Last weekend saw several Looe pioneers showing what amazing athletes they are as they took to two wheels to take part in the extremely challenging bike ride - Coast and Clay sportive 2021. This was on the hottest weekend of the year, with temperatures reaching 27 degrees. There were several distances on offer to the athletes, Nina Bond, Helen Lawes and husband Simon Lawes both opted for the 44 mile route known as the Challenge. Phil Gibson, completed in the Epic, a 71 mile route. Whereas Mandy Gibson opted to complete the longest of the routes on offer known as the Extreme, being 104 miles long.
All of the athletes' starting point was Padstow, the athletes rode down to St Mawgan, near to Cornwall Air Ambulance, where they turned towards St Columb Major at the 11.5 mile mark. At this point the route varies depending on the distance they have signed up for. For the 44 mile route, the athletes head south towards Summercourt, then turn to Mitchell and turn again to St Newlyn East, by now the athletes are at the 25 mile mark. Athletes head up to Kestle Mill and on to St Columb Minor. From mile 30 they head north, having a view of the sea, at Harlyn, mile 42, athletes turn towards Padstow to finish their race.
For those on the 71 and 104 miles route, they leave the other athletes at the 11.5 mile mark, where they take a wider loop around Rosenannon, Ruthernbridge, Victoria and Roche. From here there is a significant increase in elevation making the athletes work even harder. Reaching the highest point in the route, of nearly 1000 feet. Both groups head back towards Indian Queens, moving south to give the athletes a view of Meledor. At mile 44 the two groups split, with the 71 mile group turning towards Summercourt and completing the same route as the Challenge group. Whereas the Extreme group travel the 8 miles on to St Austell and Charlestown. From here the athletes move on to Hewas Water and at mile 67 make it to Lamorran. Moving over to Malpas, then the rides start travelling north to Tresillian at mile 72 and up to Brighton. Here athletes rejoin the 71 mile group at Summercourt and complete the same route as previous riders.
Nina Bond completed the 44 mile route in 4:27:05. Simon Lawes finished the route in 4:33:22, with Helen Lawes completed the route in 4:34:38 and this was her longest ride to date. Phil Gibson completed the 71 mile route in an impressive 6:38:10. Mandy completed the 104 mile route in 7:55:53, being the first female back, an unbelievable achievement.