The stunning terrain of the Saxon CX
The CX Sportive season begins this month, with the third outing of the Salisbury Saxon CX on November 24th. CX Sportives mix different surfaces throughout their course to create a varied, well paced and rideable experience that is a refreshing autumn/winter alternative to straight road or MTB riding.
For 2013, we’ve unveiled a revised route for the Salisbury Saxon CX to perfect that ride balance. With one eye to what has been a wet start to this autumn, we have introduced a few key tweaks and balances to keep riders on pace and ticking round the course.
CX sportives are all about pace and variety, and the Salisbury course is great for that. It has some real physical challenges – there are some big, big climbs – but there are back lanes and droves to really get your legs turning over too. Our challenging in presenting these events is to make them work well for any fast, capable all round bike: CX, MTB, 29er, whatever! The Saxon course has something for everyone.
When people think Salisbury, they usually think of the Plain, but there’s so much more than that. The Saxon course is set in the Chalke Valley, which runs west from Salisbury to Shaftesbury, and and it’s a hidden gem. The steep sided valley is flanked on both sides by high ridges with drove roads on each and a network of tracks and lanes connecting them to the valley road below. It creates an outstandingly good place to ride!
The Saxon CX course has traditionally thrown the toughest stuff at riders in it’s first third, presenting a faster finishing section at the end of the day. We haven’t changed the course too much for this year, but have rerouted in some key areas, and it makes quite a marked difference. We’ve cut out a big early climb and revised couple of other early sections, and added in a couple of diversions and extra climbs in the second half of the route to bring up the distance again. This balances out the challenges of the full 80km course more evenly through the day, and makes the shorter 60 and 40km options a little less severe. It puts more of the route onto the northern drove too, which stands up better to the weather. We think that riders a going to really enjoy this one – it makes a great ride even better!
The event starts and finishes at Salisbury Race Course, and you get full route marking, GPS files, electronic timing, feed station support and free Torq energy mix for your ticket price, plus full catering and a warm cafeteria at the start and finish.