Southern Sportive Route Previews


Posted Monday 6th August 2012 –

Whatever the weather, it’s proving hard not to be inspired by this remarkable sporting summer and the achievemments of some of our top cyclists. There’s no better way to channel that inspiration than to get out and take part in some events with hundreds of fellow cyclists. The Southern Sportive is one of the south’s longest running and most popular events regularly attracting will over 1,000 riders. With a choice of route options on offer there should be something to suit every level of cyclists, from the challenging 192km Gauntlet to the more leisurely 71km short route. The sportive takes place on Sunday 9th September and here’s the low down on the route options on offer –

Full (Classic) Route (155km) – The Classic Southern Sportive is simply one of the best Sportive courses in the country. Created in 2006, this is the ride that defined the South Downs as a sportive heartland.The event starts in the main courtyard of Churchers College on the edge of Petersfield, and delivers you quickly onto the South Downs to take on three major ascents of the Downs’ northern escarpment as you wind your way eastward. The return leg tracks south of the Downs ridge, but big climbs over Goodwood and Old Winchester Hill still stand between you and the finish.At 155km and with 2,500m of climbing, this ride deserves it’s classic tag. The course winds over the exquisite South Downs, mixing classic downland climbs with flowing country lanes, passing through idyllic English villages and opening up to breath-taking views. Cycling Weekly have dubbed this amongst the best courses in the country.

Full Route Profile

Wilier Gauntlet (192km) – First introduced in 2011, the Wilier Gauntlet turns the Classic Southern Sportive into one of the nations toughest rides. The Gauntlet itself forms a 37km extension to the main Classic loop, cranking your kilometre count for the day to a whopping 192, with 3,000 metres of climbing to tackle! You will have all of the Classic routes big climbs heavy in your legs by the time you hit the Gauntlet section of the course. Carving northwards over into the beautiful Meon Valley, you will drop away and climb onto the Winchester Downs, before returning over the knuckles of the Gauntlet; a rapid series of sharp climbs and drops that will really test what you have left in the tank.

Mid Route (112km) – A magnificent middleweight ride, the mid route option cuts off the western tip of the full course to bring the challenge down to a still healthy 112km. The heart of the course is still there for you, with the days best climbs and views on offer to complete a memorable day.

Short Route (71km) – An accessible 71km around the eastern half of the full routes, this short ride opens up the Southern Sportive to all comers. If you’re new to cycling, this is a worthy challenge, and even if you’re a bit more experienced it’s an excellent ride. we’d rate the scenery around Old Winchester Hill as one of the standouts of a generally beautiful course, and the short route concentrates your efforts right in that stunnning landscape.

For more details and entry visit our sportive calendar listing –

Southern Sportive 2012