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White Horse Challenge

jhopjhop Posts: 369
My first time at this one and enjoyed every minute of it. :wink:

How was it for you?


  • shakey88shakey88 Posts: 289
    My second sportive and it was awsesome!
    Nearly died on that hill at 80 miles but managed to get a gold standard time :D
    A great ride,looking forward to the next one
  • simon tsimon t Posts: 132
    Our TT race was going the opposite was down the many people rode?
  • shakey88shakey88 Posts: 289
    Around 600
  • It was a excellent day and a great route - on my doorstep practically, although I'd never ridden the complete route in this direction. Thankfully the weather stayed warm. I felt a bit sorry for all those people in jackets and tights etc! I saw the TT'ers heading down the A4 as I rode up the drag. Managed to just get gold standard which was a bonus.
  • About 500 actually finished the course. That was a great day, managed to shave twenty minutes off last years time so pretty pleased with that. Saw you guys hammering down the hill which made me feel pretty envious as I crawled up in the opposite direction Simon. There was good weather and plenty of fast groups to tag along with.
  • Silver time for me, I blame that nagging head wind. Need to find another 9 minutes for next year!

    Great to see the organisers respond to last years black spot and have a marshal on the junction at the bottom of that fast decent shortly before the last climb up to Uffington White Horse.

    The first food stop was also a massive improvement, using a village hall instead of a table in a farmer’s field.

    I really like this sportive, firmly on my annual calendar. It’s a young event and by keeping the entry to less than 600 entrants they seem to be able to keep on top of the organisation and slowly but surely improve things each year. Maybe that’s a lesson for other events?

    Suggestions for future years:

    1. The second food stop on a village green is fine as long as the weather holds. Might not always be the case so finding another village hall nearby may be a good idea.

    2. There is plenty of biscuit/cake/banana/water/High5 at the food stops. How about adding a protein option to the second stop such as a plain ham sandwich. A jam sandwich wouldn’t go a miss either.

    3. A few more signs (for motorists rather than cyclists) or better still a couple of motorbike marshals all brightly light up patrolling the A4361 (through Avebury) between the A4 and turn off to Hackpen White Horse. IMO it’s potentially the most dangerous bit of road on the route. It’s not very wide, busy, fast, and twisty. I have to say most cars were excellent but it only takes one idiot (which there was) to get impatient and there could be a bad incident (which fortunately the common sense of oncoming motorists prevented on this occasion).
  • samoffsamoff Posts: 128
    Top marks for organisation. Excellent signage. Great instant-results service. And I like my medal too.

    Met some nice people going round - I think you get better grouping when there are long periods of flat like you have on this ride.

    Here's a question: did anyone get an accurate estimate of distance? My speedo went haywire at the second stop (I think I left it too close to the chip-reading mat - serves me right for buying a wireless one.) but it felt like it might be slightly shorter than the actual 150km.
    My altimeter put the climbing at 4900 ft, although you get get a certain amount of 'noise' on these readings when there's a lot of flat.
    "Check your sheds! Check your sheds! I think I've lost my mind" Half Man Half Biscuit
  • agnelloagnello Posts: 239
    I got 1600m of climbing but only 90.8 miles. Anyone confirm or contradict that?

    I was wireless too...
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  • shakey88shakey88 Posts: 289
    agnello wrote:
    I got 1600m of climbing but only 90.8 miles. Anyone confirm or contradict that?

    I was wireless too...

    Yep i made it 90 miles too.Think they may have changed the route slightly.
    Shoulda gone round Shrivenham a few times to make up the miles like a criterium.
    Woulda been fun :D
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    Yes, another great ride, and like last year the forecast rain never materialised. I forgot to look at the time when I set off so didn't know how I was doing out on the course. I needed to find 18 minutes on last year to get a gold - I was very pleasantly surprised to go into the hall and find I'd knocked a whole hour off last year's time, just outside 5 hours and 9th in my category. 8)

    Thanks to the organisers - friendly and efficient. What else could you want!

    a serious case of small cogs
  • jhopjhop Posts: 369
    The last two years I have ridden the Trailbreak Princes Risborough Sportive but this year for a change tried WHC and although I was just over the 5 hour benchmark it was still a clear Gold Standard.

    My other change for 2009 is the Hampshire Hilly 100 instead of the Forest of Dean Challenge ride. I hope that is equally as good a day.
  • agnello wrote:
    I got 1600m of climbing but only 90.8 miles. Anyone confirm or contradict that?
    I made it 90.1 miles and 1361m of climbing. Either way, it was great.
  • Another happy punter.
    I made it 1400m of climbing, and the Garmin showed 90.00 miles when I looked at it sat on the grass with some cake.
    Like others, really well signed.
    For next year? - Dartmoor has signs at (I think) 10 and 3 miles to go, which is quite good to see.
    Loved the final 3 miles, hammered along there faster than I can TT!
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    For next year? - Dartmoor has signs at (I think) 10 and 3 miles to go, which is quite good to see.
    Loved the final 3 miles, hammered along there faster than I can TT!

    That's what a flat road with a tailwind will do for you :wink: .

    I agree about the 10 & 3 mile to go markers. Shrivenham always seems to suddenly appear from nowhere. If there was advance warning then I would happily bust a gut to reach the finish.

    a serious case of small cogs
  • gradiricgradiric Posts: 89
    Really enjoyed WHC - brilliant signposting, well stocked foodstops with decent variety and a great set of riders. Shame about long drag on A4 - surely organisers could find a route to avoid that. But overall, impressed by standard of organisation and rest of route. Thanks to Wanborough Vets who I rode with on first half - a fun bunch of guys!
    Time VRS Pro-Team 08 – weekend steed
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  • el_presidenteel_presidente Posts: 1,963
    I suffered like a dog all the way round and was 30mins slower than last year :(

    top event though
  • LALA Posts: 26
    I also made it just over 90 miles. Echo the comments about the signage & the feed stations, v. good although started to get twinges of cramp in the last 15 miles.

    I like to think that my gold standard was due to the training I've put in this year but I think it was more due to hanging on to some of the fast groups! :D
    Life is not a rehearsal
  • afcbianafcbian Posts: 424
    My first ever Sportive and loved evry minute of it.
    Rode with a mate and hooked up with a great guy called Olly who was on his own. The 3 of us rode as a group along with variuos others who joined and moved on etc.
    Finished in Silver time only 27 minutes off Gold time
    Managed all the Hills OK
    My cateye said 91 miles BTW
    I ride therefore I am
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