RIDE IT Sussex Sportive Cross


08/11/18 – Online entry is now closed, if you missed the cut off you can still turn up and enter on the day, registration at 07:30.


A new addition to our series for 2018 the RIDE IT Sussex Sportive Cross sees us partnering with Crawley Wheelers to host alongside the Ardingly round of the Cyclo-cross National Trophy. Join us for a mixed terrain CX sportive in the morning including a chance to test your skills with a starting lap on the National Trophy Cyclo-cross course then watch the elite riders race in the afternoon after your ride.

Our sportive cross course includes a mix of lanes, cycle tracks and bridleways so is suitable for MTB, cyclocross, adventure road bikes with tyres that can handle some off road riding. The route takes us away from Ardingly past Weir Wood Reservoir before we join the gravel tracks of the Forest Way into East Grinstead. For here we pick up some more gravel cycle tracks taking us along the Worth Way to the outskirts of Crawley before picking up a series of bridleways through Tilgate Forest and Oldhouse Warren. We continue on through Balcombe then it’s a picturesque skirt around the edge of Ardingly Reservoir before returning to the finish to collect your finishers medal.

Entry via the main  Evans Cycles website at RIDE IT Sussex Sportive Cross


By Car – From the M23 exit at Junction 10 and take A264 towards East Grinstead. At the second roundabout turn right and head towards Haywards Heath along B2028 where you’ll see the South of England Showground is signposted from this roundabout. Continue through the villages of Turners Hill and Selsfield Common and you’ll see the entrance to the South of England Showground on your right hand side just before you reach the village of Ardingly. The venue postcode for those using a sat nav is RH17 6TL.

By Train – The nearest rail stations are East Grinstead and Haywards Heath. Please check the Network Rail timetable facility for more information as services on Sunday maybe limited.

By Bike – There is no specific bike route to the event centre, you need to head for the main entrance on Selsfield Road/B2028.


If you’ve taken part in a RIDE IT event before then please read the timing information carefully as this event is different to our usual set up. The timings are to ensure we don’t conflict with the practice session for the National Trophy riders and to ensure we get riders back in time to watch the elite riders racing in the afternoon so please don’t arrive late.

We’ll be on site from 07:00 and registration will be open from 07:30 to 08:00, please follow the signs for registration after you’ve arrived.

We’ll be starting all riders together at 08:00 so please make your way to the start point before 08:00.

Please ensure you bring your helmet with you to registration, you will not be allowed to register without one so bringing it with you will save a trip back to your car or bike collect it.

Once you have registered and are ready to ride please head straight to the start area.


The ride is a single mixed terrain loop that starts and finishes from South of England Showground in Ardingly including the chance to ride a starting lap of the National Trophy Cyclocross circuit before heading out onto the sportive route.

The sportive route distances quoted exclude the lap of the National Trophy Cyclocross circuit which will add approximately 1-2 miles onto your total ride distance.

The approximate route stats and elevation profiles are –

RIDE IT Sussex CX Sportive Route – 32 miles/50km with 2,260 feet/689 metres elevation gain

Route Downloads – GPX / TCX / FIT / Strava / Printable PDF

National Trophy Cyclocross Circuit

Whilst we think most of you will enjoy the challenge of riding the National Trophy circuit before heading out onto the sportive route this is an optional extra so there’s no pressure to complete the lap if you’d prefer not to. It’s a challenging course with some short but steep gradients, tight turns and a few obstacles you’d expect to find on a CX race course such as steps and hurdles which will involve getting on and off the bike. Have fun but please be safe ride within your ability.


For the duration of the ride you will be following pink signs (black arrow on a pick background), please pay particular attention to any caution or warning signs 

RIDE IT Cycling Events Course Marking

You should see signs at every junction with the possible exception of dead ends/cul-de-sacs where they aren’t used on the route. If you reach a junction with no signs please check your map to see if you’ve missed a turning.


On the course there will be a single feed stop just after half distance and all food and drink at the feed stop is included in your entry. The feed stops are sponsored by High 5 Sports Nutrition and will have High 5 Energy Drink and High 5 Energy Gels or High 5 Energy Bars as well as selection of regular food such as cake, flapjack, jelly beans, bananas, peanuts, crisps, etc.

For advice on nutrition for before, during and after your ride click on the guide below from High 5 –

RIDE IT High 5 Nutrition Guide

In addition there will be catering providers on site who will be offering hot food and drinks for purchase after the ride and during the National Trophy CX racing.


Whilst there is no cut off point on the sportive route our course sweepers will be removing signs behind the last riders with the aim to have all rider back from the sportive route by around 1pm in plenty of time to watch the elite racing in the afternoon.


There are no rankings or prizes on offer, all times will be displayed in a non-sortable format in rider number order. Please help us to continue running popular and friendly events by not riding in such a way as to obstruct the road or trails or to upset other users.

The majority of the ride is on the public roads and trails so please obey the Highway Code, stop at junctions where appropriate and obey any traffic lights. Do not ride at uncontrolled speeds around blind bends or on steep descents. Although we have event insurance it does not insure you for your actions so if you do hit a car or pedestrian you may be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by your riding.

Please pay particular attention looking our for dog walkers on the cycle path sections of the Worth Way.


