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Route Preview - Tackle Your Own Spring Classic with SRS Events

by Nick Gregory

With the professionals gearing up for the Spring Classics of Flanders and Roubaix, SRS Events are offering sportive riders in the UK a Springtime Classic of their own, a little closer to home. 

Now in its seventh year, and with three routes of 71, 53 and 35 miles on offer, it is the perfect test of early-season fitness that also helps raise awareness and funds for the Sussex Heart Charity. Feed stations en route are based at Village Halls, and not only offer energy drinks and gels, but also savory options such as delicious sausage rolls. They will also feature on-site toilets, mechanics and medics. 


All routes comprehensively marked with arrows, and riders are electronically timed with certificates and goody bags for all those who successfully complete the event. A free snack meal will be available to enjoy along with cycling films after the ride. Massages are also available at a specially reduced price courtesy of Hazel Crowley Sports Masseurs, and Avelo Images will be providing official event photography. 

Although the routes on offer are not marathon in distance, the terrain of the Springtime Classic is challenging, with stretches of flat and rolling terrain punctuated by some of the iconic South Downs ascents. Cyclosport takes a look at some of the key climbs: 

Pillow Mounds Hill
The first big test for all riders, Pillow Mounds Hill is a real test after riding relatively flat roads until now. With not much of a run up to the start of the hill, riders will also have to cross a small ford before starting this climb. The climb is at its steepest early on, before leveling off half way up. With fresh legs most riders can get to the summit with a smile on their face, although it may well set alarm bells ringing amongst those who have neglected the training programme since Christmas.


Kidds Hill 
Known locally as 'The Wall', Kidds Hill is preceded by a lovely descent down Colemans Hatch Road, which lasts around 2 miles. This descent offers an excellent opportunity to take on board something to eat and drink before the challenge ahead. It's a stay-in-the-saddle type of climb, until the last few meters where you can stretch the legs and crest the summit before being rewarded with the descent of Black Down Hill shortly after. 

Groombridge Hill
Riders taking on the Classic route go deeper into the Weald area of the South East, crossing over into the county of Kent to tackle the climb of Groombridge Hill.  Humorously nicknamed the "Col du Groombridge", this is no Alpine climb, but nevertheless, it provides yet another energy sapping challenge. Take it easy, as by this stage you won't even by half way round the Classic route yet. 


Cob Lane Hill
This infamous 20% cleat-braker has forced many to dismount in sportives gone by. Mercifully short, the climb is seriously steep - with an average gradient of 16%, but featuring stretches that flirt with the unimaginable. Thanks to its reputation, it has become a favourite hangout for event photographers, Avelo Images. 

To make things even more interesting, leaves from overhanging trees can often be found on the climb, making the surface of the road slightly slippery and even more difficult. Save a bit of strength for the climb though, and you should make it to the top on two wheels. 

Ardingly Reservior Hills
The final set of really testing climbs come in the form of the Ardingly Reservoir Hills. With tired legs, and still some distance to travel before you can enjoy that post-ride meal at HQ, it'll be a psychological battle as much as a physical one. 

The event already has 550 riders taking part, and this number is expected to rise significantly over the coming days. 

For more information, and to enter the event visit: 

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