In what will be the charity’s first real event since last March, entries are open for Cornwall Hospice Care’s Coast and Clay Sportive in July. A multi distance one day cycling event, it’s become very popular since it was first introduced by St Columb Rotary Club.

The healthcare charity took the event over in 2019 but had to cancel last year due to the pandemic.  Now it’s back with the support of title sponsor Clive Mitchell Cycles and proving a hit with cyclists desperate to get out and face a challenge.  There are routes for everybody, from the complete beginner to the hardened cyclist with distances from 17 to 104 miles.

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One of those already signed up is Henry Lewis from Truro (pictured above). A keen hockey player, he took up road cycling in the last year. “When Covid took over, team sports were put on hold and I wanted something more interesting than running to keep me busy. I’m still really enjoying it and decided to buy a bike that’s far more advanced than my actual ability. I work in an NHS mental health service and the last year has been an absolute rollercoaster. It sounds hideously cliché but cycling gives me a bit of headspace after a difficult day.”

Henry says he was talked in to the Sportive by friends Ryan and Alex who will compete with him. “I was keeping fit for my wedding to Jess in April and we wanted to set ourselves a bit of a challenge but were under no illusion that over 100 miles would probably end in some long-term injuries and embarrassment. 71 is a stretch but we’ve got a few months to train!”

I'll be absolutely delighted if I finish!

Henry says he has close hockey friends who’ve received support from Cornwall Hospice Care in the past. “It’s a fantastic charity and a large part of justifying the pain of over 70 miles and 6000ft of climbs. I will be absolutely delighted if I can finish without breaking the bike or my own legs. 71 miles in itself would be fine in most other parts of the country, but Cornwall has a unique ability to throw hill after hill at you and I think they’ve fully utilised that on the planned route.”

Inspired by Henry and fancy the idea of taking part in one of Cornwall’s top sportives?