For the past ten years or so there has only been one regular stage race suitable for top level UK riders and August 2005 sees the 9th annual Surrey League Revolutions 5-day cycle race taking place in Surrey and East and West Sussex.
This year around 100 of Britain’s top riders will be taking part in the gruelling 5 day long race. Each day they will cover around 100 miles – as well as climbing some of the steepest hills in South East England. So if you like long drags, steep hills, fast descents and beautiful scenery this is for you. Not a bit of flat anywhere and your introduction to ‘The Wall’. The riders will be racing for the coveted leader’s yellow jersey which will be worn by the race leader every day. They will also be competing in ‘hot spot’ sprints along the route and trying to be first over the hills to take the title ‘King of the Mountains’.
Previous winners of the event have gone on to represent England & Ireland in World Championships, the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Last year’s 460 mile long race was won by Shaun Snodden (recycling.co.uk) with an overall time of 18 hours 37 minutes and 14 seconds – an average speed of almost 25 mph!
Starting on Friday 19 August, each day sees the participants racing on circuits in different parts of the Region. This year’s route revisits some of the favourite spots from previous years such as the South Downs at Goodwood and the Ashdown Forest. Here’s a preview of the stages, courtesy of Surrey League HQ:
Day 1 – Friday 19 August
Based on Milland in West Sussex. HQ: Rake Village Hall. Start time 12:00. New ground for the Revolutions! Pretty lanes and views should you be able to look around. Nasty little climbs in unexpected places but good roads.
Day 2 – Saturday 20 August
Based on Wivelsfield in East Sussex. HQ Wivelsfield Parish Hall. Start time 12:00. Another new area for the Revolutions. These are the ‘flat’ roads of Sussex that aren’t. Nothing steep but continually up and down on roads that are far from fast.
Day 3 – Sunday 21 August
Based on Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit where the HQ will be. Start time 11:00. The day starts with a time trial around Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit. This will be followed by a road race that goes up to the Goodwood Race Course. Fast big ring climbs with laps of the Motor Racing Circuit. Lovely views across the Downs. We do hope the day stays calm!
Day 4 – Monday 22 August
Based at Danehill on the edge of the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. HQ: Danehill Village Hall. Start time 12:00. A slightly different course to stage 4 last year but it still has long drags on ‘dead roads’ and the hills have not been lowered.
Day 5 – Tuesday 23 August
Based at Crowborough and the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. HQ Church Hall, Crowborough. Start time 12:00.
Riders and teams
Using it as ‘training’ for the ToB last years winner, Shaun Snodden and his recycling.co.uk team are back to defend his title, leading a very strong team including Paul Manning and Russell Downing. Also back is 2002 winner, Kristain House (Fujibikes UK). Tony Gibb (Plowman Craven) leads a new team including James Taylor and some talented South African riders. Yanto Barker leads a team from DFL that includes Ryan Connor and Ben Hallam. Last years points winner, Duncan Urquhart, is back leading a team from Agisko-Viner bikes. Recycling.co.uk have also entered a ‘second’ team that includes Rob Hayles, Dean Downing and Chris Newton.