Posted Wednesday 26th March 2014 –
Southern Sportive’s spring season begins in earnest on April 6th at Salisbury racecourse with The Joker – a bold and original sportive with a few April Fool inspired twists. From the start though, the course is no joke. Both tough and beautiful, the route runs through and around the stunning Chalke Valley between Salisbury and Shaftesbury. The riding even has a Spring Classic feel too it. Just at the time the pros are tackling the tough roads, cobbles and climbs of Belgium and France, the Joker throws some wicked climbs and rugged lanes into the mix. There are cobbles too, in no less a form than the intimidating one-in-four climb of Shaftesbury’s famous Gold Hill (star of Ridley Scott’s iconic old Hovis Advert).
The twist on the usual sportive format comes in the shape of the choices you can make along the way. Four special extra loops (including Gold Hill) are available for you to tackle or avoid as you feel, each featuring a climb or challenge of note, or just an extra effort purely for the sake of it! There are a couple of tempting short cuts on offer too, but don’t expect a nice, surfaced road if you accept – it’s your call!
Finishers get high quality souvenir cotton T shirt for their efforts, and there are even a set of special edition playing cards for you to collect – one for each of the challenges you complete.
It’s a great way to start the new season, thoroughly entertaining throughout, it’s a serious ride with a little tongue in cheek spirit. Definitely one to tick off.
Find full details and sign up at southernsportive.com