I’ve never done a sportive before, the thought of paying to ride around some open roads to be honest hadn’t appealed to date but I thought I should be it a go and it was another chance to show off the #pichampion kit 🙂
The event was based out of Chillington Hall, a location I know well from planning an orienteering event earlier this year, the courtyard in the model farm is a great start finish venue. I started at 8.35, fairly late I think for the long route, and set out to the major climb of the day (its quite little really) up on to Cannock Chase. The route as far as Hixon I know well, from a combination of Mammoth Monday night rides and my normal training loops. I’d decided to use a camel back with just over two litres in, a couple of bars and a jam roll and eat and drink on the ride rather than stop at the feeding stations so whizzed past the first at Wolesley Bridge. The Medium and Long routes were common as far as Great Heywood and lots peeled off towards Tixall, heading form home.
I think I went out a bit too fast so on the route to Uttoxeter I backed off a bit, enjoying the quiet lanes and pretty Staffordshire villages. I spotted a couple of nice looking pubs I might go back to!
Winding through Uttoxetter took us to the second feed stop but I rode on past confident I had enough liquid in reserve. It was then out along a rolling B road to Stone. I had 3 enforced rests in Stone, first the railway level crossing, then the traffic lights in the middle of town and then again on the climb out at some 3 way roadworks – all very frustrating. We had been fighting a head wind as far as Stone but as we turned for home the wind was behind us and I knew there were no more significant climbs.
I dug deep for the next hour, slowly overhauling small groups of riders before coming into the back gate of Chillington. Knowing the site I new what to expect, the track is very rough, I was fine but there were a few grumbles coming from people on expensive machines and a couple of grumpy people walking in with punctures.
The finish was beautiful, up the hill across the estate’s parkland towards the house – I took about 4 hours 20 min for the 70 mile route and was all in at the end. The atmosphere afterwards was great, munching a Freshwood Pizza and enjoying a beer in the sunshine watching the #TDF in the courtyard.
So would I do another – probably, I went much faster much further and dug deeper that on a training ride.
#pichampion # endureandenjoy365