MORE than 1,000 cycling fans will set off from Longbridge town centre to take on the Mad March Hare Sportive on Sunday, March 24.

Cyclists will start the 66-mile challenge from Devon Way at 8am and are expected to finish the course between 10.45am and 3.30pm.

The route will see participants take in the Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Shropshire countryside, before returning to Longbridge for the home stretch.

Developer St. Modwen, which has its headquarters in Longbridge town centre, has offered space to host the event as well as providing rider parking and independent bicycle shop, C3J Cycle Centre has extended its opening hours to cater for cyclists’ last minute needs.

Keen cyclist Jonathan Green, from St. Modwen, said: “The Mad March Hare Sportive is one of the first major cycling events of the year, so there’s bound to be a great buzz in Longbridge.

“It’s fantastic to have an event of this scale taking place here and we’re pleased to have played a part in making it possible.

"Hopefully those taking part and coming out to support will take advantage of some of the great amenities Longbridge has to offer, including a number of great cafès, pubs and shops.”

Corinne Fox, from Mad MarchHare Sportive, added: “It’s set to be a great event and we hope that people who live on the route will be supportive of those taking on the 66-mile challenge - even a friendly wave can be a huge boost along the way.”