The Tour of the Black Country
The Tour of the Black Country is a 100-mile (160km) sportive which takes in 30 km of cobbled roads, stony farm tracks and bridleways in the West Midlands and Worcestershire, with a Roubaix-style velodrome finish. Sunday 23 Apr 2017.
Modelled on the epic European Classic ‘Paris-Roubaix’
The Tour of the Black Country is a 100-mile event inspired by the Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix. It includes nineteen unpaved gravel and cobbled sectors, varying in length from 600m to 4000m, all of which are passable on a standard road bike. Each sector is rated according to difficulty; one star being the most straightforward, five stars being the most difficult. The five-star sectors include the ‘Waltonberg’ cobbled climb and the epic 4km-long Glasshampton Monastery sector. The route finishes, as does Paris-Roubaix, on a large outdoor velodrome, at Aldersley Stadium. The roads of the Tour of the Black Country are mostly traffic-free, and the majority of the unpaved sectors are closed to all traffic. There will also be an option to ride a 100km (62-mile) version of route.
The event will have a French theme, with a variety of French foods, coffee and a glass of Champagne for every finisher. In addition, everyone who completes the course will be presented with a lump of top-quality Black Country coal, mined from the ground under the very same roads that the route follows.
For 2017 we have significantly revised and extended the 2016 route. The full distance is now 100 miles, and we have included four spectacular new off-road sectors: Abberley Hall, Witley Court (both 4 stars), and the epic Glasshampton Monastery and Clent sectors (both 5 stars) – SEE PHOTOS BELOW. We believe that this will make the Tour of the Black Country one of the most unique, challenging and exciting events in Britain.
The Tour of the Black Country will be held on Sunday 23 Apr 2017, starting and finishing at Aldersley Velodrome, Wolverhampton WV6 9NW. Registration begins at 0730 and riders can start any time they like between 0745 to 0945. You can sign up using British Cycling’s online entry system – click on the red ‘ENTER’ button below. The event is promoted by Cycle Classics, who also organize the Cheshire Cobbled Classic, which includes several steep cobbled climbs, including the infamous 45% Corkscrew, and the Strade-Bianche-themed White Roads Classic which features 17 white gravel/chalk sectors.
The event is being supported by British Cycling; read the article on their website describing how the sportive came into being, and the ideas and values behind it.
|19 (km)||Enville Common||1400m||* * *|
|18 (km)||The Hyde||1700m||* * * *|
|17 (km)||Churchill||1600m||* * *|
|15 (km)||Abberley Hall (NEW)||1500m||* * * *|
|FEED (km)||WITLEY COURT|
|14 (km)||Witley Court (NEW)||2200m||* * * *|
|13 (km)||Glasshampton Monastery (NEW)||3900m||* * * * *|
|12 (km)||Clent (20% max.) (NEW)||2500m||* * * * *|
|11 (km)||Waltonberg (22% max.)||600m||* * * * *|
|10 (km)||Walton Hill||1300m||* * *|
|FEED (km)||THE FRENCH HEN|
|9 (km)||The Field House||600m||* *|
|8 (km)||Roman Road||1200m||* * *|
|7 (km)||Whittington Farm||1800m||* * * *|
|6 (km)||Prestwood Drive||1600m||* * * *|
|5 (km)||Gorse Lane East||1300m||* * *|
|4 (km)||Furnace Grange||1100m||* * *|
|3 (km)||Trescott Ford||100m||*|
|2 (km)||Pool Hall||1100m||* * *|
THE LAPIERRE CYCLE CLASSICS SERIES
Cheshire Cobbled Classic – White Roads Classic- Tour of the Black Country (starts at 3:47).
- Guvnors' Assembly
- Will F.
- Cycling Weekly
- James T.
The Tour of the Black Country also features prominently in a new book by amateur cyclist Iain MacGregor, ‘To Hell on a Bike’ (published 12 March 2015), in which prepares for the ride of his life as he attempts to ride the whole route of Paris-Roubaix, a race which has obsessed him since childhood. He explores the history and culture of this extraordinary race, with insights from legends of the sport, trainers, mechanics and fellow writers, as well as those who have maintained the traditions of Paris-Roubaix since its inception over a century ago. It is the ultimate story of the ultimate cycling challenge. There is a whole chapter on the Tour of the Black Country – the sister event of the White Roads Classic – which he rode as preparation for Paris-Roubaix, and the book also discusses the origins of the White Roads Classic. This book will be of interest to anyone who has ridden, or is planning to ride the White Roads Classic, the Tour of the Black Country – or Roubaix itself!
Available now in bookshops and from amazon: