August 2021 Segment of the Month
August’s segment sees us move just a little South from last month, for a segment that will perhaps better suit a Rouleur or Puncheur style rider
The segment begins on Longwood Road, which is North East of Owslebury. Having turned off Belmore Lane (the main Winchester Road) you make a small ascent and the start line for the segment occurs just as you crest the gentle hill, prior to making a short downhill into the first wooded area.
From here on it’s a steady and evenly undulating push for another 1.5 miles, with a relatively consistent gradient that fluctuates between 1.5% and 3% as the course of the lane meanders through woods, providing reasonable cover from either rain or sun.
Carefully pacing your effort and optimising your aero position along this stretch of road will be crucial. Too fast and you risk leaving nothing in reserve for the difficult sprint finish. Too slow and you will leave far too much time to claw back at the end.
The sting in the tail of this month’s segment is the slightly steeper (peaking at 5%) but still fast to climb short hill that curves to the left as you pass Ganderdown Wood on the left, then rising up out of the wooded area that has characterised the majority of the segment up to this point. This will no doubt require an out of the saddle and full-on effort to give yourself any chance of finishing in the points. Attacking this hill after the earlier steady but leg-sapping effort through the woods will burn both legs and lungs in equal measure!
The run in to the finish takes you through open fields on both sides of the lane, as you climb to the top of the hill, with the actual finish line sitting just at the end of the crest, before the lane then takes you back down in the direction of Cheriton.
This will be a fast-run segment, with average speeds anticipated to be in the low 20mph range for the quicker riders amongst you. Potential hazards to look out for include oncoming traffic at the narrower points of the lane, in particular farm vehicles that may pull out unexpectedly from side lanes. Also keep an eye out for windfall debris and potholes along the wooded area as well as hikers, sightseers or parked cars up along the crest of the hill that marks the final sprint to the finish line.
Please remember to adhere to whatever the prevailing rules are around social distancing at the time and obey the rules of the road at all times.
The link to the segment is here: https://www.strava.com/segments/29287129