Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A date change, some exciting news and an unmissable offer!!

Just a short post this week guys, to keep you updated on the latest from Red Kite Events. There's been an event date change and a couple of announcements, which are very exciting!!

The date change is for the Elan Valley Challenge. The event has moved from the 9th June to be held instead on the 23rd June. The routes all remain the same, and the rides will be just as challenging, so come along for some great biking and an awesome day out! We've just added an extra route to the MTB event - 130km!! Please bear in mind this will be seriously tough ride, with just over 4100 metres of climbing overall. Only accept the challenge if you're seriously fit and really up for it...

A special offer for the Sportive rides is currently being offered - enter both the Elan Valley Sportive and The Shropshire Devil Sportive events for just £45. That's a saving of at least £10, if you're choosing the shortest routes, or more if you're entering any of the longer routes. So sign up now to get this great deal - if you can handle 2 sportives over 2 weekends...

Red Kite Events is also pleased to announce that the Summer Evening XC Series are returning, with the first ride taking place on the 26th May at Mansel Lacy (7 miles north west of Hereford). The series are a British Cycling Regional B Ranking Points Race and these points can be banked over the series. The course is excellent, at a great venue, and extremely well organised with catering onsite, hard standing parking and computerised timing. The race is supported by British Cycling and prizes are supplied by our sponsors - Continental Tyres, Nuun Hydration, Mule Bar and Green Oil.

Later in the year, we are also excited to announce the return of the Winter XC Series. This cross-country series will run throughout winter and the course will consist of a mix of forest roads, single tracks and technical trails. Once again, the series will be British Cycling points eligible. All events will be held at Coed Trallwm, near Llanwrtyd Wells, and will take place from October onwards.

For more information on the XC Series, such as how to enter and entry fees, check out our website at You can also find information on all our fantastic Sportive and MTB events that are being held throughout the year, starting with our very next event, the Arrow Sportive on 11th May. It's time to get excited for some great cycling people!

Our Twitter feed is @redkiteevents1 or check out our Facebook page: for loads of interesting titbits, more offers and information about the events.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Devil's Challenge - Llanwrtyd Wells 7th April 2013

Over 510 riders turned out in Llanwrtyd Wells to take part in the Devil’s Challenge I on Sunday 7th April. The weather was good – cold in the wind but dry and reasonably sunny. For Mid-Wales, any weather that is not rain is good!

The Devil’s Challenge was made up of three events: the road sportive, the MTB challenge and, for those less keen on cycling, a choice of either a 10km or a half marathon run.

The road cyclists were first off, leaving Llanwrtyd in groups of 8-10 from 8am onwards. Riders had either a 30, 50 or 80 mile ride ahead of them, and what the rides may have lacked in distance they most certainly made up for in hills, with the 80 mile route taking in a massive 3570m of climbing overall. The routes wound through some of the most stunning scenery Mid-Wales has to offer, including Abergwesyn Common, and took in climbs such as Cwm Owen (Tour of Britain). For those doing the 50 and 80 mile rides, the notorious Devil’s Staircase waited for them near the end of the route, a last tough push before the final miles back into Llanwrtyd.

At 10.30am, the MTB riders set off in an impressive mass start, with hundreds of riders flowing through town before heading off into the hills and mountains around Llanwrtyd to experience some of the best technical and most exciting mountain biking Wales has to offer. As with the sportive, riders had three routes to choose from – 30, 60 or 80km of tracks that took in the Cambrian Mountains, as well as trails throughout the Crychan and Irfon Forests.

With tough riding, it was not surprising when about half an hour into the MTB event, the organiser Neil received a call over the radio alerting us to the fact that someone had stacked it on a hill and had potentially broken his jaw! All Red Kite Events are covered by Strata Medical, and one of their crews was quickly on the scene to assess the damage.

The feed stations were kept busy as a mixture of road and MTB bikers flowed in to take a break, have a snack and refuel. Peter James, owner of the Drovers Rest, supplied welcoming homemade cakes and biscuits for the feed stations situated along the routes. The cakes proved very popular amongst riders on Sunday, with several even stuffing them up their lycra shorts to eat later! Also popular were the energy tablets supplied by Nuun and the 20kg of jelly babies that were available at the stations as a quick pick-me-up.
Steve Cornish, from Cyclist No1 Magazine, commented: “It was a cracking route for the marathon today, as were the homemade cakes at the feed stations!”

The feed stations were manned by volunteers. The volunteers make the events run by Red Kite Events, and without their help and enthusiasm, the events would not be nearly as good as they are, so a huge thanks goes to everyone who helped out on the day and made the day as good as it was.

Speaking after the event, a representative from Swindon Mountain Bike Club said: “I am still feeling wrecked after the 80km option at the Devil’s MTB,” and another rider, Jim Tipp, added: “The Devil’s MTB Challenge was tough as a bottle full of tuff stuff. Awesome descents!”

Others were equally impressed, and the sportive riders were full of praise for a great days cycling, with one rider stating: “I enjoyed my first ever sportive. I take my hat off to those who rode all of the Devil’s Staircase”. Another said: “It was a stunning Devil’s Challenge sportive today – a great few hours in gorgeous countryside”.

I personally drove the 80 mile road route to ensure there were no riders left out on the course, and can safely say it was some of the most beautiful Welsh countryside I have ever seen. Although I live in Mid-Wales, and have done so for nearly 15 years, even I hadn’t travelled along some of the tiny roads the sportive riders went down, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, exploring the stunning scenery right on my doorstep. I found the last 80 mile riders eventually, taking in the Devil’s Staircase climb, and stopped to chat to the last rider, who said she had had a fantastic day out and had thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Overall, it is clear to see that the day had been a huge success and the event could not have gone better. Everyone we spoke to had had a great day and everyone was commenting on the trails and routes, remarking how beautiful the scenery was and seeming genuinely pleased to have done their rides.

