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Event Review

REVIEW: Dartmoor Classic 2015

by Jennifer Trotman

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REVIEW: Dartmoor Classic 2015 

Date: Sunday 21st June 2015 
Distances: three routes - Debutante (women only Breeze ride 35 miles), Medio (67 miles), Grande (107 miles) 
Entry fee: £22,60, £32.00, £32,00 
Participants: c.4000 
Start: Newton Abbot Racecourse, Devon 
Feedstops: foodstop at Princetown - used once on short route, twice on long route which also has an additional stop. 
Catering: Welcome village at start/end with catering outlets. 
Timing: electronic tag on helmet 
Signs: black arrows on yellow background 
Roads: very scenic on quiet country roads. 
Photos: www.sportivephoto.com 
Goody bag: medal, kitbag, tube scarf, Ass saver and inner tube. 

One of the many lovely things about the Dartmoor Classic is that that the organisers, the Mid Devon Cycling Club, put up all their guests and sponsors the night before the event, and feed them too.  Which meant that rather than getting up at hideous o'clock to get down in time to register and ride on the day, I went down to Newton Abbot at my leisure on the Saturday. 

Being earlier than hotel check-in time I went straight to registration at the racecourse, where there was plenty of parking and plenty going on.  The event village was up and running, there was live music outside on the grandstand and people were milling around in the sun. This did not mean, however, that there were massive queues, quite the opposite in fact. It was all so efficient and took so little time that I didn't really know what to do with myself next, so I headed to where I was staying: the Passage House Hotel

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After a very pleasant meal with everyone it was time for a relatively early night. Sadly I didn't sleep well so 5:30am found me already up and drinking bad coffee. I ate a banana and cereal bar, went through the usual pre-sportive routine, and then got the bike out and set up before riding over to reception to check out. It definitely wasn't as nice as the day before. Windier, chillier, cloudier and the five minute ride to HQ made me very glad of my gilet and arm warmers. 

There was a small group of us due to be starting off together, if not riding so, and we all gathered slowly near the start. With us all finally together, and with several pens of Grande riders already en route, we all squeezed into the next pen ahead of the Medio riders as apparently all Grande riders had to be in this pen. Not that we were going anywhere anytime soon. I know a rider briefing is a good thing, but this one was interminable, and I'm not sure anyone was paying attention after the first couple of minutes. 

Finally it was our turn to go, with a neutralised start following a lead car, to keep us all well-behaved through the streets of Newton Abbot, before we were let off the leash a way out of town, past the timing gadgets, ready to get on with it. I stuck with the guys for about 20 minutes, but that was my limit... they're too fast!  

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This was my fourth time doing the Dartmoor Classic, and I was still up for the 107 mile Grande route I was registered for. However, I started having doubts early on, even though I did have words with myself about mentally shutting up until I'd at least warmed up properly, which today wasn't easy. 

Five miles of relatively flat warm-up, and we were going through Bovey Tracey and then up onto the Moor with the first climbing of the day. It's really one long climb up to Haytor, but comes in sections, which today included a closed road Strava segment timed ascent of Beckaford Hill.   

I plodded up the whole thing in my usual fashion, though with rather more rider traffic around me than was sometimes comfortable. I looked at the views - stunning as to be expected - as crawler gear engaged and it was all going ok.  Still, my average speed was barely in double figures, the wind up there was killer and I was still chilly. 

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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) 10 out of 10
4. Facilities (HQ, Parking, Toilets) 9 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?) 9 out of 10
9. Would you recommend it. (Would you ride again?) 10 out of 10
Overall Rating 95.6%




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