The cyclists that descended upon Newmarket Racecourses on Sunday morning were certainly grateful for the drop in temperature from the previous week that had seen the mercury break the 30 degree barrier. Although the clouds looked menacing, conditions were pretty much perfect for the fifth running of the Newmarket Hilly Cycle Sportive, that has seen the event develop a deserved reputation as a must for local amateur cyclists.
Three distances were once again available to riders at this year’s event, 25 miles, 50 miles and for the ultimate riders 100 miles. All three routes featured a variety of ascents, turns and straights through the picturesque Suffolk countryside and as befits all good cycling Sportives, feed stations dotted the route to fuel the fatigued participants. Riders were also supported by course marshals and St Johns Ambulance should the need arise.
As the morning passed, weary but triumphant participants began returning to the Rowley Mile and continued to do so into the afternoon. Their collective efforts raised an incredible £7,700 towards the Newmarket Festival’s fund which go towards aiding individuals, groups and societies within the local area.
For all riders crossing the finish line the sense of accomplishment was clear to see and all could share in the feeling of achievement as they received an exclusive Hilly medal along with further goodies from the event supporters.
New for 2017 the organisers had also laid on a course for Junior riders within the confines and safety of the racecourse grounds. A briefing and bicycle check from British Cycling preceded a guided lap before the young enthusiasts were left to complete as many laps as they wished before they received their medal and an ice cream for their hard work!
Kevin Hancock of Newmarket Festival commented, “Once again we have been delighted with the uptake for this year’s Hilly and the amount raised justifies all the hard work that goes into the event. We are, as ever, grateful to our partners, supporters and of course riders, without whom we would not be able to put on the Hilly.”
Timings from the event can be found at here