This route is designed and tested by Pearson 1860 sponsored rider Mattie Dodd. When planning the route he wanted to include as many of the big climbs of the South Downs as he could. The result is over 150 kilometres and 2000 metres of climbing. It’s a route with parcours and climbs similar to that of an Ardennes classic. The short, sharp kicks of Surrey may have you wondering what all the hype is about in the continent.
The route takes you through Richmond Park just after leaving the shop. It is then pretty much a straight line out to Epsom through the back roads. A cheeky stretch of gravel gets you into the classics mindset for the day ahead. If you (or your tyres) aren’t up to it, a quick look at the map will provide an easy detour. So far, however, it has provided no huge obstacle for 25mm tyres. Once you’re in Epsom, the buildings and people start to disappear as you get out into Surrey.
The first small test is a gentle climb up to Epsom Downs. After this there is a brief stretch on Reigate Road, that is the one and only big road, don’t worry. After that it’s a baptism of fire up Coldharbour Lane, if you’re not warmed up already, you will be after this. Then a descent of one of Leith Hill’s 8 different passages to the summit, and you’re climbing up another.
Then you’ve got a brief rest as as you trundle along some nice backroads before reaching Ewhurst. Next up it’s Barhatch Hill, a climb that drags on and only gets steeper. After that it’s the descent of Pitch Hill as you go back down past Ewhurst. After this you’ve got the pleasant climb of Holmbury Hill.
Next it’s Whitedown, one of the 2 climbs on this route included in the 100 Climbs. After this, you’ve got the smooth, flowing descent of Effingham. Then it’s up Whitedown’s younger sister, Crocknorth. As you come under the railway bridge, you can breathe a sigh of relief as all the climbing above 15% gradient is finished.
A few kilometres along the ridge and you take the descent of Ranmore Common Road. At the bottom of that your a matter of minutes away from the moneymaker, Box Hill. At the top of that, you’ve got the viewpoint, an opportunity to look out over Surrey and see all the potential roads out there just waiting to be ridden.
After that you carry on through Box Hill Village and back towards Epsom. A ride around the perimeter of the Downs let’s you see the vast size of the area. Then you head down into Epsom and through the back roads back towards home. As you come through Raynes Park you go up Copse Hill, a final kick in the teeth, just for good measure. Then it’s through Wimbledon and along the edge of the Common before going down into Richmond. Through the park for a second time and it a easy spin back down to the shop.