Event Review

REVIEW: Santini Cotswold Spring Classic 2015

by Jennifer Trotman

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REVIEW: Santini Cotswold Spring Classic 2015

Date: Monday 6th April 
Distances: 55km, 100km or 160km 
Entry fee: £28 
Participants: c.750 
Start: Cirencester College 
Feedstops: two on long route 
Catering: college canteen at HQ, free pasta bake & drink at finish 
Timing: electronic tag on bike number 
Signs: White arrows/text on red background. 
Roads: Scenic on mostly quiet country roads, some main road. 
Photos: Sportivephoto.com 
Goody bag: Medal & goody bag. 

The last time I did the Santini Cotswold Spring Classic was in 2011, and this year seemed like a good time to do it again.  Not sure why, since as I recall, it was awfully lumpy even back then!  

HQ is at Cirencester College, and the car park opened at 7:00am. As I headed up the M5 the sun was coming up and the street lights were going out one by one as I went past them, which was a little spooky.  I arrived at the car park just after 7:00am, one of the first to do so, which put me just a short walk from registration in the main school hall.   

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Sunny it may have been, but it was a bit nippy out there.  Mind you, it was still very early for a Bank Holiday morning!  There was a short queue for the few portable toilets outside, but having read the pre-ride pdf, I knew there were some inside so I nipped in to use those instead. My pre-ride email had also told me I was rider 740, so I found my registration desk, signed my life away, and was given my map, bike number with timing tag on the reverse & two cable ties, and a couple of bars. 

Back to the car for much faffing.  What on earth to wear? The forecast had said 14C, sunny, no wind. It was already feeling like warmer than that, and I didn't have summer kit with me. Deciding took quite a while and I was still pretty sure I had it wrong!   

Start times for the mid (100km) and long (160km) routes were from 8:00am, and I was away (post rider briefing) in the third of the groups of 50 or so riders being released at two minute intervals. Time to head off into the just slightly chilly Cotswolds. 

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I'd looked at the route profile beforehand so I knew that the first few miles, out through Cirencester and then beyond, were ok, then the hills would start. And they were hilly. And I was not warmed up.  There were two really big climbs, but I seemed to be grinding up them in survivable style.  I even sort of enjoyed one of them, so I was off to a good start.   

Not that this stopped me worrying...as if I was going to do the long route, which was still up in the air, the majority of the climbing would come in the last 40 miles!  It means that the organisers can run two events for two audiences. Anyone looking for a reasonable ride can do the 100km and anyone looking for a real challenge can do the longer route. Which was I? 

Ok, so the first chunk of hills were behind me, and I knew the next 30 miles would be a lot easier.  The scenery was lovely, especially in the sunshine.  Well it is The Cotswolds after all!  Chocolate box villages, cute cottages, country piles, all glowing yellow in the sunshine.  With flowers and trees and green countryside.  All very pleasant, all getting warmer and warmer...and I really don't like too hot.

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Official Review

1. Feed Stops (correct foodstuffs and energy drinks, the right many, well spaced) 9 out of 10
2. Timing (correct and easy to use) 10 out of 10
3. Signage (Clear, concise, maps, profiles, route card) 8 out of 10
4. Facilities (HQ, Parking, Toilets) 8 out of 10
5. Support (Sag Wagon, Outriders) 8 out of 10
6. Friendliness / Professionalism (Sign-in, marshals, support) 9 out of 10
7. Website - ease of use (Online and postal entry, clear concise) 9 out of 10
8. The Course (Area of outstanding beauty/scenic, quiet roads, cleverly designed?) 7 out of 10
9. Would you recommend it. (Would you ride again?) 9 out of 10
Overall Rating 85.6%




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