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Reigate Sunday Sportive REVIEW

by Holly Blades

Words and Images by James Berresford: A great flowing ride. I participated in the mid route and thought it was pitched just right. Not much in the way of heavy climbs but enough variation to keep the effort high and still maintain a nice rhythm. The organisation; road marking, timing and feed locations were good and the weather was nigh on perfect.


Essentials
Distances: 135 km / 95 km / 86 km
Participants: 100 / 150 / 50 (Entries available on the day)
Start: Reigate College
Cost: £18 / £16 / £15
Transport: Parking on-site Reigate Station <1km
Feedstops: 2 / 2 / 1
Timed: Yes (Quick release attached tag system)
Signs: Black Arrows on an Orange background for direction, Black Arrows on a Yellow background for information
Road: A lot of potholes and badly patched tarmac
My Ride: http://www.strava.com/rides/reigate-sunday-860575


The ride
The ride start was at Reigate College, perfectly positioned for a train traveller like me a few hundred yards from the station. The weather had decided to play along as it was a perfect, stone still 23 degrees when I arrived on site to register. This was smooth and painless using the quick release tag system for timing and a few numbers to attach to your handlebars, seat-post and helmet.Redhill cycle club had obviously co-opted this as their club run as there was a swarm of red and white jerseys making their start before me.


After meeting my friend Jon we followed on behind. Heading east we immediately climbed up Croydon Road before skirting Mercers Country Park and moving south, picking our way through picturesque lanes surrounded by open fields.The ride climbed again up Prince of Wales Road before settling into a long flat section.


I somehow managed to get myself involved in a sportive duel with a guy I later found out was also called James and hailed from Wandsworth. This made the ride a lot of fun, though he could really roll on the flats and keeping in touch with him over a pancake flat 15km section to Marsh Green really took some doing.


Fortunately for me at this point the road again turned upwards where I seemed to be a bit more comfortable and continued with a few short digs until meeting the first feed-stop around 54km in.


Not long after the feed I turned off for the mid-route where we hit the biggest climb of the day a drag up Mapleton Road. Having opted for the shorter route the next feed followed not long after. 


The last real climb came near Tilburstowhill Common before we head back through Bletchingley and joined familiar ground around Redhill and a short push until we were home.The good weather was still holding we settled down on the grass and enjoyed the complementary cup of tea and the food they were preparing on site. 


Learning
This is my last big ride before I head to France for l'Etape du Tour. I stepped down to the mid distance to give myself a bit of a break, it felt pretty good doing 100km and I think my legs are grateful for it now. I also used it to break in a few new bits and pieces on the bike ahead of the ride, brake shoes, cleats, etc. I've just got to keep myself illness and niggle free until the end of the week now.





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