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Has anyone ridden the Tour of Wessex?

I've seen reports on this and would love to ride it. How are the gradients? I know Cheddar Gorge is on the route but otherwise I'm a bit in the dark. Not sure if this is a climbers hell or just has a few biggies in it.

Posts

  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    yep - twice

    3 days are all different...and long!

    Day 1 is mixed and has a couple of nice hills including Cheddar and King Alfreds but isnt a hugely difficult day. Cheddar isnt a tough climb as its really quite a low % for a couple of miles and is actually a really nice climb! Day 2 runs south to the coast in Dorset and over the army training ranges and has some long climbs up from there around Corfe etc, but it is mostly reasonably flat and just turns into a long 120 miles or so, usually with a lot of wind to make it a hard day. Day 3 is the hilliest as it goes over the Somerset Levels but then into the Quantocks and then Exmoor. Its got quite a few tough bits but is again over 100 miles and comes on top of about 230 tough miles in the previous day, so is always going to be a challenge.

    Weather plays a role as 3 years ago it was the wettest and worst day I've ever had on a bike on day 3, but 2 years ago the same day was sunny and good. The days would all be reasonable typical 100-120 mile sportive routes and individually none are hugely tough days - its just doing all 3 back to back that makes for the extra challenge. I found that the climbs on day 3 got extra tough simply because the legs were still feeling the previous efforts.

    Its well organised, attracts a lot of riders and has really good feedstops etc. Well worth it if you want a good 3 day challenge.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Good stuff - sounds fun but quite doable!
  • b4ssyb4ssy Posts: 27
    Did it this year and got extremely lucky with the weather. It poured with rain on the way down, we had 3 very pleasant days riding and it poured again on the way home.

    Day 1 and 2 were very enjoyable for me. Cheddar Gorge was the highlight. King Alfred's was as brutal a climb as I've ever done.

    Day 3 was a slog, the wind up on the top of Exmoor was punishing. There were approx 15,000 feet of ascent this day on top of the 20,000 we had racked up over the 2 previous days and with tired legs, the finish line was one of the most welcome sights I've ever seen.

    The whole event was well run but quite expensive for an open road sportive.

    Don't think I would do it again but certainly wouldn't put anyone off doing it. Some of the routes and scenery are spectacular.

    My advice would be " go for it "
  • tlrtlr Posts: 147
    Great event. Non of the days are particularly hard, but they do add up. No really steep or hard climbs so all very doable if you are fit.

    Very well run and organised, and I'd say that the £105 for 3 days of organisation, routes, marshalling and feed stations was actually very good value.

    My only criticism was that some of the small roads they used were a bit rough and narrow - I'd rather just get my head down on a decent main road but I appreciate that others don't like the traffic.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I've done London-Paris in 3 days so the distance doesnt worry me, just wondered how steep it all was. Excited at the prospect now!
  • I'm going to be doing this next year, will be my first time but really looking forward to it. Kind of building it into my Marmotte training but the challenge will be a feat in it's own right! A question for those who have done it before. Accommodation? I have looked into B&B but some are not very cyclist friendly & the prices are pretty steep at most. The pop up hotel prices are also way high for one person. I do like camping normally, but the idea of camping & doing the 3 days riding isn't very appealing! I live in London so travelling each day is not an option. I guess it's either take B&B hit or deal with the camping!
  • Nuno - I did the 1st 2 days this year in preparation for the Etape - really good training. decided not to do day 3 to give me time to get back to London.

    I camped - was a bit expensive for the facilities provided, but the spirit and the banter on the site made it good fun (plus we had great weather). I cooked for myself, but the people who took the option of the catered evening meals said the food was excellent (although again, a bit expensive) and sitting in the communal dining tent with the other riders in the evening helped pass the time

    Good luck with the Marmotte training - see you in Bourg!
  • b4ssyb4ssy Posts: 27
    Nuno

    we were originally booked into the pop up hotel but a month before the event we were emailed to say that the accommodation offer was being withdrawn as there had not been enough take up to be economically viable.

    We were subsequently booked in to the hollies hotel which was 7 miles to the south of Somerton. The price was cheaper, we were upgraded free of charge to a 2 bedroom apartment, and the breakfast was superb. We were able to store our bikes in the garage attached to the apartment..

    They were quite a few other cyclists staying there and I assume they were also storing their bikes in the rooms.

    Evening food was not included in the price but they have a very good selection at reasonable prices.

    Highly recommended
  • dgmorrisdgmorris Posts: 4
    ACCOMMODATION OFFERED FOR TOUR OF WESSEX DUE TO CANCELLATION - If anyone doing Tour of Wessex 2014 is still scrabbling around for accommodation, I have a nice hotel room booked and paid for (Premier Inn Glastonbury - only 20 mins from Somerton by car), over Friday, Saturday and Sunday eve, which I need to get rid of. Unfortunately, I've picked up an injury which looks likely to end my season, so I've had to cancelled my entry. Contact David Morris 07979 530424
  • dgmorrisdgmorris Posts: 4
    ACCOMMODATION OFFERED FOR TOUR OF WESSEX DUE TO CANCELLATION - If anyone doing Tour of Wessex 2014 is still scrabbling around for accommodation, I have a nice hotel room booked and paid for (Premier Inn Glastonbury - only 20 mins from Somerton by car), over Friday, Saturday and Sunday eve, which I need to get rid of. Unfortunately, I've picked up an injury which looks likely to end my season, so I've had to cancelled my entry. Contact David Morris 07979 530424
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