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5 out of 10
Correct Details

Phil Cooke Challenge Ride

24/02/2013 - CIA Insurance Offices, Ashlawn Road, Rugby, Warwickshire CV 22 5DF and Jack's Hill Cafe, A5 Towcester NN12 8ET - Charity Ride

Rating: Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 40.0% based on 1 review

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 40.000%


Interesting to say the least. I appreciate it was cheaper than most sportives and it was obvious that 99% of the proceeds must have gone to the charity - Marie Curie. The two organisers at thestart were good cop / bad cop. One was chatty and looked like he was ready at the top of the Alp d'huez ready for teh descent, the other guy was miserable as sin and looked like he had just dropped off the back of the grupetto at the foot of the Alp D'Huez. The website said somethign like 'short challenging climbs' - understatement - hardest sportive I've ridden - hairpins in Northamptonshire?

The signage could do with improvement - too pale and very easily missed - they need to take a note out of Kilo To Go's book and have an 'in your face' colour. No marshalls on teh course - which is fine, Kilo don't either - but at the route split ( where I reckon the vast majority took the shorter option due to the wind ) it was chaos - nobody had a clue where to go. There was one tricky descent that should have had a warning on it as a T junction was immediately at the bottom and the conditions made it hard to stop.

But...saying all was a bloody brilliant day - bright clear skies all day ( and it took me nearly all day ) a biting wind, good leg wrecking hills, some nice long descents as a reward ( only to be paid back on the next climb ) and some stunning scenery - not that I saw much - I focussed on teh tarmac immediately in front of me.

Finally - the greasy spoon Jacks Hill cafe should have had some freebies - last thing I wanted was a full english - could really have done with a banana and flapjack, but made do with tea. Staff were very friendly, filled my water bottles for me. Water wasn't very cold, but after 10 minutes into the headwind ( averaged 4 degress on teh day ) they were cold enough :) .

This was my first sportive where somebody actually overtook me pushing their back as I refused to yield to the 17% gradient.

I foolishly turned the 100Km into 100miles ( my first century ) as I cycled to and from the event. Missed it by 4 miles. I'll be back next year where I won't be dragging a really bad man flu around on my chest with me - that didn't help.

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