Verulam CC preview the toughest climbs at the Chiltern 100
12th April 2016
The Chiltern 100 Sportive is back for 2016 on Sunday 15th May and riders will be taking on the toughest sportive close to the capital, through the challenging landscape of the Chiltern Hills. Verulam CC, the St Albans cycling club which originally set up the event have explained the area’s hardest leg-burning climbs and how the sportive came to claim its hard-hitting reputation.
Based in St Albans, the Verulam CC is one of the oldest and most active cycling sport clubs in Hertfordshire with over 360 members. The Chiltern 100 is delivered in partnership with Human Race, after originally being set up by Verulam CC eight years ago and growing into the esteemed sportive it is today. It regularly attracts rave reviews, and has become one of the highest rated major sportives in the UK.
There’s barely a mile of flat on a route, famously including 22 hills, and taking in the best climbs the Chilterns has to offer. The climbs keep coming one after the other, with very little down time between. Riders who don’t fancy the full 110 mile Gran Fondo route can take on a still testing 76 mile Medio Fondo instead.
Doug Driscoll from Verulam CC has hand-picked some of the club’s favourites climbs:
Bison: 1.0km. Max 21%. Avg 8%. VCC rating: 7/10
The climb has an open, alpine feel about it with stunning views over Bedfordshire, topping out at Whipsnade Zoo.
Ivinghoe Beacon: 1.5km. Max 6%. Avg 4%. VCC rating: 3/10
Another stunning open climb with fantastic views for miles around. The official start of the famous Ridgeway Trail.
Wiggington: 1.3km. Max 11%. Avg 6%. VCC rating: 4/10
A long drag of a climb, but the feed station at the top is something to look forward to!
The Crong: 0.5km, Max 16%. Avg 9%. VCC rating 3/10
Short, but brutal. Smile at the hairpin bend as this is where the photographers are likely to be hiding.
Whiteleaf: 1.4km, Max 25%. Avg 9%. VCC rating: 10/10
This is the daddy! It just gets steeper and steeper all the way up. Time to grimace.
Wardrobes: 1km, Max 17%. Avg 9%. VCC rating 8/10
A cruel climb coming straight after the decent from Whiteleaf. You might question what you’ve let yourself in for by the top of this one.
Kingston Blount: 2.5km. Max 21%. VCC rating: 9/10
A nice gentle start lures you into a false sense of security. Be warned, this one bites!
Watlington: 1.3km. Max 17.5%. Avg 8%. VCC rating: 8/10
A nice wide and open climb. Good for friends and family to watch. Bad for your legs.
Bledlow Ridge: 5.2km. Max 13%. Avg 2%. VCC rating: 5/10
This one start off with a “please, no more!” section, but thankfully it does ease off. Console yourself that it is the last killer climb of the day.
If you believe you are capable of conquering Whiteleaf, Kingston Blount and 20 other climbs on Sunday 15 May, places are still available. Head to www.humanrace.co.uk/cycling to secure your place.