Hovis Hill to feature on Joker Sportive


Posted Monday 9th January 2012 –

Southern Sportive 2012 The JokerGold Hill in Shaftesbury – the famous “Hovis Hill” from the TV advertisment – is to feature on the course of the Joker sportive on April 1st. The iconic cobbled hill became one of the most famous streets in the country as the setting of the 1973 Hovis advert, which showed a young bakers boy pushing his bike up the hill to deliver bread.

Gold Hill will feature as one of four optional challenge loops on the Joker, a new sportive from the Southern Sportive organisers, that combines a serious sportive challenge with an April Fools Day twist.

The Joker, based at Salisbury Race Course, has been launched to celebrate April 1st falling on a Sunday in 2012, and features some interesting route options compared to other sportives. Two ‘core’ routes of standard and short routes are available to choose from, with an additional number of extra optional challenges and choices which, if you complete the set, bring route on the day up to 125km, with a formidable 2000m of climbing.

Gold Hill will be the feature climb of one of the Jokers Challenge loops, and you’ll earn a unique souvenir Joker playing card for every Jokers Challenge you complete. There will also be ‘Fools Choices’ on offer; marked short cuts that you can take without any penalty or alteration to your recorded time or course. The catch? You have to take the rough with the smooth; short cuts may include variable surfaces, gates, fords… who knows?

Take a look at the original Hovis advert to get an idea of what might be in store –

The Joker course will cover the droves and valleys between Salisbury and Shaftesbury, which is a beautiful and challenging cycling area.  As well as Gold Hill, the Joker is expected to include another notable Dorset summit, Zig-zag Hill; dubbed “Britain’s bendiest road”, it boasts more hairpins in a mile long stretch than any other road in the country. Full route details for the Joker will be published on January 20th.

Entry for the event is now open, you can find more details in our event listing –

The Joker Sportive