King Of The Downs

King of the Downs Aerial View

Aerial View around Yorks Hill

With my Étape du Tour ride up the Telegraph, Galibier and Alpe D’Huez just over 6 weeks away I’ve been trying to do as much structured training as possible.

Part of my training included entering the Evans Cycles King of the Downs Ride It Sportive last weekend. This is perhaps the longest ride I’ll do in preparation for the Étape as, at over 185km it is close to twice the distance of the ride in France.

Having said that, with nearly 2,500 metres of climbs, there’s only around two thirds of the total ascent on the Étape. As far as South East England is concerned though this is probably about as hard a sportive as there is.

In all there were 10 ascents, none of which were remotely Alpine in scale, although Box Hill is often itself referred to as the Alpe D’Huez of Surrey, comically so in my opinion.

The hill that stuck out the most though was Yorks Hill, an absolute bastard. Hard on the heart, lungs and legs. It felt steeper than anything I’ve ever ridden up before and, after looking it up earlier this week, at gradients of 25% I’d be almost certain that it is.

The image above is a screenshot from Garmin of the ride at the top of Yorks Hill, heart rate of 165 bpm going all of 6.6 km/h, should demonstrate how hard it was.

The ride in Numbers:

  • Distance: 186km
  • Ascent: 2,483 metres
  • Fuel Consumption: 5 apple strudel power bars, 1 snickers bar, 3 bananas, 2 slices of cake
  • Liquid Consumption: 1.5 litres of water, 2.25 litres of isotonic drink, 2 gels
  • Punctures: 0
  • Calories burned: 3,646 C
  • Speed: 25.2 km/h
  • Detours: 1

I can still feel it in my legs a bit, not let up though, a ride to Whitstable this weekend.

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