Following another fantastic year for cycle sport in the UK, with another record medal haul from the Olympics and Chris Froome winning the Tour de France again, the future stars of the sport will once again be heading to the Mendip Hills to take part in two days of exciting racing.

The Screentek International  Junior Tour of the Mendips, which is now in its seventh year, is an established race on British Cycling’s Junior Road series attracting young riders aged 16-18 from across the UK to race over three demanding stages on the northern side of the Mendip Hills in a battle to be crowned ‘King of the Mendips’.

Many of  Great Britain’s latest crop of talented young cyclists – the likes of World Champion Jon Dibben and Team Sky’s Alex Peters (winner in 2012) – have previously taken part in the event, and this year’s field will undoubtedly include the names and faces of the future.

The Junior Tour of the Mendips is organised by Bristol’s only youth-focused road cycling club BCDS (Bristol Cycling Development Squad), and the club is very pleased to be able to showcase what the region has to offer for cycling – with day two of the event widely recognised as the most gruelling single race anywhere in the country as part of the series.

The race is taking place on the weekend of 8th & 9th April this year. Starting from Chew Valley Leisure Centre, Saturday morning’s stage will be a short individual Time Trial from Chew Stoke, through West Harptree finishing close to the New Manor Farm Shop near Bishop Sutton. Total distance 4 miles.

The afternoon stage will then see the riders complete seven laps of a circuit on the top of the Mendips that includes passes of Yoxter towards Cheddar, passing close to Priddy before turning onto the B3134 and passing by the Castle of Comfort Inn.  A total distance of 65 miles.

Sunday’s stage will depart again from Chew Stoke heading along the A368 through Ubley and Blagdon to take in the climb of Burrington Combe. Riders then retrace part of the previous day’s stage past Priddy and heading through Chewton Mendip on to West Harptree and then return to Blagdon to climb Rhodyate Hill. The race then retraces the route to Chewton Mendip and West Harptree  to climb Harptree Hill to the finish. A total distance of 50 miles and over 4,200 feet of climbing.

The route has been approved by the police and the riders will be protected by a fleet of escort motorcycles and cars. The passage of the race through the area may cause short delays to other vehicles on the routes at the same time but these will be kept to a minimum by the race officials. We welcome local residents to experience the thrill of live sport passing by their front door and encourage them to come out and support what promises to be a very competitive and exciting weekend of high-quality cycle racing.

And if anybody would like to volunteer to assist and/or to sponsor the event in some form it would be hugely appreciated by the organisers – the aim is to make the Junior Tour of the Mendips the very best event in the series but it does rely entirely on the support and goodwill of volunteers (whether cyclists themselves or not).

Further information can be found at www.bristol-cycling.com

The organisers will be using #JuniorMendips in all social media posts about the event.

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