April takes us further North into the Hampshire countryside, as the warmer Spring weather and lighter evenings hopefully bring a chance for more outdoor riding.
This month sees competitors tackle the 'Sprint' segment for this year's competition. At just 0.3 miles in length but with a nice little gradient of 5% average, peaking at 10%, this segment will require an all-out sprint effort from every rider and test their anaerobic power as much as their endurance.
At first glance the profile of the segment may appear to suit the lighter 'Climbers' in our club, but the relative short duration of effort required will mean Puncheurs, Rouleurs and Sprinters alike, all face this challenge with an equal opportunity to do well.
The segment begins a few short yards into the three-way junction between Bagmore Lane, Axford Road and Red Lane. Approaching from the North as you ride into Red Lane with the signposts on your right, you cross the start line seeing the lane gently curving away in front of you to the left between open fields.
Just a few pedal turns later, the road curves again, this time to the right, marking the start of the incline proper, that will steepen as you climb, hitting over 10% before starting to ease away. Your legs will now be burning, as a further left curve in the road presents you with a looming tree line. This signifies the final run-in to the finish line, as you pass Spain Lane on your left, with the gradient continuing to ease.
Keep on the gas as you pass the junction, to make sure you pass through the end of the segment which sits 20 or so yards beyond, before easing off.
As always, please follow the rules of the road, along with any social distancing requirements that may be in place at the time. The link to the segment is here: