Add to My Calendar
Export to Outlook
Export to Google Calendar
Export to iCalendar
5 out of 10
Correct Details

Spring Onion Classic - 3 Mobile Sportive

13/03/2011 - Leatherhead Football Club - Sportive

Rating: Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 71.2% based on 39 reviews

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 74.4%


I thought this was a good event and some of the comments were a bit harsh. This is not a BIG sportive like the Southern Sportive or the Dragon Ride and price is not that high. For an early season test it is quite good. Had no problems with the parking, the sign on, the route, the signage or the results, although on one single occasion I was in a group going quite fast and we almost missed a left turn. A few signs before such sharp turns especially after downhill sections would be good. I thought the feedstop was fine and knew in advance where it would be and always bring my own food and gels so no surprises. Can't fault the organiser for the state of the roads or for punctures. Overall, a friendly atmosphere, a really good route and a good early season ride. Would do again.

Rated Event: 68.8%

john wrote:

good event,course good start ok,just signage and feed station needs some changes

Rated Event: 47.7%

AWildRover wrote:

By current cyclosportive standards this one is a bit below par. It's a sportive that feels like it's being run on a shoestring and offers the rider poor VFM. The whole sportive seems to have been organised with the minimum levels of staffing and support. Once again you feel that a cycling club which in the past might have organised a cheap, no frills early-season reliability ride has jumped on the sportive bandwagon in order to charge much higher prices, attract a lot more riders from a wider population than the usual cycling club fraternity (very few female cyclists incidentally), and rake in more money for the club coffers. Seasoned riders from traditional cycling clubs would probably be ok with this, but I can see why others would be disappointed and might want to look elsewhere for a good sportive experience.

No route map provided at the start - we were told to print one off the website, which turned out to be a very small-scale OS map with the route drawn over it by hand. I never found the GPS route map, despite the website suggesting that one might be provided.

Surprised by how early the refreshment stop was - after only 25 miles of a 78 mile ride. If there's going to be only one stop provided (perhaps there should have been two), it's better if this is done at the halfway point or a bit later - psychologically better to have got the main part of the ride over before stopping. In the case of the Spring Onion route, that would have the advantage of positioning the stop after the rather hilly southernmost section of the course through The Mens/Bedham. The refreshment stop itself seemed very constricted and congested, tucked in to the entrance to a pub and hemmed in by a van. No gels or drinks as promised, only some cake and halves of banana. No toilet facilities that I could see.

Some stretches of road that we rode over had very poor surfaces and great care needed to be taken in places not to hit potholes at speed. Unfortunately such conditions are going to be inevitable when you try - I think correctly - to take cyclists down attractive country roads rather than busy main roads in an area where the local councils - Surrey and West Sussex - haven't got the cash to carry out many road repairs. I passed many cyclists with punctures throughout the route, and counted myself lucky to finish with the bike intact. But to be fair the conditions were no different to those we've been used to riding in all winter.

To my surprise, the red route markings painted on the road generally worked well, but I did almost miss one turning, and I saw a cyclist way ahead of me who had apparently carried straight on. Marshalling was virtually non-existent. My wife, who was waiting to catch sight of me along the route, took it upon herself to do some impromptu marshalling at the complicated and busy junction with the A281 near Rudgwick after she saw cyclists going astray. Also there were no signs. I didn't see any signs anywhere warning cyclists of dangerous corners. Nor did I see any signs anywhere warning motorists that there were cyclists on the road, as one sees at other cycling events - was this deliberate?

I had no problem with the climb of Whitedown occurring near the end of the ride. I knew it was coming, and I had prepared myself for it, taking care to leave something in the tank; it turned out to be an easier climb than I expected. However, I was surprised by how many motor vehicles were going up and down this single-track lane. Some forced their way up past wobbling cyclists, which struck me as dangerous. The road seems to be used as a cut-through by motorists.

