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Chase The Sun offers a coast-to-coast midsummer day challenge

Self-supported endurance event challenges riders to ride from coast to coast in UK and Italy

Peter Stuart
12 Apr 2019

The annual Chase The Sun cycle challenge is back for an 11th year in 2019, giving participants the unique challenge of riding from the east to the west coast of the UK or Italy between sunrise and sunset on the longest day of the year, June 22nd.

The event is self-supported, but by now the protocol is well-honed: each competitor receives a gpx, a roadbook and a detailed schedule listing ideal food and drink stops.

As the events qualify as Audax format, competitors can log the miles toward their annual mileage, and specific checkpoints on the route are specified in the roadbook. For those not interested in the Audax, it’s simply a start-to-finish challenge.

There are three route options to choose from. The UK South route is 330km in length, starting from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, and ending on Burnham on Sea.

Chase The Sun Italy, meanwhile, will begin in Cesenatico and travels over the Appenine mountains, through Tuscany and Florence to end on the coast of Pisa for a total of 270km of riding.

That makes it a little shorter than the UK route, but given there's a substantial mountain range at its core it may well prove considerably more challenging.

However, this year's most exciting option is surely the 320km UK North route, which takes in some of the most undiscovered and rugged scenery in Northumberland and Scotland. The route begins in Tynemouth before crossing Northumberland and the southern countryside of Scotland before finishing in Prestwick.

This year’s edition is sponsored by Veloforte all-natural energy food, who will be supplying nutrition for the events.

The event is self-supported, but the organisers ask competitors to check in over text several times over the route and will be eager to celebrate at the finish point.

While the distance will make for a significant challenge, the event has historically drawn in a wide range of competitors, from veteran long-distance specialists to urban fixie riders. Over 700 riders took part in the event last year.

For more information visit chasethesun.org

Title image: Graham Dawson, Cycle Gym

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