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Hog Hill: Welcome to the Terrordrome

ToksToks Posts: 1,143

"Right, I'm gonna get my brother on to you". Do you remember that cowardly cry from your school days. It was usually from that annoying scumbag kid who'd lost out in a playground scrap for the nth time. Well Eastway may well be long gone but its bigger badder and tougher younger brother (Eastway 2, AKA Hog Hill)has finally shown up. You'll need to feel more than lucky to take on this bad boy. Yep some of 'us' are finally gonna have to do some proper training...

The layout is similar to Eastway. The judges and race announcer shed is now a proper building. Interestingly enough like the old Eastway it faces a main large building (which houses excellent facilities - bike storage, showers, club rooms, etc). The similarities don't stop there! - taking the anticlockwise loop you roll down a short ramp, then there's a wide left hand bend (replacing that hairpin bend of course); the road then drops down slightly before rising up again. After that things change markedly - a supper whizzy descent gives way to a series of bends, twists, turns and a proper hairpin before you eventually complete the 2k loop heading back up towards the HQ & start/finish line via a brutally harsh 12-14% climb.

Being a lover of all things new and shiny I signed on with 75 others for bank holiday Monday's Southend Wheeler's 3/4 race. The pace was fine (for me at least!)and most people coped with the circuit without problems. In fact it was quite easy to pedal around even the tightest hairpin bend and this was helped by the super smooth surface. The club with the largest number of riders was Team Economic Energy and in the early laps one of their strong riders David was putting in lots of work.

The organisers spiced up the race with £5 and £10 preems which only a handful of people really challenged for. The climb could be managed in 53/23 but quite a few spun up in the small ring. With around 13 laps of the 25 to go Nigel Ling (Citihub) and another rider pulled out a 10 second gap. I was still mid bunch and bided my time just to see what would happen.

Oh I should point out that the climb ensured riders were being summarily dismissed from the bunch on a lap by lap basis. This course takes no prisoners. Oh dear, you should've seen the the E12 field explode all over the circuit - it was UGLY!

Now how which training session guarantees you'll be able to join any 3rd cat breakaway? Mmm! Before Nigel Ling (CityHub)and his partner in crime managed to eek out some more seconds it was time for me to start riding at my 2 x 20 threshold pace. Having put in a subtle dig just before the climb I surged ahead of the bunch; FOLLOW BLOG LINK BELOW FOR MORE.
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