Rider Information

Information for riders taking part in the Black Rat Sportive on Sunday May 23rd

Registration will take place on Saturday 22nd May from 12.00 until 3.00pm and on Sunday 23rd May from 7.30am.

Entrance gate to Marlwood School (Start/Finish) will open at 7.15am on Sunday.

Address of HQ: Marlwood School, Vattingstone Lane, Alveston, Bristol, BS35 3LA

Directions: From Junction 16 of the M5, follow the A38 to Thornbury. At the traffic lights outside of Berkeley Vale Motors, turn left into Alveston Hill. After approx. 250m turn left opposite the Ship Inn on to Down Road, heading towards Aust. After approx. 500m turn right into Vattingstone Lane. The school is approx. 250m down this road.

Parking: There is enough parking on site for approx. 400 cars. Marshals will direct you to park your car considerately to allow everyone to have a space.

When you have parked, please go to the registration area to collect your rider number and timing chip. Rider number lists will be displayed in the registration area as well as on this website.

Registration will open at 7.30am on Sunday morning.

Go to the marked registration area and collect your rider number and timing chip from the appropriate desk. One desk will deal with riders from each event distance. Your timing chips will need to be attached to your bike. We recommend that they are attached with a supplied zip tie to the chain stay. The number board will need to be attached to your bike with supplied zip ties.

Emergency numbers:

Jeremy 07725227693

Tony 07967897860

Anders 07738613330

If you need assistance on the course, please call one of the above numbers and we will direct a mechanic to you. In some parts of the course the mobile phone signal will be very poor. Please try sending a text or ask other riders to contact us when they have a good signal. The above numbers can also be found on the reverse side of your rider number.
Mechanics will be mobile and will come across you if contact is impossible.

Ride Start Times:

Granfondo: 8.15am

Mediofondo: 8.30am

Piccolofondo: 9.00am

ONLY riders taking part in the Granfondo (GF) and Mediofondo (MF) events to start prior to 9.00am.

This is important because for the two longer distances we will have a timing mat set up just after the start. Anyone riding the Piccolofondo (PF) event should NOT cross this timing mat. It will be removed before the start of the PF ride.

When you start riding, you will be directed to the route by the marshal at the exit to the school. Please follow our signage, which will be black with an orange arrow. We have found in previous years that this is different enough from other signage so that no one follows the wrong signs.

A map of each route is available on the route detail page on this website. The maps can be downloaded to your GPS device.

The three routes follow the same roads until you reach the feed station at Monmouth. After the feed station Piccolofondo riders will turn left towards Mitchell Troy. Granfondo and Mediofondo riders will continue north through Rockfield.

MF riders will turn left when they reach Cross Ash and head towards Abergavenny. GF riders will continue to Hay on Wye where there will be another feed station and then turn left towards Gospel Pass.

All GF riders MUST cross the timing mat at Hay on Wye Feed Station in order to be given a Granfondo time. Failure to do so will result in you being given a Mediofondo time.

After leaving the second feed station, GF riders will head to Abergavenny where they will join the MF route, heading to Raglan.

In Raglan you will find the final feed station, available for MF and GF riders.

After leaving Raglan GF and MF riders will follow the same route to Devauden. En route you will join the PF route as you climb the Star on the Hill.

All riders will follow the same route back to the finish.

When you return to the school to finish the ride please ride through the finish arch to ensure that you get a time for your ride.

Your food and cider will be available at the finish upon the return of your timing chip. Please contact us if you require vegetarian option.

Please note that the timing chips are not disposable and the timing company will levy a £45.00 fee for any that are lost or not returned.


There are 2 sections of road on the GF and MF route which need extra attention.

The first section is where you join a major roundabout just outside of Abergavenny after leaving town. The roundabout is the junction of the A40 and the A465. You should exercise caution crossing this roundabout.

For GF riders only: On the descent of Gospel Pass, a couple of sections of the road are very narrow. Please be aware that cars will also be using the road so please give them space to pass where possible to avoid confrontation.