And now it’s not long until the next event offered by Red Kite Events. It will take place on the 11th May (less than a month away!) and is a road sportive event only. The event will start in Leominster, before turning west into Mid-Wales for some brilliant and challenging climbs. There will be 38, 70 or 105 mile options for riders. For more information about this event, or any of the others offered by Red Kite Events, please visit We hope to see you all there to take part in what is bound to be another spectacularly good day of cycling!

Red Kite Events is run by a group of road and mountain bikers, who aim to bring the very best in events and trips away. They run cycling events throughout the year around Mid Wales and the English Borders, and promise great routes, well organised events, a friendly atmosphere and excellent food supplied by their business partner, the Drovers Rest. 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

2013 Itinerary - Get it in your diaries quick!!

2013 looks set to be a really exciting time for Red Kite Events. Over the past few years, we have been developing our range of excellent Sportive and MTB events and 2013 sees us launch a now complete range of events in Mid Wales, Shrewsbury, Leominster and Norfolk. With seven events to look forward to, it’s going to be a busy and challenging year for all road and MTB riders!

The first event on the Red Kite Events calendar was the Shropshire Devil, which was held on the 10th March. Although the route started and finished at the Sports Village on Sandorne Road in Shrewsbury, it quickly headed south into Wales. Competitors faced a hilly route for both distances, with plenty of challenging riding! Everyone who attended had a great day and enjoyed the ride - many are now planning to attend the next event, the Devil's Challenge, to be held in the smallest town in Britain - Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, on the 7th April.

The start and finish lines will be on the square at the centre of Llanwrtyd. As well as the Devil’s Challenge road competition, Red Kite Events are organising an MTB event to run alongside. Both the road bikes and MTB’s will use the same start and finish lines, and share one common feeding station. This format was used last year and was a resounding success. Llanwrtyd Wells is perfectly situated for riders to enjoy some beautiful vistas and the road route will wind through some of Mid-Wales' most stunning scenery, as well as taking in climbs such as Cwm Owen (Tour of Britain). Riders will also face the challenges presented by the Eppynt Mountain and the Cambrian Mountains, and the most difficult climb of the day is saved until last: the notorious Devil’s Staircase. For those that would prefer a slightly easier ride, shorter routes are much flatter and have been designed for the novice rider. There is also the opportunity for runners to take part in the race.
The next event on the busy Red Kite Events schedule is the Arrow Sportive. This will be held on the 11th May and will start in Leominster in Herefordshire, with the route heading north to take in the first big climb: Clee Hill. Afterwards, riders turn west into Mid Wales and hit more climbs, including Radnor Forest, Cwm Owen and the Berwyns.

Our fourth event, to be held on the 9th June, showcases the Elan Valley, set in the heart of Mid-Wales. The route will encompass some truly beautiful scenery and starts off from the Elan Valley Visitor Centre, near Rhayader in Powys. From there, the route heads west to the first feeding station on Aberystwyth’s sea front, which offers riders a brief respite, before going north, taking in the climbs of Nant-y-Moch and the Devil’s Bridge Arch. As with the Devil’s Challenge in April, Red Kite Events will also be running an MTB event on the same day.

Red Kites Events offers the biggest challenge yet in our fifth event of the year, the Shropshire Devil II. The long route will be a serious test of stamina for those taking on the challenge, covering 110 miles and taking in some major climbs. The medium route will also be tough and challenging. The course covers the southern areas of North Wales, offering a differing route to the previous Shropshire Devil event. Our second visit to the Shropshire Sports Village will be on the 30th June. Shorter routes will be available, as always designed as an introduction to sportive events.

Anyone left standing from the Shropshire Devil II should not underestimate the sixth event of the year on offer, the Breckland Devil due to be held on 22nd July. The start and finish will be at the High Lodge Visitors Centre in the Thetford Forest. Although the route is flatter than the others we offer, the riding is tough and will test riders endurance to the max. Even our recce team (all from Mid Wales) were shocked to discover how tough they found Norfolk riding to be, and they are all used to riding mountains on a daily basis! The routes head north and the long route stops off for food on the North Norfolk coast, making for a pleasant break.

Abergwesyn Common - looking towards Devil's Staircase

For our final challenge of the year, we head back to Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys for the Devil’s Challenge II. Once again, the routes start and finish on the square in town and an MTB event is planned to run alongside the road event, with both events sharing one common feeding station. Although the routes will differ from April’s event, do not expect them to be any less of a test, and make sure you come prepared for some serious hills!

Why not try one, two or even more of our events this year? They promise to be a true challenge and all of them cover fantastic terrain, with great riding set against some seriously stunning backdrops. There are courses and routes to suit all abilities and, with both road and MTB covered, there really is no excuse not to head out and get involved! 

And for anyone who is a fan of jelly babies, here's a little incentive - we have 20kg of them ready and waiting for you to devour at the next event of the year - the Devil's Challenge on 7th April. 

For more information and details on all the events, routes and profiles, as well as online entry forms, please visit We look forward to seeing you soon!

Red Kite Events are supported by: Mercedes Vito/Euro Commercial, Nuun, Mule Bar, WhackJob Clothing, Continental Tyres, Strata Medical and Muvi Cameras.