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Entries open for Velo Essex closed-road sportive

Joe Robinson
2 Mar 2020

VeloEssex will be the only closed-road sportive in the south of England besides the Prudential RideLondon

Entries have opened for the newst Velo Series closed-road sportive that will take place in Essex this September. Coming in as a replacement for the Velo South sportive, which was cancelled in 2019 due to poor weather, it will act as a sister event to the Velo Birmingham and Midlands sportive.

It will also be the only closed-road sportive in the south of England besides the Prudential RideLondon.

There will be two events on the day, a 50-mile and 100-mile course, and entries can be found here. There are 15,000 entries across the two distances with it expected to sell out.

Two rides of 100 and 50 miles will journey through the traffic-free Essex countryside with both sportives starting from Hylands Park just outside of Chelmsford, only an hour away from London.

Much of both routes will retrace the roads used by Stage 3 of the 2014 Tour de France when Essex hosted part of the Grand Depart. In fact, half of the longer 100-mile will reuse the roads ridden by the professionals six years ago.

Both routes will start by heading north from Chelmsford towards the villages of Leaden Roding and Dunmow before splintering around mile 25.

From here, the 100 milers will continue on to Saffron Walden, weaving their way back south towards Braintree where both routes will rejoin before finishing back at Hylands Park.

Back at the event headquarters, there will then be the usual chance to refuel with a burger and a beer, listen to some live music and even tune in to Q&A sessions with Velo Essex ambassadors Martin Johnson and Alex Dowsett.

Professional cycling's resident Essex boy, Dowsett grew up in nearby Maldon, living for much of his pro life in Chelmsford before moving to Andorra in 2019.

Set to ride the event, he is excited at being able to showcase the roads he grew up riding.

'I’m really proud to be part of Vélo Essex - a brand new closed-road sportive in the lanes I grew up training in,' said Dowsett.

'Whilst many other pros would move to warmer shores to train over the off-season, I’ve always believed that Essex is one of the most beautiful places to ride in the world and opted to stay and train here. I can’t wait for everyone else to see all that Essex has to offer.'

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