Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

RideLondon-Surrey Classic – Surrey Section Info

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

RideLondon-Surrey Classic Surrey SectionThe RideLondon-Surrey Classic is a one day race that heads through Surrey each summer. The pro race, part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics and one element of the RideLondon cycling festival weekend, now has World Tour status, ensuring the top teams and riders in the world take part. The race is shown live on BBC.

 

The Surrey section of the race contains the only real climbs of the route taking in some of the hills that locals and anyone who has ridden a sportive in Surrey have probably experienced. It’s always interesting to see how fast the pros go up these climbs compared to your own times!

Staple Lane

Staple Lane is a short, sharp climb from the A25 up onto the North Downs. The first, and steepest section, is used for hill climb competitions by local club Charlotteville and, although it’s only 2.5km in length in full, it has a testing ramp up to the KOM point. On a clear day at the top, you can enjoy views back to the iconic buildings on the London skyline. The current KOM for the full length segment is held by local ex-pro Dan Lloyd.

Leith Hill

The longest climb of the day, at nearly 9.5km, takes the riders from Dorking up through Coldharbour, skirting around the south side of the hill before ramping up again to the highest point of the climb. Leith Hill is part of the Greensand Ridge of hills that provide some of the best mountain biking trails in the whole of England. Leith Hill Tower claims the crown of “highest point in the south east” with the top of the Tower just breaking the 1000ft above sea level mark and, whilst the road doesn’t reach these heights, it’s sure to prove a good test and should take the pro peleton around 18 minutes to complete. The ramps up to Coldharbour hit 15-18% in places then flattens out slightly before the final 10%+ sting in the tail up to the summit. The current KOM for the full length climb is held by locally based pro Wouter Sybrandy at 18m 41s.

Ranmore

A new addition to the route this year, the riders will tackle Ranmore via Westhumble twice as part of a loop before moving on to Box Hill. Another short climb at only 2.4km with an average grade of 5% but with multiple short ramps of over 10%. It takes the riders from the A24 near Box Hill back up onto the North Downs.  There is a steep hairpin near the top after which it flattens out with a gentle uphill past Ranmore Church to the summit. The current KOM is held by Andrius Jaks at 5m 59s. With this segment not having featured in either the Olympics or any Tour of Britain stages that have been through Surrey, this is one KOM that will surely fall today.

Box Hill

The iconic zig zag climb that featured in the London 2012 Olympics must be one of the most popular Strava segment in the south east with 162,721 attempts recorded by 27,589 people at the time of writing on Strava. Not the most testing climb at 5% over 2.2km but the one everyone wants to ride. At the top, you can enjoy some great cake at the National Trust cafe and the view south over the weald to the South Downs. The current KOM is held by the mysterious “J P” at 4m 23s. The identity of this rider has fueled much speculation after he took some of the prize KOMs knocking pros off the tops spots (Cycling Weekly | The Telegraph).

After Box Hill, the route flattens out and heads back to London for the finish on The Mall

Post-Olympics Roundup & Surrey Cycling Legacy

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

It was a fantastic 3 days for cycling (of the road variety) in Surrey last week with the Olympic Men’s Road Race, Olympic Women’s Road Race and both the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Time Trials taking place in Surrey. The two road races, held on the opening weekend, were a great showcase for the beautiful Surrey Hills and the Box Hill loop in particular.

It seems the draw of seeing the top riders in the world combined with it being a free to watch weekend event, good weather and the “Wiggins effect” from his Tour de France win a week earlier was irresistible to the British public & their new found love of cycling and they turned out in their millions to line the road race route. Combined with the worldwide TV audience of millions more, the exposure the Surrey Hills received as a cycling destination has put it even more firmly on the map as a place to ride.

Immediate Effects

The immediate effects of this focus are already being felt.

Surrey Police tweeted a reminder to drivers to look out for increased numbers of cyclists.

Planning a nice drive in the Surrey Hills? There will be more cyclists than usual out there (the #WigginsEffect) so expect them!

