Rider Info

Information for riders taking part in the Black Rat Sportive on Sunday May 20th.

Registration will take only place on Sunday 20th May. 

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 opposite the Cross Hands pub. The school is approx. 250m down this road.

Parking: There is enough parking on site for approx. 500 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 be attached to the back of the number board. The number board will need to be attached to your bike with supplied zip ties. 

You will also need to sign to confirm your acceptance of the risks of taking part. Without signing your event insurance is invalid.

Emergency numbers: 

Jeremy 07725227693

Tony 07967897860

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 Time: 8.45am.

ONLY riders taking part in the Granfondo (GF) and Mediofondo (MF) event to start at 8.45am. 

Riders taking part in the Piccolofondo (PF) event to start at 9.15am
This is important because for the two longer distances we will have a timing mat set up just after the start. Anyone riding the 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 new signage, which will be black with an orange arrow. We found last year that this is different enough from other signage so that no one follows the wrong signs.

Full route directions are available on the Black Rat App. Download for free from Google Play and the App Store (not available for Windows phones). A QR code is available on the Home page of our website which you can scan to download the app.

The three routes follow the same roads until you reach Raglan. At Raglan, Piccolofondo riders will turn right and head towards Monmouth. Granfondo and Mediofondo riders will turn left and head to Abergavenny.

The first feed station for GF and MF riders will be in Abergavenny next to the bus station. Clean, public toilets are situated 20m from the feed station.

After leaving the feed station, MF riders will turn right and head to Monmouth. GF riders will continue to Gospel Pass.

After cresting Gospel Pass, GF riders will head to Longtown, where the second feed station is situated in the village hall. Toilets are available to use in the village hall.

After leaving the second feed station, GF riders will head to Monmouth.

After leaving Monmouth all riders will follow the same route to Trellech where the next feed station is situated in the village hall. Toilets are available.

After leaving Trellech, 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 hog roast (or veggie option) and cider will be available at the finish.


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 then continue on the A40 into town. The roundabout is the junction of the A40 and the A465. You should exercise caution crossing this roundabout. After leaving the roundabout you will ride for 1km on the A40 into Abergavenny - although the road is not usually very busy on Sunday mornings.

For GF riders only: On the climb to 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.