By Audlem Webteam - 25th March 2009 8:14am
Members of Audlem Cycling Club will be amongst those participating this weekend in the Cheshire Cat cyclosportif event which covers a range of distances of upto 100+ miles around Cheshire and into the Staffordshire Moorlands. Three routes are available to the 1,600 cyclists that have entered — it's now so popular that the entry limit has been reached — and those on the longest route of 102 miles will be passing through Audlem on Sunday 29th March.
The 2009 UCI Cheshire Cat marks the start of British summertime for cyclosportive riders — it's the first big ride of the year and it also takes place on the first day of British summertime. This event not only attracts a huge number of entrants, it also raises cash for St John Ambulance.
First time riders might opt for the 37 mile circuit, which is quite flat and takes riders along the lovely Cheshire lanes. The longer 66 and 102 mile options are tougher this year, we are told, and include the Cheshire plains and a dramatic cobbled climb new to the route, in the true style of a continental spring classic.
The ultimate test is the iconic Mow Cop, near Congleton, with its famous 'Killer Mile'. Anyone who can cycle up the incredible 1:4 gradient in March without stopping deserves a medal in the view of the Cheshire Cat organisers — so they present riders with one on their return!
For Audlem residents who are not members of the Audlem Cycling Club, and may not have heard of the cyclosportif, expect to see an unusually large number of cyclists passing through Audlem on Sunday along the A525 from Coole Lane before turning left in the village centre on to the A529. And if they look a little tired, remember, they've come a long way before reaching the village — and still have a very long way to go.
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