The event will be based at the Shropshire Hills Mountain Bike & Outdoor Pursuit Centre from Friday the 13th July onwards.
The weekend line-up – 14-15th July 2012
The July event will host not just one but again two different cycling events – one for skinny tyres and one for knobblies. The weekend will kick off with the Vitus Road Sportive which will offer two fantastic courses – a tough yet rewarding 85 mile long course which has 2,800 metres of climbing and the super scenic 50 mile short course with around 1,700 metres of climbing. Both rides have an open start from 8.30 – 9.30am on Saturday and entries are still available. To find out more on the second sportive of the season (including maps, course details and profiles) please go to the Marshbrook event page on the Vitus Sportive Series event website.
Marshbrook MTB Marathon
Sunday's focus will be on the CRC MTB Marathon, starting at 10am on Sunday morning, which will have three different distances on offer. Course designer John has again paired up with some local trail muscle and has put together three fantastic courses which show off the best trails and scenery the area has to offer.
Enter the 2012 Marshbrook MTB Marathon now
The route leads initially through a small area of forestry, then up onto the Long Mynd (meaning long mountain), the long route, immediately descending off the Long Mynd, making its way to the Stiperstones, a hill west of the Long Mynd, here you will ride some interesting single and twin tracks up and over the hill, after a short section of tarmac to get your breath back, you soon reach the Forest of Eastridge, which has been used in the past for NPS races.
After enjoying the technical singletrack descending, and beating the tough climbs you return to the Long Mynd where there is an endless amount of exciting singletrack and bridleways, interspersed with short stretches on minor roads, and then, just when you think it can't get any better the course finishes with the longest singletrack descent in Shropshire, possibly the longest in England.
For further details on the third round please check out the Marshbrook event page.
What else is going on?
Friday to Monday camping at the 20 acre event village is free with hot showers and you are welcome to bring your family and friends and make a weekend of it. A pasta party on Saturday evening is included in the price for all those who are riding (MTB Marathon only). There will be on-site entertainment with live bands at the site's own pub and a BBQ with fresh locally sourced produce.
On Sunday, Cycle Active Skills School will run classes for the kids. The event village will be in full swing and the welcome home parade will be, as always, a moment of personal achievement celebrated by all. A 'Meal of Champions' will be available from both the cafe and pub after the Sportive and the Marathon; these indoor havens will be open pretty much all weekend serving breakfasts from 7am, then lunches and evening meals. The pub even has its own locally brewed beer, aptly named 'Trailblazer'.
There is post ride massage, medical and mechanical support to make your ride a smooth and enjoyable experience with some of the best coffee and cake you will find in a field this summer. Chain Reaction Cycles will be present with all the cycling essentials you may need too.
What else is there to do?
If you are not riding and fancy exploring the area make sure you head to Church Stretton just up the road from Marshbrook. This beautiful market town on the edge of Carding Mill Valley (an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is full of lovely shops and cafes and just a stones-throw away from the Long Mynd and its wild uplands and breathtaking views. To find out more please go to the Church Stretton website.
Not long now…here's how to enter
To enter the MTB Marathon please click here to go directly to the entry page where you can either download an entry form or enter directly through the new online entry service. To enter the Vitus Road Sportive please click here. Prices to enter the riding challenges start from £27 and its only £47 for a Saturday and Sunday double ride deal. There is no charge for camping (for you and your family) and no entry fee if you just want to watch the event and the activities. There will also be day entries available but there is a £5 day entry surcharge. So why not save yourself some money and enter now!