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Challenging routes, spectacular views and the chance to meet cycling legend Mark Beaumont are among the highlights of this year’s Oban Sportive.
For the first time, the action-packed weekend for cycling enthusiasts will start with a hill climb up Ben Cruachan against the clock and Mark Beaumont, who holds the world record for cycling round the world.
The top British cyclist, adventurer, author and broadcaster who completed his 18,000-mile route in less than 79 days on September 17 last year, will also be giving a talk over the weekend about his adventures.
Cyclist wanting to push themselves in the new event on Saturday April 21 – the same day as Mark Beaumont’s talk – should register online at www.obansportive.co.uk. More than 60 people have signed up so far but about 200 riders are expected.
With support from Ben Cruachan Inn and Scottish Power, event organisers have made sure access to the private road up to the dam will be car-free.
The 2.7 mile stretch climbs to 1,044ft. The event will be timed, with each rider leaving a minute apart.
Nick Charlton, one of the organisers, said it will be Oban’s sixth sportive, previous events having raised £15,000 for good causes as part of a project between North Argyll Cycling Club and Oban Rotary Club.
This year’s sportive has two marshalled routes on Sunday April 22. The longest is 87 miles around Loch Awe, passing under the shadow of Hollow Mountain Ben Cruachan.
The second route, at 56 miles, takes in repetitive short steep climbs mostly on quiet single track roads throughout Argyll.
‘It used to be the second route that was the most popular but so far this year, it’s the longest route that has the most riders. I’m not sure why,’ said Mr Charlton.
The events on both days will go ahead whatever the weather and will only be cancelled on safety grounds.
Anyone wanting to take part must be 16 or over and although it is a timed event, organisers stress it is not a race. It costs £35 to enter, which includes a ticket to Mark Beaumont’s talk.
For more information go to facebook.com/TheObanSportive/ or follow twitter.com/ObanSportive