Lewis Partnership Stafford Sportive – The Climbs:

Part 1 – Sandon to Milwich 

As we build up to the 10th September Lewis Partnership Stafford Sportive, we’re taking a look at some of the key climbs along the route. And to kick things off, we’re looking at the first major challenge of your ride. The climb from Sandon towards Milwich.

The climb:

In each of our previews we’ll be using a Strava segment to define the climb itself, that way you can compare your efforts to other riders during your training and on the day of the sportive itself if you want to.  

Strava lists the climb being 1.6m long with an average gradient of 3%, so far so easy. But this is tough cookie of an ascent, coming in two sections, the first a long drag that saps your speed, the second (after a brief descent) a steeper little punch to the top. 

On your 10th September Ride ride the ascent comes after just 6.8miles so you should have fresh legs and you’ll have just had an opportunity to lose any excess liquids at the first stop of the day – The Dog & Doublet, Sandon. 

Gearing and other stuff to help you get up the hill:

Your author for this piece weighs about 70kg and is lucky to get 30 miles of riding in on a good week. I just scrape into the top 500 on this according to Strava, so chances are, if you’re thinking of doing our sportive on 10th September, you’re a bit fitter than me!

My lowest gear on my bike (it’s a Steel framed Genesis Equilibrium, 25mm tyres, mudguards, you get the picture) is 39×26 and while I’ll do the top section of the climb in that gear, most of it can be done in the upper 3rd of the cassette without the need to stand on the pedals. In terms of strategy for the climb, keep it sensible on the first section, use the mini descent to get your breath, then push on for the summit, the second bit is much shorter (if steeper) than the first. 

Is it the hardest climb on the route?

If you’re looking to rank the climbs on the Lewis Partnership Stafford Sportive, this vies for the top spot in terms of overall length, but not gradient. Later climbs on the route like Old Road out of Stone are steeper on average, and Beech Caves has a steeper peak gradient. So all in all, this is a (not too) gentle intro to what lies ahead!

Click here to see the route on Strava