Hell of The Ashdown 2022 Ride Report : Jimmy William
Five HCC riders arrived at different times with much hype surrounding HCC about HOTA, in frost but bright Westerham. HCC riders were: Rob, Si, Matt, Pierre and myself. At the start/finish line (Westerham brewery) hundreds of riders were streaming in to the venue and streaming back out of the venue from the start line to start the 100km, 1800m journey. On arrival, stickers were being handed out for top tubes which seemed novel at first but the more the ride wore on, it made for a challenging reminder of just how hard this sportive is, with the largest climb saved for the final 5km. There were many rises throughout the day, some listed and some not but the toughest in my view was ‘The Wall’ 47km in. The were three fords, steep descents and some stunning views of The Weald on the brightest day of 2022 so far. The sun burned through, melted the frost and all made for a top event and we thank you HOTA!
Arriving earlier than my alloted time, it was my plan to greet all HCC riders and form a kind of plan. At this point I had no idea that Rob had already started his effort, resulting in the quickest time for HCC on the day. Great ride, Rob!
Second to brave the cold was Matt. Having only met Matt on Zwift before, it was great to meet him on such a stage and he was full of enthusiasm and that was evident in his effort as it was another good time showing his strength as a CX rider. Well done, Matt.
Then at 9.30 Si, Pierre and myself formed up as a HCC trio. It was quite remarkable to see Si even at such a tough event, having just completed a heavy laden 100 miles (yes, miles not km) a few hours prior to this ride, in training for his Panceltic ride in July. Another solid time from a HCC rider in Si, and shows just how impressive his training plan for the event on July is. Strong stuff, Si.
HCC rider of the day: Pierre Devlin – we raise a glass to you, sir! To use the words of another HCC member yesterday: “your training and planning is clearly paying off”. A great ride, Pierre with a flood of PRs on your Strava and is a sign of intent that you will go from strength to strength in 2022.
28 Feb 2022