Hello everyone! Hope this find you in fine fettle and your legs are twitching with excitement…
So here we are again, the 6th instalment of Nelson’s Tour de Test Valley on Saturday 15th September has rolled into town again.
This ‘riders brief’ contains all the crucial information you need for the day. Please read it very carefully.
Firstly a massive thank you again for entering our sportive in memory of Nelson Pratt. The stunning lanes and climbs you will be riding in the Test Valley were his favourite place to pedal his bike, he would love to know so many of you are will be riding them too.
With every pedal rev and bead of sweat your efforts are supporting a great cause and raising awareness for tacking male suicide – the single biggest single killer of young men in the UK. That’s 84 men a week, over 12 a day. Truly shocking.
Again this year through your online entries alone (over 750) the event has already raised well over £15,000 for our charity partner CALM, with the figure set to rise with your donations. Over the last 5 years with your help the event has raised over a quarter of a million pounds for CALM, undoubtedly saving hundred of lives.
PLEASE if you haven’t already set up your CALM fundraising page there’s still time, every little bit really does really help, £96 could answer 12 potentially lifesaving calls. Thank you!
SO thanks again and have an amazing ride. See you at the finish!
LATEST NEWS: IMPORTANT NOTES
We checked the route very recently, in general the roads are good with lots of areas having been resurfaced but please be aware of areas of loose gravel on some of the smaller lanes and corners. Go steady!
The route will be really well signed and supported as ever – but over the years we’ve had a few wazocks remove our signs. Please If you get lost for any reason safely retrace your steps to the last sign you saw, or call the ‘route marshall’ on your rider number.
We’re proud to say Olympic Bronze medalist Jenny Jones will be opening the ride again at approximately 0800. Nelson was Jenny’s freestyle snowboard coach.
Also – Great friends of Nelson Neil McNair and Kenny Craig took on a mammoth mission to ride over 1200km over 10 days from Tignes to the start line on Saturday. A flipping incredible effort and they’ve already raised over £4000 already! Please if you see Neil and Kenny give them a massive high five and a bite of your brownie. Total heroes.
Here’s their page if you want to throw some pennies in, they deserve it.
Everyone that has pre-ordered a cycle jersey your order will be waiting for you at registration. PLEASE BRING CASH. For those who didn’t pre-order online we have a few left in stock or you can order for delivery after the ride.
Our spiffing new cap will be available to collect and buy. They are £12 with all proceeds going direct to CALM.
* SPORTS MASSAGE
We are really chuffed that once again the fine physios from Stockbridge Osteopathic Practice will be offering sports massage and treatments after your ride. These guys are incredible and will have you walking like normal again in no time! All donations go direct to CALM.
* YOGA RECOVERY SESSIONS
For the first time we’re so chuffed to announce we’ll be offering a free yoga recovery session to ease and re-charge those stiff limbs after your ride. Sian Leigh (the better half of BBC Ski Sunday presenter Ed Leigh) is a bonafide yoga wizard, she will be leading the drop in sessions during the afternoon. If you have a yoga mat bring it along or just dive in, you’re body and legs will love you for it! Again any donations go to CALM.
Check out Sian’s site, she’s amazing.
* CYCLE ESSENTIALS / FORGOTTEN ANYTHING!
Local bike store Cycle Central from Ludgershall will be on site to help you out with any bits you left at home or if the dog eat your inner tubes!
Bring some pennies for our world famous raffle, loads of top prizes from all out our sponsors including VANS footwear, Madison cycles, Knight Frank and even some wine!
* GOODIE BAGS
In an effort to reduce plastic bags and waste we won’t be giving away goodie bags to everyone, we hope you understand. There will be some free goodies available so please keep your eyes peeled.
Finally a huge thank you must go to our event partners who without this wouldn’t be possible – VANS Footwear, Knight Frank, Langdown DFK, Cycle Central, Stockbridge Osteopathic Practice and Andy Cook Cycling.
We really look forward to welcoming you on the day, the Test Valley is ready for your legs, lycra and heroic pedalling!
We’re off to test the brownies are up to scratch and check the beer is fizzy…
Bon chance and chapeau!
Marcus, the NTdTV Team, the Pratt Family and CALM.