The ride takes place on public roads and we don’t have exclusive use of these for the event. Please be on the look out for other  road users particularly horse riders who may be using the lanes and bridleways in this area. Make them aware of your presence and pass wide and slow should you encounter any. The leaflet below from the BHS gives lots of useful advice for both cyclists and horse riders and we would recommend all riders have a read through before the ride. Click on the image to download a pdf version of the leaflet.

BHS Cyclist and Horse Rider Code of Conduct


No one likes to think about things going wrong but accidents can happen and we think it’s important that riders understand their own responsibilities. All our events have public liability insurance in place that covers Evans Cycles and the actions of it’s staff, it doesn’t cover you for your own actions or for actions of other third parties. In simple terms that means if you cause an accident that is found to be your fault you are personally responsible for any injury to yourself or others and for any damage to yours of other peoples property. Sorry if that all sounds a bit heavy, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable ride so please ride sensibly, control your speed and don’t take unnecessary risks.

We do recommend all riders have their own insurance arrangements in place to cover any such accidents. If you ride regularly and are concerned about your own insurance cover you’ll find British Cycling or CTC membership can offer you some protection or we offer our own specialist cycle related insurance services – http://www.evanscyclesinsurance.com/


We’ll be keeping an eye on the weather over the coming days and whilst some fine and dry conditions would be nice this time of year can be very changeable so check the forecast and come prepared for the conditions.

The course has a real mix of terrain, there’s mud, gravel, grass and tarmac sections, we’d strongly recommend a tyre with a decent amount of grip rather than a file tread and definitely no slicks!

Always keep alert and if riding in a group signal any hazards such as pot holes or obstructions to riders behind you.

We’ll be doing our final course set up on Saturday so will update if we find any specific areas of caution.


All riders will be given a hard copy of the route map at registration. Please keep this with you, even if you’re using a GPS, as it has useful information such as emergency contact numbers and the location of the ride splits and feed stations.

GPS Files can be found here – GPX / TCX / FIT

Strava fans can check out the routes and segments here – Strava Route

Everyone who has pre-entered will receive a pre-event mail on Thursday/Friday with links to the final GPS files. Whilst you’re welcome to download and view the provisional files we suggest you download the final version the day before the event just in case we have to make any last minute route diversions.

If you do not receive your pre event email please remember it will have been sent to the email address you used when booking the ride and do check it hasn’t been trapped in your junk emails folder. If you still don’t have it then email me on mark.gregory@evanscycles.com so I can check your entry and send you a copy.


As I’m sure most of you are aware that Sunday is also Armistice Day/Remembrance Sunday. There will be a two minute silence held at 11am at the event centre. If you’re out on the ride, especially if heading through built up areas, please be respectful of any remembrance parades or ceremonies that may be taking place during this time.

The event isn’t a race so stopping for a few minutes to pay your respects won’t make any difference to your result.


After your ride please feel free to stay around to enjoy the atmosphere and watch the racing. There’s junior racing in the morning then the senior women’s and men’s races in the afternoon.

13:30 – Senior Women’s Race (40 minutes duration)

14:45 – Senior Men’s Race (60 minutes duration)


Your rider times will be published on our website 24-48 hours after the ride, once available you’ll find them via the Rider Times link at www.evanscycles.com/ride-it

On course photography is by Neil Taylor Media, you can browse his images and purchase copies directly from their website at RIDE IT Sussex CX Sportive Photos

Finish line photographs will be published on our Facebook page after the ride, you’ll find them at www.facebook.com/rideitcyclingevents. You can tag, share or download the photo’s directly from the Facebook gallery.

If you’d like to share any of your own pictures you can do so on Instagram or Facebook by tagging @rideitcyclingevents


If you have any queries or questions relating to the ride that aren’t covered then please email rideit@evanscycles.com or get in contact with us via the facebook event page.

You can also keep up to date with the latest event information here and via the RIDE IT Sussex CX Facebook event page.

For any urgent last minute enquiries you can also contact the event manger via mark.gregory@evanscycles.com.


Malcolm Corbett 9/11/2018

Hi, I tried out the course yesterday and it’s challenging but good fun. There is one fast descent down a bridleway, I think near Parish Lane / Oldhouse Warren, which ends with a small bridge over Stanford Brook (I think). The bridge has a step up which I didn’t notice until I was nearly on it, too late to stop, so I ended up sliding down the bank into the water. No damage done, but I thought I would alert you. Anyone who can bunny hop and notices in good time should be able to jump the step, or get off and run/walk the bike. I am not suggesting changing the route, it is great fun, but a warning about the bridge would be useful.

Am looking forward to Sunday!


    Mark Gregory 9/11/2018

    Hi Malcolm, I saw your post on Facebook, looks like you had a fun ride despite the dunking! I know the place you mean and we do have caution and slow down signs to put up when we mark the routes out. See you on Sunday.

Malcolm Corbett 11/11/2018

I posted on the events page on FB. Well done for running such a great event. I was a bit worried that at 59 I might be a bit old to have a go at a cyclocross sportive (or any sort of sportive) for the first time, but although I am nursing a couple of bruises (from the same forest track!) it was very good fun. And it was great to see all the young competitors in the trophy competition. All in all a great day out. Thanks again for all your hard work.
Cheers, Malcolm

    Mark Gregory 12/11/2018

    Thanks Malcolm


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