The RideLondon-Surrey Classic one day race is heading through Surrey today. The pro race, part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics and one element of the RideLondon cycling festival weekend, has been upgraded to a 1.HC classification this year and has attracted a decent entry list including Bradley Wiggins and Phillipe Gilbert. The race will be shown live on BBC1 from 14:00 and on British Eurosport from 14:30 on Sunday 10 August.
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 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.
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.
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.
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