he said, “I’ll put my name down and keep on going.”
ROLL OF HONOUR
We asked the 12 other cyclists who completed four or more of the CW sportive series: Which events really stood out?
Bike: Scott Foil 15
“I loved the South Downs Spring – no large hills, the course was fast and I achieved my first ever gold time.”
58, Sevenoaks, Kent
Bike: Trek Madone
“The most enjoyable were the Dartmoor Demon for its spectacular – and challenging – landscape and the South Downs Spring, a nice flowing course on a beautiful day.”
33, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan
Bike: Surly Crosscheck
“The Malvern Mad Hatter route was balanced; there weren’t too many hills and there was plenty of rolling countryside to admire.”
52, Axbridge, Somerset
Bike: Basso Laguna
“My day was made at the Malvern Mad Hatter when I received my gold medal at the end from Chris Boardman.”
36, Guildford, Surrey
Bike: Spin MkX Titanium
“The rain and cold made the Box Hill Original a real challenge – cycling uphill through what seemed like a never-ending river was definitely a first.”
30, Southampton, Hampshire
Bike: Scott Speedster 60
“The Dartmoor Demon was the most challenging. The amount of hills and the rain felt like ice hitting me in the face.”
42, Sevenoaks, Kent
Bikes: Cervélo R3 SL / Condor Leggero
“I cramped so bad on the Surrey Hills Cyclone I had to resort to pelvic thrusts… I doubt you’ll see Team Sky adopting the same technique!”
Bike: Boardman CX Team
“My legs were burning by the time I reached the top [Malvern] but the pain soon passed when I saw the view.”
38, West Drayton, Hillingdon
Bike: Python cyclo-cross
“I signed up to get experience from owning a bike and I have definitely done that.”
44, Tidworth, Wiltshire
Bike: 2danger Equipe Comp
“I enjoyed riding them all, they were very well organised and the routes were great.”
37, Clapham, London
“The South Downs Spring was my favourite. It was a cracking day, I had a good time with the pace and it was a fantastic location to ride in.”
31, Lower Sunbury, Spelthorne
Bike: Independent Fabrication Ti Factory Lightweight
“This is my first year riding CW sportives. They were very well organised with good feed stations, well signed and I will be doing more in the future.”
This article was first published in the October 31 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!