Entries are now open for the first edition of the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival - which sees two popular cycle events merging together for what promises to be a spectacular day of riding.
The festival brings together the Chiltern 100 Sportive and the Chiltern Cycling Festival.
Organisers say the features that have made both events popular in their own right will be retained, and hope that the merger allows participants to enjoy them both on one day.
More than 3,000 people are expected to take part in the event on Sunday July 16 which starts at the Penn House country estate near Amersham.
It will provide cyclists of all levels with a choice of rides around the grounds and out into the Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Cyclists and non-riders are welcome to visit the retro-inspired Velo Village, with a range of cycling-themed stalls and entertainment.
Three road-cycling sportives are available at the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival.
One of these is the 172km Gran Fondo which features 21 gruelling climbs that present cyclists with more than 2,400m of vertical ascent.
If that feels like too much of a challenge, there are also two shorter distances, the Medio Fondo at 109 km and the Corto Fondo at 52km.
Cycletta, part of organisers of the day Human Race’s series of women-only rides, will offer a fun and friendly environment for women of all ages and abilities to enjoy the 52km course.
The Amersham Classic 52km route will provide participants with an opportunity to show off their finest vintage bikes, clothing and equipment.
All riders will have a chance to compete for the title of King or Queen of the Chilterns on the final, timed climb, before receiving a celebratory glass of champagne, a finisher’s medal and a goody musette on their return to Penn House.
The Velo Village is free to visit and it promises a wide range of attractions and entertainment for riders and their friends and families, including a family ride, the Vintage Concors D’Elegance parade of vintage bikes and equipment, more than 30 stalls featuring cycling clothing, equipment, gifts and collectibles, a beer tent and gourmet cuisine, live music and live coverage of Stage 15 of the Tour de France on a big screen.
Discussing the merging of the Chiltern Cycling Festival and the Chiltern 100 Sportive, Nick O’Brien, founder of the Chiltern Cycling Festival said: “Both events have their own character, but what we’re really excited about is bringing together as many cyclists and their families as possible and showcasing the riding the Chilterns has to offer and the rich cycling culture that surrounds it.”
Doug Driscoll, chairman of the Verulam Cycling Club, founders of the Chiltern 100 Sportive added: “We’re excited to see the Chiltern 100 continue to go from strength to strength.
“Combining the ride with the festival to form the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival will provide participants with the best of both worlds – a proper challenge on the bike and a fantastic celebration of the cycling scene back at Penn House.”
Entries to the Chiltern 100 Cycling Festival’s three sportives are now open with an early bird, reduced price offer available until the end of January.
For more information and to enter, visit www.humanrace.co.uk/event/chiltern-100-sportive/