Spring has sprung

No gloves, no overshoes; spring is here at long last. What a difference a week can make.

Sunday’s temperature was up 15 degrees on the previous weekend, and the lanes were packed with riders enjoying the pleasant sunshine.

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It’s looking good for our Surrey Hills Cyclone Sportive on Sunday (April 21). The forecast isn’t quite as balmy, with a maximum of 13°C but with only light winds and no rain forecast, it’s a far cry from our South Downs Spring Sportive last month, which we were forced to postpone because of the atrocious conditions.

At least it’s given me a couple of extra weeks to get some more miles in before my 2013 debut, but I confess I’m still not fit enough to tackle anything other than the short route. With more than 1,900ft of climbing, that’ll be a challenge but it’s nothing compared to the Standard and Epic rides with 4,300 and 5,100ft of elevation gain respectively.

Both longer routes have a particularly challenging second half, beginning with the ascent of Leith Hill, the second-highest point in the South-East. It’s a brute, but not as bad as White Down, a 20 per cent test that’s rated as the worst in Surrey.

And there’s more! The climb up to Headley Heath shouldn’t be under-estimated, nor the final ramp up to the finish at Epsom Downs racecourse.

Full details at www.cyclingweekly.com/sportives. See you Sunday.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

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