Date: 
Monday, December 8, 2014 - 12:49

The Eden Project today announced a spectacular new mass-participation ride which promises to become one of the top cycling events of the year.

The Eden Classic sportive - due to take place on Sunday May 10, 2015 – will offer riders the unique chance to pedal the length of Eden past the world-famous Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes as they start their challenging journey.

They will ascend steep hairpin bends up the side of the former china clay quarry before taking a choice of three routes along the south Cornwall coast and then finishing back over the finishing line in the heart of Eden.

The announcement of the inaugural Eden Classic comes hot on the heels of Eden winning the Best UK Leisure Attraction at the British Travel Awards for a record fourth year running. The British Travel Awards are the industry’s most prestigious awards and are often referred to as the “travel Oscars”.

Gordon Seabright, Director of the Eden Project, said: “We believe that no bike event in the country can offer such a scenic start and end point.  Eden in spring will be bursting with colour and life. Add to this the grandeur of some of the most stunning coastal roads in the world and we have a very special ride.

“Riders will be able to bring the rest of the family into Eden free of charge, so everyone can enjoy a great day out.”

The Eden Classic will offer riders a choice of three route options ranging from a short yet challenging ride of 35 miles, to a middle distance of 62 miles and a long ride for the experienced sportive rider of 100 miles.

Tempus Leisure Trust will be partnering with the Eden Project to organise the event.  Eden and Tempus are both charities based in Cornwall.

Geoff Samuels of Tempus Leisure, who has led the development of the route, said: “This is a breath-taking ride in all senses. With 2,433 metres of climbing in the 100-mile long route, the Eden Classic will be a challenge but the views will inspire.

“Without doubt, the Eden Classic will be the most memorable and distinct cycling sportive in the UK.”

Eden is already established as a sporting and leisure venue with activities such as its Eden Marathon held every October, ice-skating throughout the winter and SkyWire – England’s longest and fastest zipwire. It encourages cyclists and walkers all year round by offering discounts on its entry prices for those arriving by other means than a car.

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 sportive attracts more than just the keen hard-core rider. To help achieve this, Eden will be open free of charge over the day to friends and family of all those taking part in the sportive.

Other cycling activities will also be available especially for children and less experienced cyclists.

All entrants will ride together in a neutral zone from the start funnel opposite the registration area before dropping down into the Eden garden.

Escort riders will lead the participants through the centre of the site – normally traffic free - before reaching the start point opposite the Rainforest Biome.

Once riders are released over the timing mat at the start, all will be faced with a muscle-stretching climb out of the site and up the hairpin bends before continuing their ride in earnest.

The three-route option offer typical cycling terrain associated with Cornwall. Both Eden and Tempus have made the most of the undulating south coast and all riders will pass through picturesque villages and coastal beauty spots whichever route they choose.

For more information and to enter the Eden Classic go to  www.edenproject.com/edenclassic.