HQ is located in the village of Grateley, near Andover.
The site will be clearly signed from all directions once nearing Grateley.
PLEASE BRING CASH WITH YOU FOR FOOD/BEER ETC – NO CARD PAYMENTS.
CAMPING AT RIDE HQ:
Free camping is available at Ride HQ on the Friday night.
The site will be open from 15.00 FRIDAY.
There will be a separate area for camper vans.
No cars will be allowed to park next to tents this year due to space restrictions.
Showers and toilets on site. Breakfast served from 7am!
There won’t be any food/drink available at HQ on Friday evening so please make arrangements if staying the night.
There are a plenty of great pubs close by in Wallop, Cholderton and Amport.
The Plough in Grateley is currently closed – the closest pub is The Crown in Cholderton.
PARKING: (OPEN FROM 0700 SAT)
Parking is at RIDE HQ, event staff will direct you on arrival. Please park as close to the next vehicle as possible and keep a beady eye out for cyclists leaving the start if you are arriving after 0800hrs on Saturday.
Once you have parked follow ‘registration’ markers for signing on in the barn.
REGISTRATION / SIGN ON PROCEDURE:
All riders must register/sign in before riding. Please be advised that if you’re able, registering on Friday afternoon is recommended to avoid congestion on Sat morning when most riders will arrive.
Registration opening hours:
Friday: 15.00 – 18.30
Saturday: 0700 – 1000
* Look for the distance you are doing.
* Registration desks will have riders surnames placed alphabetically on the tables.
* Find your name on the list and grab your pack containing your number, timing chip and cable ties.
* Your rider number should be secured to the front of your bars with cable ties and clearly visible at all times.
* Your timing chip should be stuck to the left hand side of you helmet.
START TIMES & RIDE DETAILS:
With the three rides on offer, we have set start windows for each route, aiming to ensure all riders finish within a certain time span – both for safety and meaning your well earnt free hot meal at the end isn’t stone cold!
We will be starting you in waves of 20-30 riders, with a five min gap in between.
There will be a full safety briefing at the start line. Please listen carefully.
Take your time, soak in the views, enjoy the food at the feed stations (eat every hour as a rule of thumb) and drink regularly.
Keeping well fuelled is absolutely the key to keeping those legs turning and maintaining energy levels – no fuel, no engine!!
Please stick to these start times, especially the 100 mile riders.
Start: Between 0800 – 0900
Start: Between 0900 – 1000
Start: Between 1000 – 1100
* No riders will be able to start before 0800, and none later than 1130.
* The start organiser will brief you immediately before you depart. Please go slowly across the start line to ensure your timing chip activates.
* Remember you are riding on an open road so normal traffic rules apply.
* Should you have an un-fixable mechanical problem, or have an emergency, there will be a mechanic and broom wagon on hand to scoop you up. Contact details will be on the reverse of your rider number.
* There will be a mechanic at HQ for the start to help with any last minute tuning. Gary will have spares etc to buy if needed.
* Riders are advised to carry at least two spare inner tubes with them, a pump and tyre leavers.
* HALO Sports will be running a cycle clothing stand stocking the essentials, just in case you left your helmet & jacket on the kitchen table.
* It may well be cold first in the morning, bring suitable clothing, especially if it’s wet!
* THERE WILL BE BAG STORAGE IN THE BARN.
* UNDER BRITISH CYCLING RULES ALL RIDERS MUST WEAR A HELMET. NO HELMET NO RIDE.
These are the emergency numbers for the day in case of injury or serious mechanical problem.
They will be on the back of your riders number but please get out your mobiles and save them now:
EMERGENCY CONTACTS IN CASE OF INJURY:
Marcus 07760 176 936
Chris Pratt 07760 122 815
Mark (Andy Cook Cycling) 07590 117 674
MECHANICAL CONTACT IN CASE OF SERIOUS BIKE PROBLEM:
Gary Harris 07575 482 228
Peter: 07857 676 649
Ricky Hill 07970 349 307
Gary will do his very best to get you back on the road if you have a serious problem, you will have to pay for major parts should you need them.
There are THREE mobile paramedics from Medibike at the event, the guys will be roaming all three routes.
