The West Midlands prepares to welcome 15,000 cyclists on September 24th and the full details of Vélo Birmingham’s much anticipated 100 mile closed road route have been released.
Starting on Broad Street in central Birmingham on Sunday September 24, the 100 mile fully closed road route will take 15,000 cyclists on a breathtaking journey from city to country, passing through Herefordshire and Worcestershire via Sandwell, Dudley and Staffordshire.
Upon crossing the finish line on Broad Street, riders will be directed to the Barclaycard Arena (NIA), Vélo Birmingham’s official finish venue, to celebrate their fantastic achievement with fellow riders, friends and family.
The route has been agreed in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Herefordshire Council, Worcestershire County Council, Staffordshire County Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council as well as emergency services and transport operators to minimise the inconvenience of the necessary road closures.
Extensive road closures will be in place throughout the day in order to safely deliver the event. Businesses and residents based on or near the route are advised to visit www.velobirmingham.com/the-route/road-closures to find out the road closure timings and how best to navigate around them on the day.
A detailed resident information letter will be distributed to all homes on the route over the next few weeks, enabling residents to learn more about the road closures, alongside details of how to contact the event organisers should they need to find out more.
General entries for the event sold out within just four days of going on sale, however it is still possible to enter via one of Vélo Birmingham’s official charity partners, of which Cure Leukaemia is one! It is anticipated that participants will raise well over £1 million for a range of different charities at this year’s Vélo Birmingham.
There are also plenty of volunteering opportunities for those not able to take part but still keen to contribute to the success of one of Birmingham’s biggest sporting events of the year. To register your interest to be a volunteer, please visit: www.velobirmingham.com/info/volunteers/
To register to ride for Cure Leukaemia, please email Velo@cureleukaemia.co.uk
Jon Ridgeon, Executive Chairman of organisers CSM Active said: “This route has been a long time in planning and we are delighted to be able to finally unveil it. We believe it shows off the very best of Birmingham and the West Midlands and we are confident participants are going to be blown away with how spectacular the route is. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Birmingham City Council, Herefordshire Council, Staffordshire County Council, Worcestershire County Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council for being so supportive of the event and facilitating the necessary road closures.”
Ben Foster, West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper and Cure Leukaemia Ambassador said:
"It is no secret that I am a big cycling fan and I am really looking forward to riding Velo Birmingham for Cure Leukaemia in September.
It will be very special to have 15,000 people cycling 100 miles on closed roads around the City and I have friends, family and colleagues riding with me.
It is going to be an amazing event and I would encourage anyone interested in taking part to contact Cure Leukaemia and join our team.
It is a fantastic, local charity with an additional £1m to raise in 2017 and every single member of the team will be helping them reach their inspirational goal so I’d urge people to sign up today.”
Upon crossing the start line on Broad Street, riders will exit the city centre of Birmingham via Hagley Road, enabling them to get in a group right from the off and find a comfortable pace as they settle into the ride. The miles will fly by as riders make their way through Halesowen and Stourbridge and before long riders will approach the first Rider Pit Stop, providing them with an opportunity to have a breather, re-hydrate and stock up on some energy products. Up next, it’s the picturesque village of Bewdley – an attractive Georgian town that sits directly upon the River Severn. This is the first in a long line of beautiful locations riders will pass through as they complete their epic 100 mile journey.
Upon leaving Bewdley, riders will briefly hug the River Severn before getting their first taste of the sprawling countryside that characterises so much of the route. At mile 30, riders will encounter the official King & Queen of the Mountain climb – the notorious Stanford Bank. At just under a mile long with an average gradient of 8%, this is a challenging climb and will test even the most experienced of riders. Upon completion of the KOM challenge riders’ legs will be aching, but their spirits will be lifted by the panoramic views across the spectacular Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire countryside. They can now look forward to some exhilarating descents as they make their way towards the second Rider Pit Stop and then the beautiful, unspoilt market town of Bromyard.
Despite the absence of any major climbs, the third quarter of the route is characterised by undulating country roads, enabling riders to tick off the miles as they appreciate the beautiful scenery that surrounds them. The highlight is undoubtedly the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Clifton-upon-Thame, a village and civil parish in the Malvern Hills district of Worcestershire. Upon leaving Clifton-upon-Thame riders will enjoy a thrilling descent into Martley before making their way towards the penultimate Rider Pit Stop of the day.
Despite starting off relatively flat as riders make their way through the quaint village of Belbroughton – home of the famous Scarecrow Festival - the elevation soon kicks up as they approach the infamous St Kenelm’s pass. At 1.5 miles with an average of 5.2% (max of 10% in some places), this climb certainly packs a punch. When riders reach the top they will be able to re-fuel at our fourth and final feed station ready for one final push towards the finish line located on Broad Street. Upon crossing the finish line, riders will be directed into the iconic Barclaycard Arena where they will be able to celebrate their amazing achievement with fellow riders, friends and family!
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