Well that was interesting: a socially distanced sportive in the COVID era. Rider packs handed through the car window, riders sent off in groups of 6, no peletons and almost no drafting: essentially a 100 mile time trial. Still great though if unrelenting. Downside was that with no drafting, my time suffered. Well – through that and the cows!
Legs suffered too – lack of longer rides this year at speed showed in some almost quad cramping at 60 m, cycled through it by spinning up the steepest art of the steepest hill.
The main change since 2018 was in the road conditions. They could almost have advertised this as a 50:50 gravel ride. Gravel everywhere on most of the smaller roads. Pretty sketchy in a number of places and I’m surprised there were few accidents. Some of this must have been caused by the recent storms in the area, but in many places the gravel looked more established than that. This sportive tends to attract a more experienced cyclist but even so. I nearly got caught out on a couple of occasions. Next year they need better signage for the worst spots, and even better if they could sweep key sections, like we used to do for Zappi’s Gran Fondo.
Year Dist. Time Elev. Pos. Garmin Strava 2012 99.91 5:59:26 5,695 128 160.79km, 5:54:55, 1,736m, 27.2kph https://www.strava.com/activities/8450222 2013 101.7 5:58:25 6,159 126 162.06km, 5:58:25, 1,877m, 27.1kph https://www.strava.com/activities/53791435 2016 100.9 5:51:30 5,715 56 162.38km, 5:46:17, 1,742m, 28.1kph https://www.strava.com/activities/569521387 2018 102.9 5:44:47 6,106 56 165.72km, 5:42:36, 1,861m, 29.0kph https://www.strava.com/activities/1584321353 2020 163.95km, 5:52:39 1,975m, 27.9kph https://www.strava.com/activities/3921645919 - timings are official sportive timings. Still waiting on my 2020 result.