A total of 15,000 riders will be taking part in the first Vélo South 100-mile closed-road event on Sunday September 23.
Below, the organisers explain the route the cyclists will be taking:
Starting on the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit, our 100-mile fully closed-road route will take 15,000 riders on a breath-taking journey through West Sussex.
Featuring rolling countryside, panoramic views, picturesque villages and iconic climbs, the route showcases the very best of this stunning part of the country.
Upon being treated to a grandstand finish on the hallowed Tarmac of Goodwood Motor Circuit, riders will complete a celebratory lap of the track and enter the paddocks to collect their hard-earned medal before celebrating your magnificent achievement with family and friends.
To help bring the route to life, we’ve created an Interactive Route Map which riders can use to explore it in more detail.
Our elevation graph will help riders pinpoint where the challenging climbs are located so they can get an idea of how to pace themselves on the big day.
This route has been a while in the planning, in partnership with West Sussex County County, district and borough councils, emergency services and transport operators. We’re extremely proud to be unveiling what we believe is a spectacular 100-mile route that showcases the beautiful county of West Sussex.
Upon crossing the start line on Goodwood Motor Circuit, riders will roll through the historic Goodwood Estate in a neutralised start, ensuring a safe and relaxed passage on to the official start of the route. Upon exiting Goodwood Estate via Claypit Lane and crossing the timing mats, riders will soon be on the A285 – a flat, wide road that will enable them to get in a group and find a comfortable pace as they settle into the ride.
Featuring sweeping views of the Sussex Weald at the top of Duncton Hill Viewpoint, the first 10 miles will fly by as riders make their way towards the picturesque market town of Petworth, home of Petworth House. From here, riders will head into the historic village of Pulborough before exiting via Stane Street – a famously straight Roman Road – as they approach the hamlet of Adversane. This is the location of our first Rider Pit Stop, providing riders with an opportunity to have a breather, re-hydrate and stock up on some energy products.
As riders head towards the end of the first 25 miles, they will leave the South Downs National Park and begin heading deep into quintessential West Sussex countryside.
The next 25 miles of the route will take riders through the flattest section of the course, but it’s not all plain sailing! Riders will need to prepare for a lumpy section as they exit Copsale and head towards Horsham just before mile 40. With the route passing through many villages such as Ashington, Wiston and Partridge Green, riders will begin to get a taste of the spectacular countryside that characterises so much of the route.
The second Rider Pit Stop is located in the most easterly section of the route near Stan’s Bike Shack in Partridge Green – a must-visit coffee and cake stop for those training rides. As riders exit the Rider Pit Stop they will begin hugging the southerly outer skirts of Horsham town and before long, they will find themselves heading west up and over the A24 via South Street and into Southwater.
The third Rider Pit Stop is a welcome reprieve nestled quietly in the heart of the route just before Five Oaks. Upon departure, riders will once again join Stane Street and enjoy the quick, straight road towards the River Arun crossing and the A281.
Despite the absence of any major climbs, the northerly third quarter of the route is characterised by undulating country roads as riders re-enter the South Downs National Park between Plaistow and Fisherstreet. With the legs starting to feel the exertions of the first 50 miles, this section offers riders an opportunity to lock into a manageable pace and tick off the miles as they appreciate the beautiful scenery that surrounds them.
The highlight is undoubtedly the Wey and Arun Junction Canal and the Loxwood Canal Centre which is restoring London’s lost route to the sea. The route’s undulations become increasingly noticeable between miles 65 – 75, which luckily for riders is just before the penultimate Rider Pit Stop of the day. Make sure you take a breather, hydrate and take on board some calories as the toughest section of the route awaits…
The final quarter of the ride is as beautiful as it is challenging, so there will be mixed emotions as riders pedal their way to the finish. With two significant climbs to tackle – one of which runs parallel with the legendary Rogate Downhill Mountain Bike course - the elevation soon kicks in as riders approach the infamous Coombe Hill. With an ascent that will take you up to 110m of elevation over approximately two miles, this climb certainly packs a punch.
When riders reach the top they will be rewarded with far reaching views of the South Downs National Park before rolling into the fifth and final Rider Pit Stop to prepare them for Harting Hill – the toughest climb of the day and our King & Queen of the Mountain Challenge. Located at mile 85 and with an average gradient of 6.7% (up to 18.3% at its steepest), Harting Hill is a climb that will require riders to dig deep.
With the hard work out of the way, riders can look forward to an enjoyable descent back down the hill side where they’ll pass the National Trust’s Uppark House and Gardens and the Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve. Before long, they will be crossing the iconic finish line on Goodwood Motor Circuit where following a lap of the circuit, their hard-earned medal will await!