In this week’s Cycling Weekly magazine (March 29) we have a Rides section with a difference: it’s based on the route for our very own Sandown Cyclone Sportive on April 22.
Is this Britain’s answer to a Belgian Classic? Could be. There’s more in common with Liege-Bastogne-Liege than a clash of dates and you won’t need too much imagination to turn Leith Hill into La Redoute.
We won’t be able to match the hordes of spectators who will pack the slopes of our Ardennes cousin, but for strength-sapping severity Leith Hill takes some beating.
That’s the verdict of the people from Boardman Bikes, who kindly ‘volunteered’ to test our circuit. Apparently, company bosses Andy Smallwood and Jamie Mitchell didn’t relaise that is was part of their duties as official bike partners but they didn’t protest too loudly about riding the best lanes in Surrey on a warm, sunny March morning.
You have a chance to try it yourself in just three weeks’ time when our Cyclones offer the choice of 35, 66 and 81-mile routes. All three start and finish at Sandown Park, Esher, venue for the all-new two-day Road Cycling Show. Sportive entry fee includes free admission so there’s no excuse to miss out on all the latest bikes and products.
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly