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Can You Tame the Wiggle Jurassic Beast?

by Howard Johnson

The 3rd annual Wiggle Jurassic Beast Sportive is fast approaching and if you book before the 18th March, you will receive a free Maxi Fuel Race pack worth over £10.


The 2012 Wiggle Super Series is made up of 19 quality sportives. With many of the events based at prestigious venues in beautiful countryside, rider satisfaction is sure to be high. I have had a preview of what is in store, and it promises to raise the standard yet again of what should be expected at an event. I met Martin Barden and his colleagues of UK Cycling Events recently and was taken through the rider experience for the Jurassic Beast being held on May 13th in the National Tank Museum near Dorchester.


Starting at the Tank Museum in Bovington, there is ample tarmac parking facilities and additional overflow parking on adjacent land. Prior to the events, riders will be provided with quality GPS mapping from Garmin Connect and can even book a free Garmin Edge GPS demo for the event. Before the start, all riders will pick up their timing chip and their complimentary tea and coffee. There is also mechanical support if needed to ensure your bike is running smoothly before heading out on the course. 

There are 3 routes to choose from Epic 101miles, Standard 66miles, Fun 42miles. We chose the 66 mile route to ride. We set off into the Jurassic wilderness in search of hills. For the riders choosing the Epic route, the turn off for the extra 30 mile loop is only 2 miles from the start. This ensures the Epic riders will catch up with the riders on the standard route and complete the remainder of the standard & Fun routes together. There are no sudden hilly surprises on the standard or Fun routes; the first real test of leg power comes after 12 miles with the climb to East Chaldon. This is quite short, straight and rises to a 21% gradient towards the top. With spectacular views over the Jurassic coast waiting at the top. 


A short sharp descent takes you towards the coast and the gunnery ranges for the Armoured Brigade. This fascinating road is only open at the weekend, and the climb up to the first feed station (22miles) is surrounded by  gunnery targets. All events will have well stocked feed stations with free top class energy products courtesy of Maxi Fuel. Feed stations will have a 'Eat me' and 'Keep me' foods; so riders can top their energy instantly with bananas, cakes, Jelly Beans and flapjacks but also take a Maxi Fuel Gel, 9bar or Wiggle Jelly sweets to help them to the next feed station. 

The descent with a few short sharp rises takes the riders though Steeple, Church Knowle and on to Corfe Castle with its stunning views of its hill top castle. There will be marshals at the junction of the main road and you now take a clockwise route upwards towards Kingston to reach the 40 mile point of the standard ride and the second feed station.  


The 8 mile descent from Kingston to Stoborough Ridge will give you sufficient time to refuel and recover before the final major climb of the day at Cocknowle. You will know the climb is around the corner once you see a rather large duck pond on the left. If your legs are sore, stop here for a moment, feed yourself and not the ducks; this one is long, straight and a painful 17% at the top. The reward however is a short sharp twisty descent at first and then it opens out to a long arrow straight drop for over a mile. Let the bike go and enjoy the speed you have earned it.

Don't believe the ride is done yet there is still one long drag and a few short sharp climbs to drain the final ounces of energy from the legs. Once you arrive at Coombe Keynes there is just less than 5 miles to go, mostly downhill and back to the Tank Museum.


As you finish, riders will receive a finisher medal and a complimentary goody bag which is jammed packed with nice little touches; including a copy of Cycling Plus, Virgin active sports bottle, 9bar, Maxi Fuel Gel, Muc Off cleaner and Wiggle goodies.  Complimentary bike wash facilities courtesy of Nomad washers and Muc Off bike cleaning products for those wishing to clean their bikes. Riders can then relax with a Massage, and some hot food.

This ride has a 4 out of 5 difficulty rating, and I would agree with this. For a sportive in May, riders should have the stamina and energy to complete, and I did this in March! It hurt as it always does on the climbs, but the pain was eased with some stunning views, eye watering descents and what promises to be some wonderful scenery after riding through chocolate box villages, I would even recommend that you bring a camera and record some of the views for posterity.

Over 500 riders have already signed up, with more than 800 expected. If you book before the 18th March, you will receive a free Maxi Fuel Race pack worth over £10. Bargain!


If you fancy checking out last year's Jurassic Beast, here a link to the 2011 event Video: http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/videos/wiggle-jurassic-beast-sportive-video/

For more information on this and the other events in the Wiggle Super Series visit www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk

Images by Howard Johnson and UK Cycling Events