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New 24-hour challenge introduced to Tour of Wessex sportive

Joe Robinson
6 Jan 2020

Riders will be asked to tackle 528 kilometres and 6,500m of elevation in one continuous ride

The three-day Tour of Wessex is already one of the most challenging sportives in the UK however its latest challenge may have just taken it up a notch. 

From 2020, riders will be able to pit themselves against a new 24-hour riding challenge that looks to tackle the routes of all three days in one continuous ride.

The Wessex 24 will ask riders to cover the combined 328 miles (528km) in the 24-hour window, with the ride starting at 07:30 on 23rd May before closing at the same time on the 24th.

All participants have to complete the challenge in a solo, self-supported ride following the designated route through the Somerset and Dorset countryside.

Riders will start following Stage 1, a lumpy 160km from Langport through the Mendip Hills before looping back through the Somerset countryside. 

Reversing roles from the three-day event, up next will be the route of the 179km Stage 3, taking on the Quantock Hills and Exmoor, allowing you to navigate its technical roads in daylight.

Finally, Stage 2 will represent the final 195km leg that heads down through Yeovil, looping back from Dorset before finishing in Langport.

In total, the day will see riders grind over 6,411m of elevation with the majority coming in the second portion of the ride.

Event organiser Nick Bourne believes this new challenge will require plenty of pre-planning and a real test of mental toughness.

'This is an epic challenge that will require extensive preparation and planning, riders will also be required to identify where to refuel as well as navigating their way around the 328-mile course,' said Bourne.

'Those undertaking the Wessex 24-hour will benefit from a huge send-off as close to a thousand sportive riders will be lining up for the first stage of the Tour of Wessex and again they will be there to see in the last riders completing the 24-hour challenge before they start Stage 2 of the Tour of Wessex.'

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