The 25km closed road route is the clincher for the Wight Riviera Sportive on Sunday May 20th as this is the first ever event to use the new Sportive Avantage format and probably the first closed road event of this type in England.
The Wight Riviera Sportive covers the best of the Isle of Wight’s quiet roads and spectacular views, with options from 62km to 154km, racking up over 2200m of climbing across the Islands steep downland profile. By combining a classic sportive route with a closed road lead out, the new event format provides the perfect challenge for the widest possible range of cyclists.
But it’s the starting loop of approximately 25k that will provide the excitement and spectacle associated with marathon events and there are at least 700 riders expected at the mass start in Yarmouth at 10am on Sunday May 20th.
After a short, controlled rollout, you will be released to enjoy the traffic free Avant loop, taking you through Totland, close to the iconic Needles and back past pretty Freshwater Bay before the steep coast road climb of Compton Down cranks up to separate the men from the boys.
You climb up over the military road, past Compton and then turn inland and northwards at Brook. Up to the junction at Chessell and the route crosses the ‘middle road’ and into Broad Lane. This leg has fantastic views across the fields and the Solent as you head back to the start at Yarmouth.
The loop concludes with a quick circuit back at the event centre in Yarmouth and then heads straight back out on the open roads for the rest of the sportive if you choose to take it.
The rolling road closure means that the roads are closed as the riders reach them and opened again once they have gone through, resulting in closures of between 15 and at most 50 minutes, according to the organisers who have tested the route. As the riders complete the loop they will either finish in Yarmouth or head off straight back out on the open roads for the rest of the sportive.
The Isle of Wight opens up to you from here, with a low lying north western leg concluding at Carisbrooke Castle, before the long, straight climb over into Shorwell in the heart of the Island hills. Steep chalk downs rise across most of the Island, and are criss-crossed by miles of beautiful, quiet country lanes and the route uses these to full effect, leading you on a grand tour of our south coast gem.
A classic downland profile racks up the climbing to give you a proper test, while the scenery provides classic English countryside, villages and sea view after sea view to lift your spirits and spur you on. This is a small island with a big heart, and wealth of opportunities to offer the cyclist; discover it at its best on the Wight Riviera Sportive!