500 riders took part in the VO2 Cycling Sportive on Sunday 8 March, with cyclists of all abilities covering one of three stunning courses that took in the sights and roads of Hidenborough and Kent. The three distances on offer were a fun 30km, a challenging 65km and a gruelling 120km.
With all the distances starting and finishing at the British cycling brand VO2 headquarters in Hildenborough, and the sun shining on one of the most beautiful parts of the country, those taking part were in for a real treat, even if the route planners had thrown in a few of the area’s more testing hills.
The long route took in some stunning scenery around Kent and Sussex and pushed cyclists to their very limits with the first challenge at Shipbourne Hill coming soon after the start.
From there the route wound across to Knole Park in Sevenoaks and descended River Hill before entering Weald village. From Weald the route then took riders to Chiddingstone and around Bough Beech where it climbed the 2nd major climb, Ide Hill. At the top was the first feed station which gave those taking part the energy to continue and those who were taking on the fun 30km challenge would head for home.
After taking in the scenery and some more food the course descended to Brasted before climbing Toys Hill. The route then climbed out of Edenbridge and took a 5 mile stretch of road into Ashdown Forest, an ‘area of outstanding beauty’. From there the climb was taken up Chuck Hatch and to the top of the stunning Forest with far reaching views and the 2nd fully stocked feed station as a reward.
Cyclists then descended into Groombridge and across to Penshurst to climb up past PORC on Grove Road. From there the route wound its way back across to Bough Beech and onto Chiddingstone Causeway. The route then turned left to Weald and climbed Hubbards Hill, before descending and heading back to the finish line at VO2 Cycling’s HQ at Walled Gardens Hildenborough.
The 2015 edition of the VO2 Sportive was the 7th running of this popular event that is set to return again in 2016. The event is organised by VO2 Cycling, a British bike brand that produces premium road and TT bikes, wheels, kit and accessories. The brand is owned by Chief Designer and former pro-cyclist Jimmy George, who ‘values build quality, performance and a personalised customer service experience’.