Manchester 100 Sportive

Well my next sportive will be the Manchester 100 mile on Sunday 6th September.

The Manchester 100 Route.
There are two options. A 100 mile and a 100 kilometre. The route starts at Wythenshaw Park which is always a nice venue to start from as there is ample free car parking and proper toilets too. You can start when you feel like and you are normally in groups of 30 to 50.

From Wythenshaw the route winds down to Knutsford, through Ashley (going past Tatton Park). There is a lengthy drag going past Tatton Park, which can be a bit surprising early on for the legs but nothing major. From Knutsford, the route continues to J19 of the M6 and past The Windmill pub, through Pickmere, past Arley Hall and through Great Budworth before a sharp dig at a crossroads into Comberbach.

The Manchester 100 route continues through into Barnton where a short hill normally slows down people really quickly, so be alert, look ahead and be ready with the gearing. 5 minutes later, once into Winnington there is another short stab called Burrows Hill, this again quickly slows people and finishes as a junction at the top so be careful.

The Manchester 100 route then travels into country lanes and this is where the 100k and 100 mile routes split. The 100k continues on to Winsford before re-joining the 100 mile route at Middlewich and home. The 100 mile route goes on to tackle around Burwardsley, past the picturesque Beeston Castle (with a couple of minor climbs) before finishing halfway at Nantwich.

From Nantwich the route works it way up to Winsford, Sandbach, Middlewich, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow (where there is a stinker of a hill when you have tiring legs) into Styal and back to Wythenshaw.

It's a great ride, every junction is clearly signposted and marshalled. There are about 3-4 stops through out the rides, Middlewich is a main feed point for both rides by the canal.

It seems like eternity since finishing the Rapha Condor Blackpool Sportive at the beginning of the month. After doing 4 100k sportives back to back, your legs get used to it, the distance gets easier and as I found faster.

I've been out on the bike a bit, mainly 10 mile time trials and I've done a couple of 2-3 hour rides, but nothing major. I do fear I've lost the sharpness of the legs from a couple of weeks back but we shall see. I'm looking forward to the challenge of completing my first century.

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