Hell Of The Ashdown

On the 27th February the good weather that had eluded last year’s event seemed to be with us with a brisk but bright day. Jamie Walker, Howard Wimpory and Ben Wimpory set off before 9 with 900 starters on the day. The Cudham ‘test hill’ certainly got everyone’s heart pumping within the first few miles before a brief respite before the descent of Houghstrough Hill and then up the easier side of Toys Hill. Luckily thanks to some good pacing on the flat by Howard Wimpory we managed to catch up to a fast group near Hever which took us to Dormansland before they tailed off on the hill. It was straight past the ‘tea stop’ with Jamie Walker on the front into the Ashdown Forest and up Kidds Hill and then the fast decent to Groombridge. A new Groombridge Hill met us and at this point we had been overtaking people all day without anyone overtaking us which pushed us on to Baileys Hill at quite a tempo where the group fragmented slightly. It was all together straight through the other ‘tea stop’ at Ide Hill where there were many potholes to negotiate on the way down. From Sundridge it seemed to be youth before experience with Ben Wimpory driving a group of around 10 riders along to the foot of Star hill before loosing them after the roundabout. Everyone was glad to see the end of Star Hill as it represented the last major climb of the day. It just left a ‘short’ stretch to Biggin Hill which seemed to last for ages before finally pulling into Jail Lane in 3 hours 48 mins for the 66 mile route which feature 6,000ft of climbing. We were all very pleased with our work on the day and finished 14-16th overall.