THE countdown to the eleventh annual Dartmoor Classic Sportive, which takes place on Sunday July 2, is on — and organisers are looking forward to yet another successful event. 

Up to 3,500 riders will participate, with entrants travelling from as far as Australia, Brazil, France, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria, the USA,?Switzerland, Canada, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Spain, Italy and Ireland. 

The riders will tackle one of three routes; the 35 mile piccolo route, the 68 mile medio route and the 107 mile grande route. 

The routes are designed to showcase the Devon countryside taking in the Teign Valley, the high routes of Dartmoor and the terrain of Lydford Gorge.

The three route choices offer personal endurance challenges to suit all cyclists, male or female, from the age of 13 years. Some of those taking part will be well into their 80s. 

Starting at Newton Abbot Racecourse, the ‘event village’ for the weekend, riders will depart in waves at 10 minute intervals, starting from 6am on Sunday. The racecourse will be home to exhibitors, stores, food and live music and the event village is free to enter for members of the general public.

Princetown Primary School will again provide a base for the event’s feed station.

Marshalled by over 120 volunteers and organised by the Mid-Devon Cycling Club, the event, which regularly receives accolades for the professional nature of its management, is introducing a new ‘code of conduct’ to help improve traffic flow and to reduce inconvenience caused to other road users on the day of the event.

Measures include the employment of police motorcyclists to patrol the route, to ensure all are using the roads responsibly. 

Riders are also advised on creating gaps to allow vehicles to pass on narrow sections of the course and are given guidance on when to ride two abreast or single file. 

The route will take riders through Kingsteignton, towards Chudleigh Knighton, Bovey Tracey, Lustleigh, Beccaford, Haytor, Widecombe, Holne, Dartmeet, Princetown, Merivale, Lydford, Chillaton, Tavistock, Postbridge, Moretonhampstead, and along the Teign Valley to Kingsteignton. The roads in these areas are likely to be busy throughout the day.

According to the event organisers, Mid Devon Cycling Club, the best viewing points for spectators are likely to be at Haytor, Dartmeet, Holne, Princetown, Warren House and Doccombe Hill near Moretonhampsted. 

In addition to bringing in over half a million pounds to the local economy, providing a boost to local hotels, accommodation providers, restaurants and hospitality providers, Dartmoor Classic also raises much needed money for local causes.  

Last year the event contributed over £15,000 to causes in Devon. This year the cycle sportive has already donated over £5,500 to groups and charities including Chicks, the national children’s charity based at Brentor, Cyclists Fighting Cancer, which provides bikes, trikes and specially adapted bikes and trikes to children to help with their recovery from cancer, and Children’s Hospice South West. Dartmoor Classic aims to match last year’s total donation figure.

Commenting on the Sportive Andrew Perkins, event promoter for The Dartmoor Classic, said: ‘We’re looking forward to another highly successful event, which not only helps to showcase the raw beauty of Devon and Dartmoor to riders from across the UK and the globe, but which contributes a huge amount of good to local businesses and causes.’

Full event and route details can be found on the event website