Exeter Racecourse, Devon, EX6 7XS.
There’s no escaping the hills on the Dartmoor Demon Sportive, on any of the three routes, nor is there any way to escape the stunning beauty of Dartmoor. All distances are treated to a nice descent from the HQ to start proceedings then face the gentle four-kilometre climb of Longdown Road.
With this in the bag, the Short route turns for home and the Standard and Epic continue west through the wonderful sweeping turns of Doccombe Hill. Close to five kilometres of 4% gradient with a nasty kick at the end this is the gateway to the heart of the National Park and some of the best riding in Britain.
It’s now climbing all the way to Princetown, all be it with a few slight descents thrown into the peak past the sinister and solitary Dartmoor Prison. From here, if on the Epic route you are treated to the rapid and exhilarating plunge down to Dousland, back to civilisation before turning round to head once more onto the moors.
Through Poundsgate it’s time to face up to the evil of Widecombe Hill before another glorious long descent to where the three routes converge. You may well be close to home but one last obstacle lies in your way, the cruel 8% slopes of the Old Exeter Road. Expect to hear a few groans here as riders drag their weary bodies up these 1500 meters of climbing that deliver them right back to the HQ where they can enjoy well-earned refreshments.
Featured climb. Widecombe The venue for the 1990 National Hill Climb Championships won by none other than Chris Boardman, this hill is steeped in cycling history. Rising from the heart of the beautiful village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor it is a fearsome 1.4 kilometres of 12% average gradient which is even steeper, approaching 20% in places so get ready to grind.