A record number of early bird entrants have signed up for Derby’s Spring Classic Sportive event this May.
More than 300 people have already signed up to take part in the event on Sunday May 1 – starting and finishing in Markeaton Park.
Riders will take on one of three routes – 40km, 80km or 160km around Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.
The Sportive is being organised by Cycle Derby and Huub Events – the company behind the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon which will return to the city on Sunday July 17.
It will raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre as part of the charity’s 125th anniversary celebration programme so that more underprivileged children can enjoy a seaside holiday in Skegness.
All riders will head out of Markeaton Park towards Kedleston Hall before splitting off to cover the different distances.
Riders on the 160km route will cover a new route towards Blithfield Reservoir and climbing over Cannock Chase before heading back into Derbyshire, past Repton and along Radbourne Lane to Markeaton Park.
The 80km route takes riders out towards Barton Under Needwood and back to Stapenhill to join the main route back to the park’s event village.
The 40km circular route will include picturesque countryside around Longford and Sutton-on-the-Hill.
Riders will then join family, friends and spectators at the event village in Markeaton Park where they can enjoy refreshments and seating areas with mechanics and masseurs on hand to help riders after the race. Everyone completing the Sportive will receive a medal and goody bag.
Mark Smith from Cycle Derby said: “We are delighted with the response to the Sportive which attracted nearly 800 cyclists last year.
“With just over 300 cyclists registered so far, we look set to far exceed entries this year which will make for a fantastic event.
“The Spring Classic Sportive has something for everyone with three different distance routes.
“As well as seasoned cyclists, we are attracting a lot of people and young families who are new to the sport which meets our objective of getting more people active”.
Claire Duffin is Event Director for Huub Events which was launched last year by triathlon wetsuit and apparel company Huub Design, founded and owned by local entrepreneur Dean Jackson.
She continued: “The response in the past couple of weeks since we opened entries for the Sportive shows that Derby is well and truly a cycling city.
“Entries are also coming in from cyclists from further afield which is great news for the city as they come here with their family and friends for an enjoyable day out.
“We are working with a wide range of partners to organise events focusing on the three components of triathlon – running, cycling and swimming – and are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Cycle Derby on the Spring Classic Sportive this May.
“We are currently finalising a busy programme of events in 2016 which also includes the Great Northern Run on March 6 in partnership with Mickleover Cricket Club and, of course, the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon in July.”
To enter the Spring Sportive, visit www.cyclederbysportive.co.uk. Every 50th entrant will receive a spot prize.