Just 50 entries are left for this year's Black Rat sportive, which takes place on 22 May in Bristol.

One of the most popular sportives in the south-west, the Black Rat will return to Wales for 2022 after a Covid restrictions enforced a change of route in 2021.

Event HQ is Marlwood School in Alveston, near Bristol. This year will see riders choose from three distances: the Piccolofondo (90km), Mediofondo (120km) and Granfondo (184km).

All three courses follow the same route over the Severn Bridge as far as Monmouth before splitting. Riders on the Granfondo route will tackle the highest road climb in Wales, Gospel Pass, on their way to accumulating over 2500m of climbing.

New for 2022, the Black Rat has also introduced a shorter Minifondo route. At 45km, the Minifondo is designed for riders new to sportives or for whom the 90km Piccolofondo is just a little too long.

"If you feel that 90km is too much for you, we have a new, 45km 'Minifondo' route," say the organisers.

"You still get the testing climb up to Devauden and the excellent descent back to Chepstow, but you don't need to ride all the way to Monmouth and back. Register for the Piccolofondo and see how you feel on the day."

A broom wagon will be available in case of emergency, and all riders will benefit from the usual sportive trimmings including a well-signed route, chip timing and feed stations to resupply along the way.

Entries for the Black Rat are open now, with just 50 places remaining out of the original allocation of 500.

Prices start at £27 for the Piccolofondo and at £33, the Granfondo is one of the best value sportive challenges in the country.

For more information and to enter, visit www.blackratcycling.co.uk.