GPS ROUTE DOWNLOADS
All routes are available to download for Garmins / GPS devices were sent to your emails.
Map of the routes also attached, these will be available at HQ.
To keep those legs whirring there will be feed stations on each route brimming with energy food such as bananas, brownies, flapjacks, tea, energy drink, treats etc – all served by friendly faces to keep moral high!
All stations will be clearly marked on route. Please take a little extra care when riding in and out as they’ll be other riders doing the same.
Chicken Curry (25mile)
Long Stock Village Hall @ 12.5 miles.
Spag Bol (50 mile)
Longparish Cricket Club @ 33 miles.
Full Monty (100 mile)
Hurstbourne Tarrant Royal British Legion Club @ 29 miles
Burghclere Sports Club @ 63 miles.
Longparish Cricket Club @ 83 miles.
All feed stations will have a stock of inner tubes to buy and a track pump if needed. Please make a text donation in return!
IMPORTANT: HOT SPOTS ON THE ROUTES:
The roads on the route are fantastic but there are some dangerous spots, especially some fast descents ready to catch you out. No crazy overtakes or kamikaze descending PLEASE. Even Bradley Wiggins goes slow down hill sometimes – especially in the wet.
All the danger spots will be marked clearly with CAUTION & SLOW SIGNS. Please keep your beady eyes peeled and do what the SIGNS AND OUR MARSHALLS SAY. It’s for your safety.
Remember the roads are open to traffic as usual.
THE AREA IS FAMOUS FOR V SHARP FLINT THAT CAN CAUSE PUNCTURES – PLEASE BRING A COUPLE OF SPARE TUBES WITH YOU – OR PICK A COUPLE UP AT REGISTRATION.
FOOD & DRINK AT RIDE HQ:
Breakfast will be available to buy from 0700 on Saturday morning. Our superb local caterers will be conjuring up the finest bacon and egg rolls in Hampshire.
The Black Magic – We have a new and bigger coffee truck on site from the guys at Xpressofix, take full advantage of the caffeine hit, medically proven to make the legs faster! They will also be selling porridge and pasties.
Cycle Central will be selling all the key essentials for the day at their stall, and energy food for your ride – as well as giving your bike the once over if needed.
FREE TEA will be available in the CALMzone tent all day. Donations very welcome.
THE ‘Recovery’ BAR in the marquee will be open from 1200 serving beer, cider and soft drinks.
For non-riders there will be food & drink available to purchase all day.
EVERY FINISHING RIDER RECEIVES A FREE HOT MEAL ON RETURN – DON’T MISS OUT!
Our charity partner CALM had a genius idea – why not run a tent that provides free tea on tap all day, keeping both thirsty riders, spectators and family members happy as larry. Please say hello and find out about the amazing work CALM do.
Many of you have already raised lots of money for this event but to make it incredibly easy to donate, CALM have set up a text giving service taking any hassle out of donating.
Text TDTV18 to 70070 to donate – any amount up to £30.
EXCLUSIVE CYCLE JERSEY & CAP
ANYONE THAT HAS PRE-ORDERED A CYCLE JERSEY IT WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU AT REGISTRATION – PLEASE BRING CASH TO PAY.
THERE IS ALSO AN EXCLUSIVE LTD EDITION TOUR DE TEST VALLEY x VANS – priced at £12 this will be for sale on the day. All sales go direct to CALM.
It would be amazing to see as many of you possible wearing these on the day, and with the proceeds going to CALM it’s a great way of helping us raise more pennies.
On your glorious and triumphant return to Ride HQ you will pass under the finish gantry and receive a token for your FREE MEAL.
Rack your bike and head into the barn to grab your meal then head straight to the bar for a well earned drink. We hope you’ll stay and have a few celebratory drinks with us.
There will be music in the marquee and we promise to keep the beer flowing! Definitely the best way to rehydrate!
If possible could riders and spectators be off site by 1900. Thank you.
RIGHT RAMBLE OVER – IF YOU’VE MADE IT THIS FAR YOU DESERVE A BEER!
If you have any questions on the above, or anything else please email
See you on Saturday!
Allez, allez, bon chance!
The Tour de Test Valley Team.