Local businesses are already reporting increased bookings from cyclists keen to ride the Olympic route. The BBC reports:

Tony Tijhuis, manager of Dorking’s Burford Bridge Hotel near Box Hill, has already taken bookings from groups of cyclists for the whole of next year.

He said: “They want to cycle the Olympic route, so I think it’s going to be really good for us and there must be a lot of businesses who will benefit.”

Legacy

There are already plans to hold an annual cycling event, including a world-class one-day road race on a similar route to the Olympic Road Race and therefore likely to go through Surrey. Organiser want it to be similar to the London Marathon where professionals and amateurs compete on the same day on the same course. The chance to ride on closed roads on the same route as pros is sure to be a huge draw.

And it seems that the success of the Olympic events has prompted Surrey County Council to consider putting in a bid to host a stage of the Tour de France. Le Tour last visited England in 2007 when the Prologue and Stage 1 were between London and Canterbury.

With the Surrey tarmac filling up with roadies wanting to emulate Wiggo, and the Tour of Britain taking in some of the tougher Surrey Hills road climbs before finishing in Guildford in September, it sounds like the ideal time to take to the sanctuary of the hills on the mountain bike!

More Bad Press for MTBers: Denbies Hillside vandalised by ‘bandit runs’

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

The Ranmore/Denbies area is one I ride very infrequently due to it being just that little bit further from where I live. I don’t think I’m giving any secrets away by saying it is well known for having some of the slightly more “extreme” downhill runs in the Surrey Hills.

This area had been ear-marked for the upcoming (now postponed, more on that later) “Surrey Hills Stomper” organised by Williams Extreme Events. By all accounts, as you would expect for a proper organised event, the organisers had permission from the relevant parties for this event and some of the existing trails on Ranmore/Denbies were earmarked to be used as part of it.

Somewhere along the line, it appears the local National Trust Ranger has taken objection to some of these existing trails, kicked up a fuss, forced the event to be postponed and destroyed the existing trails. The local press (Dorking Advertiser) have also got involved with some heavily biased reporting on the “bandit runs” including a quote attributed to the Ranger stating:

“Some of these trees are 80-100 years old and we’ve found over 100 metres of them have been hacked out through the wood to create this course.”

Update 05-Oct-11: the story was on the BBC Surrey Breakfast show and has hit the BBC website under the headline “Surrey woodland damaged by illegal mountain bike track

Download an MP3 of the radio feature: bbc surrey breakfast 11-10-05

I personally find it hard to believe that mountain bikers have hacked out such a large stretch of such mature trees! Update: in the interview with BBC Surrey Breakfast, the Ranger is saying he believes some mountain bikers have deliberately cut down Yew and Beech using axes and saws. He does not state any direct evidence for this though.

Image of part of Grievous Angel from thisissurreytoday.co.uk

 

This statement has appeared on the organiser’s website:

“I wanted to let you all know about the events that happened earlier this week regarding the first round of the Surrey Stomper .
Unfortunately the local Ranmore Ranger had demolished most of the trails and has made such a fuss about events on the hill, that we have been forced to move the event to another location at the last minute,
Where this is hugely disappointing and inconvenient for all the time and effort spent on this on this, we are not going to let it ruin the series.
We are currently in talks with a couple of the estate owners in the same local area, which are also renowned for their steep tricky and fantastic trails, and will postpone slightly and kick things off again in a few weeks.
I will post the new area and date as soon as we get it cemented. Every thing else will be going ahead as planned.”

It’s very difficult to find out the facts on this story as I don’t know the area or trails involved particularly well myself, so I am attempting to contact both the Ranger and Williams Extreme Events for comment but no response has been forthcoming from either (I am only a humble blog after all!).

In the meantime, you can read this thread on Singletrack World but remember that, on a forum, you have know idea who is posting what and who has what knowledge or personal agenda or what are just plain untruths! Particularly interesting is people saying the jump has been there for years and the badger dug in through the side of the existing jump rather than the other way round as claimed by the reports above.