A POPULAR 75km cycling challenge will bring hundreds of riders through Wyre Forest to raise money for St Mary's Hospice.

The Birmingham charity's Ride the Reservoir challenge is back in March for its fourth year, but this time with new routes added for beginners, families and pros.

Taking place on Sunday, March 15, the popular sportive starts at Bartley Green and heads into the villages of Belbroughton, Chaddesley Corbett and Drayton.

This year, there will also be a 25km route aimed at new cyclists or families, starting in Bartley Green and heading through Bournville, Cannon Hill Park and Woodgate Valley Country Park, before heading back to the reservoir.

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The route will follow cycle paths and canals, with just a small amount of cycling on the road required.

A new 100km route is aimed at more experienced riders and will take participants through Tutnall, Beoley and Alvechurch before returning via a demanding uphill section past the Lickey Hills.

St Mary's is calling on generous riders to take on the challenge and fundraise to help provide care and support for people living with life-limiting illness.

Last year's ride saw more than 600 cyclists raise over £23,000 for the charity, making it a sell-out event.

Laura Nash, events manager at St Mary's Hospice, said: "Ride the Reservoir is always a popular event and a fantastic way to kick start the cycling season.

"Over the years, many of our riders have told us that they’d like to see the route extended so that they can up their challenge, or that they’d like to see a more accessible route for their families – which is why we’ve introduced two new routes.

"We’re looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in March, along with welcoming new cyclists.”

She added: "It will cost £9m to run our vital services this year and this figure continues to rise as we see more people who need our vital care.

"That's why sponsorship money from events like Ride the Reservoir is so crucial, as it enables the Hospice to continue to care for individuals and their loved ones when they need it most.”

Registration costs £15 for adults and £10 for children for the 25km route, £22 for the 75km and £27 for the 100km challenge.

To sign up, go to birminghamhospice.org.uk/ride-the-reservoir-2020.