Looking for a challenge? Not afraid of a few little hills? How about ten big hills?
If you’re still reading, the King of the Downs sportive could be for you. Applications are now invited for the brand new 110-mile sportive tackling more than ten “killer climbs” with the South East’s North Downs, Surrey Hills and Ashdown Forest to distract you from the pain.
Taking place on May 17, The King of the Downs is organised by the team behind the Evans Cycles Ride It! sportive series.
Claire Beaumont, from Evans, explains how the new event came about. She tells road.cc: “The format of the Ride It! event series has been really popular. We’ve had over 6,000 riders taking part over the 2008 summer series. This is why we decided to do a one-off super sportive for 1,000 riders to have a go at.”
Event manager Dean Stacey says: “This is a monster of a ride. Although we run sportives all over the UK the South East is our heartland and this ride allows us to show off the epic riding the area has to offer”
The challenging route is split into two loops and participants can opt for one or both. The 53-mile western loop heads north west from the start at Evans Cycles, Gatwick, into the Surrey Hills before tackling the North Downs. Climbing 4,800ft, this loop forms the half sportive distance and takes in climbs ranging from the 1.5 mile Ranmore Common West stretch, which is a 271ft climb, to the 2.6 mile 567ft Box Hill climb.
Survive that with energy left in the tank and you’ll move on to the 56-mile Eastern Loop, heading south east into Ashdown Forest before tracking up to the North Downs.
Those taking on the full sportive will have the pleasure of experiencing Yorks Hill, home of the annual Catford CC Hill Climb, with a leg-popping 1 in 4 gradient. Any rider who beats the course record of 1 minute 47.6 seconds (set by Phil Mason in 1983) wins a 2009 Pinnacle Aeos Carbon Team bike worth £1,899. Anyone who gets within one minute of the record will go into a draw to win £500 of Evans Cycles gift vouchers.