Tranquil setting proves a tough test for cyclists

Pictured, The Heron family, Lee, Matty (10), Toby (12) and Faith about to cross the finishing line NNL-151207-170832009
Pictured, The Heron family, Lee, Matty (10), Toby (12) and Faith about to cross the finishing line NNL-151207-170832009

Six hundred cyclists enjoyed the picturesque setting of Broughton Castle on Sunday to enjoy this year’s Cycling Sportive event.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Banbury Cherwell in conjunction with Banbury Star Cyclist Club, those taking part in the event were able to choose from three routes around the north Oxfordshire countryside, with a 25-mile, 50-mile or a gruelling 100-mile option.

Mark Humphries adds his Specialized road bike on to the National Bike Register with Speciial Constable Paul Brown NNL-151207-170757009

Mark Humphries adds his Specialized road bike on to the National Bike Register with Speciial Constable Paul Brown NNL-151207-170757009

It has taken place at Broughton Castle for the last three years, and Chris May of the Rotary Club and said the event was another success.

He said: “It has gone on from strength to strength each year and is now a major event in the sporting calendar. We have amended the distances of each course from last year and had Banbury Star designed this year’s routes.

“The 100-mile race in particular this year brought riders from London and Liverpool and included three classic climbs through the Cotswolds. We’ve had some really positive feedback from those who took part.”

For those not wanting to challenge themselves, there was also a fun five-mile ride which was perfect for families and amateur riders wanting to gentle ride in the Oxfordshire countryside. Away from the cycling there was children’s entertainment and those who finished the races were treated to a well-deserved burger.

Alastair Milne-Home cycles the 20 mile course on his vintage bike NNL-151207-170738009

Alastair Milne-Home cycles the 20 mile course on his vintage bike NNL-151207-170738009

Mr May also paid tribute to the various groups who helped out on the day, from members of the scout groups in Banbury helping to man the carpark to members of the young Rotary initiative Rotaract helping out at the various food stations along each of the routes.

He added the event will definitely take place next year and said the Rotary club is always looking at ways to make the next event better than its predecessor.

He said: “It was a really good atmosphere and we had fantastic help from lots of people on the day to help make it a success. The routes let riders see the very best of the Cotswolds but they are very tough.”

Jenifer Casey from Wantage finishing the 50 mile course NNL-151207-170646009

Jenifer Casey from Wantage finishing the 50 mile course NNL-151207-170646009

Deepak Harie holding his medal after completing the ride on his Pashley Sovreign NNL-151207-170617009

Deepak Harie holding his medal after completing the ride on his Pashley Sovreign NNL-151207-170617009

Sports Massage Therapist Veronica Price at work on Ian Barrington NNL-151207-170552009

Sports Massage Therapist Veronica Price at work on Ian Barrington NNL-151207-170552009