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BLAENAU INFO

INTRO – THE BLAENAU

The Blaenau 600 is a self-supported challenge ride through some remote country. It’s also relaxed and friendly. Ride it how you want. Solo, in pair, in a group. Fast or slow. It’s a high quality event, with tracking, a finishers pizza party, a fabulous route, and great company.

We’re keeping it small, with just 50 ‘open’ places (plus a few carried over from last year and three ‘guest’ or staff places – total 60), to retain the friendly and sociable feel that we all love.

Entries are now closed – please get in touch using the Contact Page or by emailing thecrosscartel@gmail.com if you would like to enquire about spaces which may have become available through rider withdrawals.

We will be maintaining a reserve list though, so please contact us if you miss out and we’ll add you to the reserves.

Distance

We offer a choice of two distances – 600Km or 480Km. They both share the same opening, then split shortly after the halfway point of the 600.

CLIMBING

There’s a lot! The total climbing on the 600 is around 14,000m, while the 480 comes in at around 10,000m.

TERRAIN

Both routes covers a full range of Welsh uplands, with connecting lowland valleys. It’s remote in places and it’s hilly throughout, and we’ve worked hard to avoid busy roads. You’ll cross several mountain ranges and experience a wide range of surfaces, from tarmac to rough rocky stretches, with everything in between.

OFF ROAD (DISTANCE)
45%
OFF ROAD (TIME)
75%

BIKE SUITABILTY

The route is suitable for either a gravel bike with decent sized tyres (40mm+) or a Cross Country MTB. They both have their pros and cons – gravel bikes are quicker and more agile on the smoother stuff, while MTBs are much more capable and comfortable on the rougher terrain. There’s more of the gravel bike friendly terrain, but the rougher stretches make quite an impression when you’re tired. Tough tyres are a must. Finishers in 2022 and 2023 were split roughly 60/40 in favour of gravel bikes.

START/FINISH LOCATION

Both routes start and finish at Epic Cycleworks in Ludlow, Shropshire. This is also where you will sign on, collect your tracker, and enjoy the post event pizza party.

ENTRY FEE

The entry fee is £99 for both the 600 and 480, and includes:

Tracker rental and live tracking (aka dot watching)

Route/GPX files

Rider manual, which for 2024 will include an outline of key re-supply points

Event rider cap

Barista coffee and pastries at the start

Pizza party

Event insurance (riders must also have their own personal 3rd party liability insurance)

Event tee

The Blaenau 600 is a not for profit event. Any surplus revenue will be donated to West Mercia Search and Rescue.

RIDER TRACKING

All riders will carry a tracking device provided by the event, and their progress will be published live by Follow My Challenge. In addition, all riders must record their ride on their own GPX units and send the files to us within 7 days of ride completion.

GPX ROUTE FILES

The final route, with any last minute changes due to local circumstances, will be sent to all riders around 10 days before the event, along with the event manual. The ‘official’ 600Km and 480Km routes for 2022 and 2023 are on our Routes page (the 2024 routes will differ slightly, but 90% will be unchanged).