Date: 
Monday, March 7, 2016 - 15:45

The routes have been announced for the Eden Classic sportive – the mass participation bike ride starting and finishing at the Eden Project in Cornwall on May 8.

There are three routes of 35, 62 and 100 miles through some of the UK’s most stunning coast and countryside and all take in The Lost Gardens of Heligan as an official food stop.

The re-designed 100-mile route will go as far east and south as the village of Pelynt where the historic Jubilee Inn, owned by St Austell Brewery and run by Charlie and Carole Edgeler, will be the last food stop of the day.

Organisers say that with a sinew-stretching 7,700ft of climbing (more than twice the height of Mount Snowdon) on the long route, it adds up to one of the toughest challenges in the British cycling calendar and is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

However the short route (35 miles with 3,012ft of climbing) and medium (62 miles, 4,829ft) should be within the abilities of regular road bike riders and present exciting, achievable challenges with the right training.

More than 700 riders took part in the first Eden Classic last year, organised by Eden and fellow Cornwall-based charity Tempus Leisure.

Eden Managing Director Gordon Seabright said: “The Eden Classic 100-miler is as spectacular as it is gritty and gruelling. The reward is completing a one-day ride as good as any in the country. Our aim is that the feed stations are the very best, which helps all the riders refuel and complete their challenges on the day.”

Ceri Harvey of Tempus Leisure said: “The Eden Classic was a huge success last year, offering challenging routes, amazing scenery and great quality food stations, and we’re certain that this year will be better than ever. The choice of three distances means that cycling enthusiasts of varying ability are all able to take part, and in particular, the 35 mile route is a wonderful challenge for keen novice riders.”

One of last year’s participants, Rod James, chairman of Cornwall's One and All Cycling Club, said:  “The Eden Classic routes are amazing in terms of challenge and views.  The contrast between the sea, forests and glades is as good as it gets. The route is a significant challenge at any level. The climbs are tough and relentless. However that's what a sportive is all about. The start and finish in the Eden Project really make this a very special event.”

Charlie Edgeler, landlord of the four-star Jubilee Inn at Pelynt, was delighted to hear that his popular watering hole had been chosen by organisers as the final food stop 75 miles into the 100-mile route.

The pub will provide a perfect vantage point for spectators of the latter stages of the ride and will help make the Eden Classic one of the best “foody” sportives in the country.

Eden is already established as a sporting and leisure venue with activities such as the Eden Marathon held every October, ice-skating throughout the winter and England’s longest and fastest zipwire.

Tempus Leisure is actively involved in providing opportunities for people to engage in healthy active lifestyles in Cornwall as well as addressing the health inequalities experienced in the region.

Both Eden and Tempus are keen that the Eden Classic attracts more than just the keen, hard-core  rider. To help achieve this, Eden and The Lost Gardens of Heligan will be open free of charge over the day to friends and family of all those taking part in the Eden Classic.

To watch a video from last year’s Eden Classic, see https://youtu.be/CNz7JV4Dwqw.

For more information and to enter the Eden Classic go to www.tempusleisure.org.uk/edenclassic.

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