Look out for cyclists powering their way across Somerset and Dorset this weekend as the Tour of Wessex Cyclosportive's one of the biggest multi-stage events of its kind in the world gets under way.
Hundreds of riders will head out from Somerton, ancient royal capital of Wessex at 8am today.
Some have chosen the full 335-mile, three-day route which includes such classic climbs as Cheddar Gorge, King Alfred's Tower, Lulworth Ranges, Quantock Common and Porlock Toll Road.
Others will have opted for the 213-mile ride or an individual stage.
Each has its own unique mix of monuments, history and challenging terrain which sets it apart from other events.
The event is now in its ninth year and has been welcomed by local businesses and tourism leaders as welcome boost. Many riders choose to camp around Somerton, and it is a chance for local food producers to showcase and sell their wares.
Into Somerset the inward investment organisation is a partner. And Rotary is the official charity partner.
Later this year Tour of Wessex organiser Nick Bourne, who holds the world record for cycling the length of Africa, will set out from the shadow of the Pyramids of Giza with nine athletes from Africa and the UK, aiming to establish a new world record.
They leave on September 23 and forty days later, having each covered some 10,643 km, they will arrive in Cape Town, South Africa.
Besides record breaking, the undertaking aims to fund the Safari Simbaz Cycling Academy in Kenya and the provision of 100 bicycles for each of the countries that it passes through, supporting the visionary work of World Bicycle Relief and the realization of a world where distance no longer prevents access to healthcare, education and economic opportunity.
For more information visit www.bicycleafrica.org