I didn't have a problem with the route using the A248 and A25 on the approach to Whitedown. I was quite glad for some good roads, although there were hold-ups because of traffic congestion - mostly as cars negotiated their way past cyclists further up the road!

A strong point was that there was lots of car parking. That said, I was initially directed, along with many other drivers, into a car park that was already full. I then had to guess where the rest of the car parking was (again, minimal marshalling, no signs).

The start went smoothly, despite the number of riders waiting to leave, and the finish was smooth too. The people here and elsewhere were friendly and chatty, which was welcome.
I found the football club bar area rather congested after the ride. There were long queues, it was difficult to find somewhere to sit, and there was a poor selection of food for sale.

Overall, despite some of my more negative comments above, I liked the route and I enjoyed the ride! Thanks to SWRC for organising it!

Rated Event: 37.7%


It felt cheap. Awful refreshment stop, one only, at 25 miles! The signage was red spray paint arrows on the road and hardly any marshalls, not even with bibs. It felt like a cynical money spinner.
The route was good and hard, though the state of the roads was appalling. It rained that day and I must have seen 100+ punctures, literally. Nasty sections such as sharp left turn on Whitedown descent should have been singed/marshalled. I heard crashes behind me on bad corners.
For experienced sportivers, unless you come prepared and keep a watchful eye for bad sections and arrows, avoid.

Rated Event: 69.9%


Rated Event: 61.1%

RML wrote:

Just having signs on the road was a mistake although I think signs on the road (with more warning) and signs on posts at prominent changes in the route would be entirely adequate.
The food stop was too early and rather too basic.
The competition on these sportives is hotting up and this did feel a bit basic. A free cup of tea at the end should have been provided.
The route though was wonderful and I will probably do it next year

Rated Event: 97.7%


Rated Event: 73.3%

Liam Duffy wrote:

This was my very first ever sportive. I only took up cycling in September and had little to gauge it against. The hills were tough but do-able, the course was scenic although the low cloud / mist over Leith Hil, together with the climbl precluded much in the way of sightseeing. My background is from running and I would liken this to some of the more low key club type runs than to a " glamour " event. My fellow riders were friendly and helpful and a couple of guys from SWRC were extremely welcoming to a newbie. I am glad to see that those more experienced than me rate it as pretty tough and I am pleased to have cut my teeth on a real challenge. Roll on the next one and I will do this particular one again. I have a bone to pick with Whitedown on the way back.

Rated Event: 48.8%


And now the results are wrong. Oh dear, very disappointing

Rated Event: 81.0%


This was my third Spring Onion and the course didn't disappoint, it certainly makes the eyes water. The weather was pretty poor for the majority of the event, but the route was nicely designed and very challenging.

If you are new to cycling I suspect it might have been a bit much both technical and lumpy. All in all, I loved it and will be back for more in 2012.

Rated Event: 50.0%


First time I've done this event but I ride through the Downs all the time. Compared with other sportives (and agreeing with a previous comment) this is not good value for money. Signage (sprayage??) was too easy to miss and inconsistent on some junctions. food stop was way too early if you are only going to provide one - should be at half distance (should be two in my opinion for this distance). Bananas and cake ok but no energy drinks???. And at the end no free cofee and cake was miserly. Timing chips were ok but it's now nearly midday on Monday and no results up??? Very Slow! The route was a good challenge but in the conditions early on was pretty risky in parts. Agree totally with the lack of effort to put any warning signs/marshalls on high-risk corners - Whitedown descent, and there was another particularly bad right hander down a single-track road at about half distance which caught out several people behind us with nasty results. I would say putting the whitedown ascent right in at the end isn't the brightest route choice (especially when it's 30 miles from last food station), also the lack of a shorter distance (45 miles?) meant that for any who did find it tough there wasn't an option to at least complete a route and get a time so I understand some abandoned and turned back/got hopelessly lost. I wouldn't do it again unless they made some significant changes as above. There are many sportives that go over these hills and all the ones I've done, Wiggle, Southern Sportive etc are better organised and better value for money. Southern Sportive especially!!!

