Gatwick Road Sportive

Tony took on the tough Evans Gatwick Road Sportive on Sun, 26 Mar.

Tony writes:

Evans cycles HQ Gatwick, boy is it chilly!

Has anyone noticed that the cars at a cycle event always seem to be mid to high in value? and they are always extremely clean. Is that a cyclist thing?

I get my free high five bottles and gels for early sign up, I’m just saying Andy’s idea. Oh wait, I don’t see Andy???

The ride starts badly, I’m at the front miss the turning as cycling into a head wind. Garmin starts screaming ‘off course’ which translates in my head it ‘must be wrong way’ — take no notice, ride back to around the start line, start over.

I start to pass a few back markers. In my head I’m Valverde and the Movistar team penalised at the beginning of the race. Head down, my average mph is going up. Then there are a series — no a combo — of hills that just seem to be higher than anything KRM train on. There was one, it just went up in steps for ages! 10%, 14%, 15%… then when you thought you were at the top 8% turn the corner 6%. That was prelude to Cob Lane.

The start of Cob Lane climb starts in a basin you come down pretty fast then the road bottle necks and you have to slow down to a crawl. Oh my God! 20%!

I try… the front wheel keeps lifting up… got to get out of the saddle, lean forward, only problem is, cramp has hit me on the hill in both calfs and thighs they are locking. I just manage to clip out. I’m in the middle of the peloton, in the middle of the road. That’s a first. I’m so glad to see others dismount.

After that there was another hill —14% — legs cramped and I just got off the bike and walked up. It’s becoming a habit. The end was pretty flat and I overtook a few back markers.

Thank the heavens for the finish line.

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