Cyclosport.org PREVIEW: Wiggle Super Series Ups & Downs
by Adam Tranter
Words and Images:Â Mark Tearle
The North Downs and the Surrey Hills are classic cycling territory.Â I'm always on the lookout for an excuse to get up to Surrey and have a ride around this charming part of the country; it is always a fantastic experience.
On 1st May UK Cycling Events brings you the classic Ups and Downs Sportive as part of the Wiggle Super Series.Â An event which can be described as 'challenging', 'demanding', 'testing' and other such adjectives [delete as appropriate] that quantifies in a written form that this ride just ain't easy!Â But, despite that it is still an achievable and an enjoyable ride.
On Monday I accepted the invitation of UK Cycling Events Director Martin Barden (the next cover model of Men's Fitness Magazine* I am given to understand and subject of an article on UK Cyclosportives) to pop up to Denbies Vineyard near Dorking to preview the event.Â
It was a quick prep and then straight down to the business of riding our bikes.Â Now, if you're a hill hunter and like to check off your 100 greatest cycling climbs, this is a ride where you can bag two of the most [in]famous in the south-east - number 17. Leith Hill and number 18. (The take no prisoners) White Downs.
There's no escaping those two hills on any of the course options - Epic (101 miles), Standard (70 miles) and Fun (39 miles).Â But, these hills come within the last 15 miles of the course, so you have the nice flat(ish) mid-section to think about your attack strategy.Â
Don't let my repartee put you off - as I mentioned this ride is perfectly achievable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.Â The tricky opening section up and over the north downs will get the blood flowing and the ambling mid section through the scenic landscape of Surrey on quiet roads followed by the sting in the tail of Leith and White Downs will have you high fiving your achievements with your fellow riders and giving you a tale of bravery to tell to your partner, your kids or even your mum!Â Â
With the blossom still hanging in the trees and the Rhododendron's just breaking into bloom on the southern aspect of Leith Hill, this will make the effort of getting there all the more rewarding and give you some enchanting memories.Â Â
Book early, places are filling up fast ( nearly 600 riders took part in 2010) and with the added offer of a High5 Race Faster pack, worth over £12, as an early bird incentive if you book by the 20th of March, and the attractive goody bag and medal on completion, the routes, the scenery, the generous feed stations and other added extras this event is exceptional value for money.
Full details, entry information and a video of last years even can be found here http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/events/ups-downs-sportive/
*cover star may not be true (definitely not true) but UK Cycling Events will be featured in an article in Men's Fitness.
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