Rated Event: 84.4%


A challenge but a good one. Nice blend of hills (at both extremes) with a good, flatter stretch in the middle.

I marked down the Support and I didn't have use of any but didn't see anyone - were there Outriders ?

Rated Event: 66.6%


Not bad, first time i have done the sportive. Had three punctures, but as mentioned elsewhere lots and lots having punctures etc. Signage was as expected as it mentioned on the website that they would only be using spray paint, although on some of the desent's there could have been some warning signage as very sharp bends and gravel. Managed to park near the start, so cannot comment too much on that. Agree that the tea/coffee at the end could be free. Overall route was fine with some monster climbs, not for the novice, maybe two shorter routes like SRS events sportives would suit. May do it next year, but with stronger tyres.

Rated Event: 93.2%


An eye watering Spring Onion. Great, well marked out, scenic route, loads of parking and lots of helpful smiling event helpers. Realise when you enter that its 1600 meters of climbing over 110km route and it wont be a surprise when you start pedalling. Take your own food as a main source of fuel for any sportive and the feed stations are always in the right place as was this one. Some very mucky country lanes as you would expect but if you ride winter tyres you will reduce your chance of puncturing. Part with 70p and you could even have a cup of tea at the end. Oh and a great free sports massage was available too. Excellent event, would definitely ride again.

Rated Event: 50.0%


I have done the ride before and ride most of these roads regularly as I am reasonably local. The weather made some of the descents a little hairy but you just adjust your speed and technique to the conditions. Signage was ok but there were no marshals in evidence on tricky corners nor any visible outriders or other support. Again, having ridden it before I knew what to expect but I can understand visitors to the area getting lost. Facilities were ok but then I don't expect showere as I live close enough that I can do that at home. Promised gels and drinks were not available, only cake and water and bananas. Not an issue as I bring my own food but I don't expect to be charged for what is not offered.
Overall it was ok - nice mix of flats, up and down hills. A steep climb at the end is always a good leveller. Bad weather and punctures simply make us appreciate the summer more, so no complaints there. However, given the money saved on outriders, marshalling and food, and hving to print out our own maps, a tenner would have been a fairer price.

Rated Event: 82.1%


A tough course and event that i would definitely ride again. Apart from the first 20 minutes, there was very little traffic and some very challanging roads. Yes it was bumpy and there was grit but that was part of the adventure and is par for the course in March (hell of the north style!) same goes for the weather. The red signs were readable and the GPS route from the organisor worked well. A sign on the hairpin would have been good, but i always figure you should ride roads you don't know with caution... I recommend this and will be back - its a honest challanging ride to test your legs early in the year!

Rated Event: 69.9%


Not enough toilets at start!
Feed station excellent but needed more than 1
Dropped out at ~90km but didn't see any support vehicle. Mum had to find me!
Would ride again but stick with companion next week.

Rated Event: 62.2%


My first Sportive in comparison with traditional "Charity" events. Weather didnt help but advance warning might have helped at some of the tricky bends and poor surfaces. Paint was ok apart from lack of visibility approaching junctions. Garmin map was out mid ride and compared mine with another rider who had the same issue, but we folowed the paint and it worked!! Free tea and cakes at the finish would have been welcome on such a poor day. Didn't see any outriders and was past the early feed station before I saw it. Route was ok as part of prep for Etape but not too much "feelgood" VFM.......

Rated Event: 67.7%


Superb route - really enjoyed it.

Rated Event: 78.8%


Overall a very good event, great route and limited numbers so no hold ups and queuing. Minor negatives being that the route could have been better marked, and the feed station could have been positioned later in the ride.

However a massive positive in that they encourage comments, post them on the website and an actual human responds to you - looks like they are taking comments seriously and will make the minor improvements required to turn this into a great event next year. I will definitely be there.

Events You May Also Like...

Ride The Transfagarasan Epic Ride The Transfagarasan Epic Weeks to go until event: less than 3 weeks

This event's shortened URL is: