|Rider approaching the 16% bit|
The first is the gentle but spectacular Cheddar Gorge which starts immediately after the Gorge gift shops and winds its way up at 8% gradient with just one brief moment at 16% and then a very long 3% final bit that goes on and on.
On Tuesday 30th April there were still really rough road works just before the climb - here's hoping it's been sorted for Sunday.
|"Raised ironworks" before the climb - still there on Sunday?|
Next you’ll head over to Enmore village and climb up onto the Quantocks. The hill starts just after the village with a long straight at 8% followed by another at 11% which seems to end with a steeper bit but actually flattens out first 8% then 7 then 5 then 3% on and on. After several km of flat/downwards there is a final 11% bit before you are fully on top. Long and tricky descent.
At 70km you’ll encounter the climb up on to Exmoor near Elworthy. This one is harder – there are a couple of false starts but then the real climb opens just after a cross roads and looks daunting – you can see the very top of the road way up in the distance. First bit is 18% for may be 500m and then you get two long straight 12%s but that is all.
|Elworthy climb on to Exmoor|
On the return leg the last real challenge (make that nightmare) is Crowcombe climb back over the Quantocks. This one is a brute starting with 12% you come out of a wooded glade, spot the 1 in 4 sign and then head up at pretty much 20%+ all the way – no let up. The top is at the cattle grid.
Both Gran (192km) and Medio (134km) Fondos do the same climbs. Over all riders are in for a treat with progressively harder climbs until you get to the finale at Crowcomb.
More route details on the Somerset Hills GF website.