Event Review

REVIEW: The Dartmoor Classic 2014

by Jennifer Trotman

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REVIEW: The Dartmoor Classic 2014

Thanks to the generous and enjoyable hospitality laid on by event organisers, MDCC it's safe to say that I slept like a log on Saturday night. It's also safe to say that such things probably don't count as the most sensible way to prepare for a long, hot, sunny sportive... It was however, a very pleasant evening!

The Dartmoor Classic

Getting prepared

My 5:30am alarm call dragged me into a world where the light was alarmingly bright, and like it or not, it was time to ride a bike again. Not only was it sunny, but it was already pretty warm too. The forecast was hot and sunny, with little wind, so I opted for just one layer of kit, with my gilet in the saddle bag just in case. 

Having been put up at the Passage House Hotel in Kingsteignton it was only a short distance to the start at Newton Abbot racecourse, and since we'd all been warned about possible problems getting in and out of the venue, riding to the start seemed the way to go. 


Today was almost an Axbridge Cycling Group outing, and so a small group of us gathered in the adjacent Premier Inn carpark. The first pen was pretty full so we opted to start the second one. The ride has staggered start times, and colour-coded dossards and numbers so you can't cheat - and they do check! Ride organiser Ron was looking very dapper and gave us all a long briefing to pass the time before the official 7:00am start. The essence of it all however, was that we should enjoy ourselves. And that was my plan. To spend the day enjoying cycling around Dartmoor in the sunshine! 

The first pen was waved off at 7:00am. A few minutes later so were we. The first couple of miles were neutralised, with each group led about by an NEG outrider, presumably to spread us out and keep us well-behaved in town.  We were kept to a reasonable average speed, but after a couple of miles we passed the timing point and were let go on our way.  Well, that pretty much sums it up for riding with the group for me today.  Within 5 minutes, probably less, they were off, since they had silver medals to chase. 

 Time to go up 

It wasn't long before it was time to be going up the side of something. One of the things the Dartmoor Classic specialises in is very long, slow climbs that you can see from miles away, wiggling into the distance, making you well aware of what is ahead of you! However, it was still early, and not too hot, so I climbed my way out of Bovey Tracey and up onto Dartmoor, enjoying the views of Haytor and the like, and amusing other riders by pointing the camera at them from time to time.

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Official Review

1. Feed Stops (correct foodstuffs and energy drinks, the right many, well spaced) 10 out of 10
2. Timing (correct and easy to use) 10 out of 10
3. Signage (Clear, concise, maps, profiles, route card) 10 out of 10
4. Facilities (HQ, Parking, Toilets) 10 out of 10
5. Support (Sag Wagon, Outriders) 10 out of 10
6. Friendliness / Professionalism (Sign-in, marshals, support) 10 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?) 10 out of 10
9. Would you recommend it. (Would you ride again?) 10 out of 10
Overall Rating 98.9%

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