Although a week later than the actual event this year, Sunday saw the inaugural CDRC Tour of Flanders Tribute ride, a new addition to the Captain’s Challenge roster.
A strong turnout across all three groups, showed that many had not looked at the route in too much detail, possibly focussing on the flat first half (missing the 1,000m of climbing in the last 45km)
The local route was probably one of only a few times many had ridden these roads as part of a club ride, despite often riding them alone or as part of a commute.
A tour of the local roads from Clevedon to Long Ashton, via Congresbury saw the groups reach the bottom of Clarken Coombe, the first ascent of the day – this was soon followed by coffee at Tyntesfield, another first for the club.
Refreshed and eager to get onto the climbing, the groups found the first incline a little earlier than anticipated, with the road from coffee back to the main road having a steeper gradient than perhaps many would want to start off on – a quick descent into Wraxall soon led to Belmont Hill, which was on the route as a softening up, as after the Portbury descent, the main climb of the day loomed into sight, Naish Hill – a (slow for many) grind upwards followed, with much deep breathing and aching of legs – whilst the worst of the climbs, it wasn’t the last, as after a drop back down Naish Hill was followed by Valley Road and then Holly Lane, where the cumulative efforts from the day started to take the toll – after a gentle roll back into the centre of Clevedon to finish, many then stopped for Moules and Beer (or variations of).
Feedback suggests the ride was well received and it is likely to become a permanent fixture in the ride calendar (will have to see if we can sneak Providence Lane is as well for next year!)