Riders make their way up one of the inclines in the 2015 MagnifiCat
MORE than 2,000 cyclists are expected to line up for the Wiggle MagnifiCat sportive in Newbury on Sunday.
The event, now in its 10th year, will see the riders set off from Newbury Racecourse from 7.15am-9am.
The Wiggle MagnifiCat has established itself as a prestigious event, with three separate courses through the West Berkshire and Hampshire countryside and classic climbs on the South Downs.
The most prestigious route is the 128-mile Epic, that goes through the outskirts of Andover and Winchester before heading back to Newbury.
Also on the agenda is an 85-mile Standard route and a 44-mile Short course.
This UCI-approved sportive is one of a handful, that many cyclists aim to tick off the ‘to do’ list.
The Wiggle MagnifiCat was also the first UK sportive to introduce Breeze women’s-only ride in 2012 – the LadyCat – with the aim of bridging the cycling gap between men and women.
In its 10 years, the Wiggle MagnifiCat has also worked closely with British Cycling and the local community to introduce cycling programmes into schools, organising coaching and a series of cycling activities including the 2.5-mile ‘KiddiCat’ fun ride for children.
The longest route of the MagnifiCat – 200km – spans involves more than 6,500ft (2,000m) of hill climbing.
The most challenging climb of them all comes near the start with the long stretch from Combe to Ibthorp.
Once over that, the riders plunge back down before another steep test for the legs just after the 20-mile marker at Andover.
There are a nine major climbs in all on the route – enough to make for a fast and technical sportive.
The event started 10 years ago as a family-orientated race hoping to attract people into the sport.
Since then, it has grown into one of the most popular events on the cycling calendar.
The MagnifiCat is part of the Wiggle Super Series which provides challenging sportives across the country throughout the summer.
The Newbury event is one of the most popular, and another huge field is expected on Sunday.
For more details on the MagnifiCat, contact www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk