Wessex Heartbeat is urging people across the region to get on their bikes and get peddling as it announces its annual Cycle Sportive event.

The popular event, which is now in its fifth year, and sponsored by the Hendy Group, aims to raise thousands of pounds for the leading Hampshire cardiac charity.

Taking place on Sunday October 4, participants will choose between a gruelling 70-mile or 40-mile route across the beautiful Test Valley while travelling through historic market towns and cities including Romsey, Salisbury and Winchester.

Mark Busby, commercial director at Hendy, is proud to be supporting the cycling event again: “After such a strange year, where many events have had to be cancelled, it’s fantastic the annual Cycle Sportive event can go ahead next month and raise thousands of pounds for Wessex Heartbeat.

“We’ve always been great supporters of the charity and the health benefits of cycling.”

John Munro, CEO of Wessex Heartbeat, added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has given many of us a new focus on the importance of staying healthy, so that’s why events such as the Cycle Sportive is crucial in not only helping raise vital funds for Wessex Heartbeat but also helping people to get fitter.

“That’s why if you haven’t cycled since you were a kid or if you fancy yourself as the next Bradley Wiggins - Cycle Sportive is a fantastic opportunity for everybody to get on their bikes and start training for this brilliant cause.”

The event route will start and finish at Embley Park in Romsey and will take cyclists through Romsey over to Winchester, Stockbridge and Broughton where the 70 and 40-mile routes split. The longer route travels over to Salisbury and the shorter 40-mile route travels back to Romsey via East Tytherley.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, necessary steps will be put in place to follow strict health and safety procedures. On the day, the event will be arrowed and marshalled, and there will be mechanical support provided along the route.

To register for the event, please visit: https://www.heartbeat.co.uk/event/cycle2020