You may recall that back in May we reported that Sir Chris Hoy had launched a search for the Nation’s Perfect Hill to Ride Down – well, the nominations are in and a shortlist of ten has been drawn up, including Arthur’s Seat in the four time Olympic champion’s home city, Edinburgh, and Ralph Allen Drive in road.cc’s own home town, Bath.
Sir Chris and fellow judges including Etain O’Carroll, editor of the Lonely Planet Cycling Guide, whittled down the final ten candidates from hundreds of nominations that had been received under the initiative, which was launched to tie in with this year’s Sky Ride programme.
The accompanying gallery of images shows each descent in all its glory - anyone familiar with Edinburgh will point out that Salisbury Crags is actually shown in the picture from there, but technically it is a spur of Arthur's Seat, so that's why it's there.
Factors influencing whether a descent made the shortlist included its historical significance, the view from the top and the actual route.
Besides Arthur’s Seat, Scotland is represented in the list by the Rest and Be Thankful road, also known as the A83 west of Loch Lomond, which gives stunning views across the Highlands.
Another descent close to road.cc’s heart that makes the list is Cheddar Gorge here in Somerset, while in Southern England, Silver Street in Lyme Regis, Hampshire’s Winchester Hill and Ham Common in Richmond-upon-Thames all feature, as does Newlands Corner near Guildford.
That leaves just two more spots in the top ten to be filled, and both those descents are in Yorkshire – Holme Moss and Blackstone Edge.
While many will be delighted to find their own favourite descent has made the list, there is bound to be disappointment in some quarters, not least in the North West and also in Wales, which doesn’t have a single descent featured.
So, what are your thoughts on the top ten? Did your favourite descent miss the list? And of the ten that do feature, which one do you think will prove the most worthy winner once the decision has been made? Let us know in the comments below.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.