Our exciting new Hawksebury course, features the best roads on the stunning Cotswold Edge!
Big wide smooth roads, twisty quiet lanes, steep climbs, flowing descents, fantastic views - This ride has it all!
We think we have something very close to the perfect sportive mix for you in the Cotswolds! Starting from the quiet village of Hawkesbury Upton, the ride immediately makes for the back roads as it twists its way through quiet lanes, warming you up the challenges to come. The first 30km treat you pretty kindly, taking you through quiet, leafy villages in the relatively flat lands to the west of the course, stretching your legs into the ride proper.
Turning north along the Western edge of the Cotswolds, its not long till you start to see why they call this 'the edge'. Working north towards Dursley and Stroud the route takes on a totally different feel with steep, twisting climbs though some of the prettiest parts of the Cotswolds. Tiny stone cottages and grand mansions flow by, as the landscape delivers picture book imagery at every turn. The climbs are always challenging, sometimes painful, but as those twisting lanes open out, your reward is a series of stunning views over the meandering Severn Estuary, rising on the far bank to the Forest of Dean. On a clear day you might even see glimpses of the Black Mountains!
Working around the West side of Dursley and on the very edge of the Cotswolds you soon start to descend towards the Vale of Berkeley and the pretty village of Purton right on the estuary itself. The route now starts to head home, staying in the vale until you climb back up to Hawkesbury And here is the twist in the tail of this event; you have a choice of finishes! Neither offers an 'easy' option though; both require some work and a fair bit of climbing. But while the direct route brings up straight up to the finish on a more manageable grind, we thought we should at least give the option of taking on the very lovely 1:5 (20%!) climb of Kilcott Hill (which we have imaginatively dubbed 'the Kilcott Killer'), just a short detour away from the finish line! The choice is yours and there is no shame in coming straight home through the 'front door' - that is in fact the official route!, But if you want to finish your season by bagging one last climb - and if you have the legs and resolve for that final calf burning epic - choose the Kilcott Killer finish. You'll earn a highlight in the results list for being a 'Kilcott survivor'!