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Kington Classic Sportive 2015

 
The fifth Kington Classic Sportive is a 68 mile (110km) ride on quiet lanes through Borders scenery, with an option of 29 miles (47km) for the less super-fit.  Plenty of steady climbs and a few short sharp ones, with fully-catered village hall stops for refreshments.
 

Welcome to this, the fifth Kington Classic Sportive bike ride which is to be held on Sunday 12th July 2015, with yet another new route over a distance of 68 miles through the most beautiful countryside you might wish to see. This year also features an added option of a shorter route of 29 miles for the less super-fit or for family rides.

Entry is £20 for the full Classic Route, or £16 for the shorter Family Route and for under 16s on the Family route entry price is £10. We prefer on-line entry if possible (click here) but if you are reluctant to trust cyberspace with your payment details there is an entry form you can complete and return to us on the right hand side of this page.
 
A list of entrants already booked in can be viewed here.
  
This is a charity ride – all proceeds after promotion costs will be used to fund local good causes in and around the Kington area. All helpers involved on the day will be volunteers from the Kington Lions Club (see http://www.kingtonlions.org/) which is an independent charity under the auspices of the Lions Club International organisation (see  www.lionsclubs.org/). 
 

The event starts and finishes in the Herefordshire / Powys (Wales) border town of KingtonHR5 3DQ. Start Time is from 8.30am up to 10am - a rolling start will ensure that there is less bunching of riders, and if you're coming from a distance away, there is no need to rush for an early start!

The new route for 2015 traverses the England / Wales border, with approx. equal distances in each country. This year there is a choice of distances - 68 miles or 29 miles - using a mixture of quiet B roads and country lanes. Both routes are waymarked and have village hall feedstops, with the long route having three stops and the shorter route having only one as a mid-point lunch stop.
 

There are some simply stunning views to be appreciated incorporating river valleys and moorland vistas, resulting in plenty of steady climbs and a few short steep ones. In particular the views from the top of Gospel Pass overlooking Hay-on-Wye are difficult to better. Fantastic views have to be earned! Some of the downhills will be truly exhilarating so you'll need to watch out for crossing sheep amongst other hazards and check your brakes are in good order. The climb out of Llanthony to the top of Hay Bluff Summit is a category 2 climb with over 1,000 feet height gain - see here on Strava - and its record time has just been broken (April 2015).

  

All refreshments are 'free', included in the price of entry. They will be available at the start, snacks and drinks at a quarter distance, free lunch at approximately mid-distance, snacks and drinks at three-quarter distance, and free warming recovery-fodder at the end (donations welcomed but not insisted upon). The quality of the locally-sourced food is a feature of the event, with flapjacks / home cooked cakes as well as a choice of sandwiches and sweet snacks and bananas. For the shorter route there will be lunch provided at mid-distance. A sagwaggon will be sweeping up any breakdowns, and a bail-out route is available for the longer ride (decision point is at one quarter distance). Also included in the entry fee is the toll fee for the bridge crossing the River Wye and an optional massage, for those tired muscles at the finish, by a professionally-trained masseuse.

For this ride we have a limit of 300 riders to ensure that all participants are properly catered for, and to ensure that they all enjoy their day out and come back for more next year! We pride ourselves on being hospitable and looking after each rider's needs and wants (within reason).

There is plenty of good value local accommodation, including a YHAB&Bscamp sites and hotels. See this link (click on it) for a detailed list:- Accommodation Listing

For those with GPS / Sat-Navs, a .gpx file for you to upload to your kit can be downloaded here (Classic Route) or here (Shorter Route). This should ensure you stay on-track, at least within 50m or so of the recommended route!

 

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Kington Classic 2014

 
This event took place on the second Sunday in July which was the 13th July 2014. There was another new route which was slightly shorter (69 miles) and slightly less challenging in terms of hills and stamina required.
 

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Kington Classic 2013

 
This took place on the second Sunday in July - the 14th July 2013.
 
 The third Kington Classic Sportive bike ride was again over a distance of 74 miles through the most beautiful countryside you might wish to see. This is a difficult and challenging course, and it was run on a hot and dry day which tested the stamina.
 

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Kington Classic 2012 - Event Report

 
The weather was kind to the 75 entrants, right up until around 2.30pm on Sunday 8th July when the heavens opened with some riders getting hail as well as rain. At this stage only some 15 riders had returned to the relative comfort of the Kington Cattle Market for their bacon butties, so most of the field did get wet.
 
There was an early casualty when a rider came off on a bump going downhill, and whilst trying to soften the landing with a hand managed to fracture a collar bone. An ambulance took the casualty to Hereford Hospital where his bone was set - his bike and car were safely recovered and reunited with him, his wife and young daughter, so they could eventually return to home in Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately, a subsequent trip to cycle in the Pyrenees (for which this was the final training run) had to be abandoned to allow recovery.
 
The newly instituted water stops were much appreciated - at quarter distance and at three-quarter distance - giving a welcomed opportunity to take on fluids and nourishment.
 
Lunch at Rhayader (half-way) in the comfort of the village hall turned into quite a long stop for some who were obviously reluctant for the challenges of the fairly vicious climb up to Abbeycwmhir immediately after lunch. Three riders decided they had had enough at that stage and either thumbed a lift back to Kington or took the new 'bail-out' route down the main road to Kington which saves some of the steeper climbs.
 
Bacon rolls, cakes and hot drinks were well patronised at the Cattle Market, which provides an informal yet spacious setting for recuperation after the gruelling ride.
 
Feedback from entrants is always welcomed - email Chris Smith (click on link at bottom of page) with suggestions for improvements for next year. If you were as happy with the day as we think you were - tell your friends and book next year's date now - the second Sunday in July 2013 - Sunday 14th July 2013. See you then!
 
 

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The Kington Classic Sportive

The inaugural Kington Classic Sportive bike ride was held on Sunday 10th July 2011, over a distance of 74 miles through the most beautiful countryside you might wish to see. The weather was kind to the participants who all seemed thoroughly to enjoy the challenge of this difficult course.


The event is not a race – Many riders powered through the course and finished in around 5 hours but some took their time and were nearer 8 hours. They all found it worthwhile!

The start and end point of the event at the Cattle Market in Kington worked well, with plenty of space and free parking. Some small improvements are planned for 2012, but mainly in the layout.

Refreshments throughout were free and much appreciated. There were some generous donations which warmed the hearts of the volunteers helping with the organisation on the day!

For the inaugural ride there were 62 entrants which ensured that all participants were properly catered for and that the Kington Lions learned all about how to run such an event.

Photos from the 2011 event can be viewed here.

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