Lionheart 2015

Report by Andy Flint

The Lionheart has established itself as a favoured early season sportive with a growing following. Established by an inventive bunch of cyclists and now organised by Humanrace, The Lionheart enjoys the splendour of Longleat Estate as the start and finish point.  Offering both 100 mile and 100km routes, I was joined by Kirk Alderson to take on the 100miles - we decided this was a great opportunity to meet up and ride, given it is approximately at the half-way point between St Albans and Plymouth where Kirk now lives - "I'm retired now" was an oft repeated phrase - something he is clearly enjoying!

The course is tough, with approx. 6,500 feet in total of ascent; the particularly tough bit being over 5,500 of that comes in the first 50 miles!  It was topped out by a closed road section, timed hill climb.  I arrived at the timing start thinking I was at the end and proceeded to endure the walk of shame!  Kirk ground out the full ascent - fair play!  My only 'excuse being that I was on my winter bike, with a 27 rear, whilst Kirk had opted for the summer bike with a 32 rear - making his spin to the top slightly less challenging (in my humble...)!

The whole 100 miles is set in what is a fantastically scenic corner of South West England. It certainly lives up to its billing - "a characterful cycling terrain make no mistake!"

Kirk and I enjoyed a challenging and memorable day.