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The Challenge Weymouth bike course preview
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Wednesday 19th August 2015


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With news that there is still (until this Friday, 21st August!), time to enter the 2015 editon of Challenge Weymouth (www.challengeweymouth.com), it's a good time for those considering the event - and especially for those that have already committed to it - to take a detailed look at the revised bike course for this years race.

Our regular long distance contributor Karl Alexander will be racing in Weymouth on 13th September (highly motivated after a 2014 DNF!), and recently took a trip to the coast to take a detailed look at the course and report back for us. Here is Karl's view of the course along with some tips and advice to help you perform on race day.

The event will also incorporate the 2015 ETU European Long Distance Triathlon Championships. You can also look back on our coverage of the 2014 Challenge Weymouth race on this link.


The bike course for the 2015 edition of Challenge Weymouth has had a number of changes made to the route, most notably the return at the end of the first lap to transition at Lodmoor Country Park. This change will allow spectators, those spouses and partners that have put up with your training, the opportunity to cheer you on at the half way point and come the day I think there will be a real party atmosphere outside of transition.

That said, if they've suffered enough and the thought of waiting for you is too much to bear then there are plenty of attractions at Lodmoor to keep everyone entertained, from go-karting, an adventure playground, the Sealife Centre and even a pub. There is something for everyone although I wouldn't advise a pint at seven in the morning!

This addition obviously meant the course would now be long so the race organisers have taken out last years out-and-back section along Waddock Drive (B3390), and added in two shorter out-and-back sections near Bovington (dead turn) and the A351 (Roundabout).

From an athlete perspective, I'm a fan of out-and-back sections so you can gauge distance to those you're chasing and those chasing you.

The rest of the course remains largely unchanged, and follows the same two lap format as last year, which includes the early climb of the Ridgeway:

Coming after only four miles it's an early test, and with an average gradient of 5.1% and 1.4 miles long, it would be too easy to take this climb hard and pay for it later as you grind over it on the second lap. As you reach the top make sure you keep over to the right hand side onto the cycle path as to avoid a gravelly section of road.

Once you hit the top you're free to fly, get on the big ring and get that gear turning. The next four miles are mostly downhill on excellent road surface, expect to hit some high speeds along here. If you can, take a glance over to your right and you'll have an amazing view of the harbour.

Puddletown Forest

The next climb of note comes at 15 miles and begins as you turn left and head through Puddletown Forest. For the most part you can take this climb on the big chain ring but it gets slightly steeper towards the top and into another fast descent. Beware the sharp right corner (pictured) or you may find yourself getting closer to mother nature... 

Puddletown Forest right turn

The next few miles are rolling and fast as you head to the first out-and-back section, the dead turn comes at the bottom of quick descent which unfortunately means you have to climb back up, before turning left and passing through Bovington Camp. From here on in, get aero! 

Climb from dead turn

The second half of the lap is fast, very fast and includes the second out-and-back taking in some more fast roads all with excellent surface as you head towards Wool and pick up the the A352 and back towards Weymouth. 

There are a few rolling hills on the run back in, but nothing that should cause any issues and as you hit the 51 mile point you can take some comfort that the rest of the ride is downhill with the final flat run in along Preston Road to either start lap two or into transition and out on to the run.

Over the course of the lap there is approximately 2350ft of climbing whilst there are a number of significant climbs, there are very few steep descents. The course has been fantastically well designed and is fast with the potential to provide many with a great bike split.

https://www.strava.com/activities/369621512/overview


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