I’m in too. Hoping to get an early start and go under 4:15
Last time I did it (2019) they seemed to do a decent job of using Strava and other data to validate people’s estimated finish time and set them off in the right group. I ended up in first wave, broke 4 hours comfortably and the standard of group riding was very good - everybody seemed to be a racer or at least strong club rider and experienced at fast group riding.
Contrast with the first time I did it (2013) where there seemed to be no checking at all! I put down a finish time of 4-4:30, ended up in the seventh group to start, and was alongside a couple of ladies in their 60s on hybrids who said they thought it would take them about 8-9 hours but put down 4:30 because they wanted to start early . First 20 miles or so was total carnage as there was such a mix of different speeds and experience. Groups of 100+ riders doing 25-30mph barreling past individuals and small groups doing <15mph. Saw a couple of crashes. Eventually settled down when we got out to Surrey and hit the hills.
Hopefully the organisers are sticking with the 2019 seeding approach!
Yeah I did the same in 2019 and did 4:30 but much stronger rider now. I’m going in the first group regardless of whether they pick me there or not
Full disclosure - I’m a club member, but if you didn’t get in or just want to enjoy an Essex Sportive - this one with homemade cakes and free Torq nutrition at the mid ride feed station - London Phoenix have the popular Easter Classic on Easter Monday, this time with Gravel route:
I’ve got a place in wave C which I’m guessing is early. The email says you can join later groups if you like. Any tips on getting in fast groups? I’m about 4w/kg and hoping to go very quick. Should I go in earliest wave possible or later ?
If anyone wants to join forces that would be great
I’m in wave F. Looking forward to riding some new roads.
Don’t expect to set the fastest pace but I do hope that everyone keeps things rubber side down
Go early for a fast time, on balance the earlier waves should have stronger riders. I would have thought that wave C would have a big group that stays together at least until the first decent hill, so would just sit in that pack and do as little work as possible until the hills start at which point things will start to break up a bit. I haven’t ridden the new course but the hills all look pretty innocuous, I would have thought that 4W/kg would be enough to hang with the fastest big group from your wave. If you do get dropped then unless you think you can chase back on there’s not much point working hard on your own, there’ll be another group along shortly to jump onto. Enjoy!
They’re basically no hills this year and the route follows many larger roads to prevent queues… A good opportunity to set 100 mile PBs I reckon.
Rider guide says there will be a safety car sitting in front of first wave at 22mph and nobody is allowed to pass. If they stick to that plan there’ll be no PRs and a lot of crashes from everybody being bunched up the whole ride!
I also saw this and it feels like a pretty dangerous idea, you’re going to have the first wave and then subsequent waves all bunched up behind as groups catch up on the flat roads. Surely it’s better to just let people go and their own pace and spread it out?
Sounds like it might be better to start later
I’ve just seen this notification. It’s going to be one long line from start to finish.
Beginning to think that I might give this event a last minute swerve.
Wondering how people know what wave they’re in - I haven’t had any emails with details yet.
I’ve trialed the route a couple of times in the last 2 weeks. They are fixing potholes but have also resurfaced a long stretch of the A414 approaching Ongar with tar 'n chip. I almost came off a couple of times cause of the drifts of loose gravel. I contacted the organisers and Essex council, who say they will sweep up the loose stuff before then, but I don’t trust them to do a decent job. It took months before Epping Road was clear of loose gravel when it was resurfaced in the same way a few years back.
I (and everyone I know doing it) got an email on the 13th May with details of wave and start time. Worth dropping them an email or something if you haven’t had anything through.
Thanks. Checked the junk folder and there it was!
I think you guys might be over-estimating the average rider at the event.
Start later and you’ll never get through the slower bunches and bottlenecks.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your mindset…it’s not a race
It’s an interesting one, and a valid point on the average rider over the entire event. However, I do think there is a fairly big difference between the average rider in the first few waves and the average rider in the second half of the waves.
I think the average rider in the second half of the waves will be fairly comfortable ticking over and not too worried about pace etc. The average rider in the first few waves will be a pretty different proposition though as they’ve put down a quick time and will want to push for that. I know of a few clubs with riders in waves B & C that will be catching up fairly quickly and this is likely to create the bunching behind the car.
Even though it’s not a race, it feels safer to let everyone go at the pace they want to go at and then it will at least separate out a bit into groups that are travelling the same pace and are comfortable with each other.
This is a bit of a dumb question but how fast would one expect the faster riders to be going over the whole distance?
I’d say the front pack would have expected (pre-safety car) to comfortably finish under 4 hours, likely closer to the 3.30/3.45 mark depending on conditions and the groups that form. Linked below a blog/entry from the “winner” in 2016 who finished in under 4 hours on a much hillier course round Surrey.
It doesn’t specify when it’s going out on course, could be 15-30 mins before the first wave and is mainly sweeping (and making people think there’s a speed limit on the racing waves)