Altura Malvern Mad Hatter Sportive
As a mid-summer sportive test, the Altura Malvern Mad Hatter pretty much has it all. Weaving around rural roads shared between the three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the route will give you tough climbs, fast descents and amazing views across the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains of Wales and more.
The first loop of the ride is relatively easy going, compared to the rest of the ride, as you start south of Great Malvern and ride an anti-clockwise circle around the town. Passing through small villages such as Rhydd, Powick and Alfrick, you’ll touch the outskirts of Worcester before stopping for the first feed stop. Gradient up until this point is rolling and free-flowing, allowing you to settle into the ride.
Starting to head back towards Great Malvern, the toughest climb of the day rears its head, and Malvern Hill is yours to conquer before you can pass on to Herefordshire and beyond. The iconic climb is a long and gradual continuous effort and can become steep in sections.
Your effort will be worth it when you reach the top, though, with spectacular views across the sprawling landscape, equally matched by a fast and frantic descent that mirrors the harsh gradient of the climb in reverse.
From here on in, you’ll spend the rest of the ride battling the Malvern and Cotswolds hills, heading out west almost as far as Hereford. Dipping south, the River Wye comes and goes to your right, while you’ll enjoy occasional glimpses of the stunning hills and landscape facing outwards towards Wales.
The odd spike in gradient will present itself between then and the finish line, as you can head back through the quiet and undisturbed rural roads at a pace to suit you.