MORE than 1,000 cyclists are set to take part in the annual Saddleback Sodbury Sportive, which has become one of the most popular events of its kind in the South West in just two years.

The event, organised by Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club, features a choice of three routes, covering 30, 60 and 100 miles, all starting and ending in the town.

It was first staged in 2012 and last year involved 629 cyclists of all ages and abilities.

This year's rides will be held on Sunday, August 17, and the organising team said it was already on schedule to exceed its target of 1,000 entrants.

Mark Lloyd, spokesman for the Rotary Club, said: "The sportive appeals to a broad spectrum of cyclists, who can choose a distance to challenge themselves with a further goal of medal times to chase.

"The 30-mile route offers a more relaxed approach and allows the less regular and younger riders to take their time and enjoy the glorious countryside and friendly atmosphere.

"For the more experienced cyclists, the 60 and 100 mile routes provide great rides, balancing quiet country lanes, a few testing climbs up the Cotswold escapement with views across the Severn Valley and fast flat sections along the Severn Vale."

He said gold, silver and bronze target times would be established for each distance.

As last year's event attracted positive feedback, the routes will be kept the same as in 2013, which will also give those who completed last summer the chance to compare their own times.

Among those who have ridden in the sportive is former professional cyclist and Olympian Phil Bayton.

He said: "It was one of the most enjoyable days I have spent on a bike - great roads, wonderful scenery, excellent signage, first class feeding facilities and great food at the finish."

Anyone who wants to enrol for the event should log onto to enter online.