Hotchillee

EVENTS

Will you be ready for our 2021 super tough gravel doubleheader?

If you’re a seasoned gravel grinder, a roadie who reckons they can mix it with the off-roaders or a mountain biker who dabbles with drop-bar fun, we’ve got an epic, super tough, doubleheader off-road challenge for you this summer and autumn.

First up, on the 26th of June, is the UK leg of the gravel tour with our Ridgeway in a day. Arguably the toughest single-day event we’ve ever put on, we’ve scheduled this 135km/1885m epic close to the summer solstice to give you as much daylight as possible to get the job done.

Having tackled the Ridgeway, it’s then off to the Alps on 16th-20th September for the 3-day Suisse Gravel Explorer. Although the three days of riding only tot up to 175km, you’ll be logging close to 6000m of ascent and topping out at 2000m altitude. You’ll either be tackling gruelling off-road Alpine climbs or flying down technical descents – there’s not a lot of flat to catch your breath!

So, what will it take to tick off both?

Suisse Gravel Explorer Swiss Alps

Training

With the Ridgeway just seven weeks away, you need to be focussing on it now. Your weekend long ride should be at least four hours plus at this stage and you’ll be wanting to build up to six or seven hours (riding time that doesn’t include time sat in pubs and cafés!).

Don’t put off your long rides as you’ll also want a couple of weeks to taper down to ensure you’re rested, fresh and ready to roll.

Get off-road for as much of your training as possible.

A key part of those long rides is ensuring your fuelling and hydration strategies are nailed down. A nine-hour plus epic like the Ridgeway is as much about fuelling as fitness.

Don’t neglect your quality sessions during the week. Riding hard on technical trails is a great way to develop gravel-specific fitness.

Big gravel days are total body workouts so all-around robustness is essential. Off the bike conditioning, such as yoga and pilates, should be part of your plan.

You’ll want to give your body a really easy week to recover from the Ridgeway and then it’ll be just under 12 weeks until the Suisse Gravel Explorer.

Hold weekend rides at four or five hours but really go in search of climbing metres. The longer the climbs the better as you’ll be wanting to get used to continuous climbing for hours rather than minutes.

Schedule in a couple of double day weekends when you do big climbing days on back to back days.

Some indoor sessions where you tackle big virtual climbs can be a good way to get your legs used to a constant uphill load.

Hotchillee the ridgeway off road

Skills

If you’re coming from a mostly road background, focus of developing your off-road skills as well as your engine.

The Ridgeway has some technical sections and, especially if it has been wet, you won’t be able to just muscle your way through.

If you’re tense and not relaxed when the going gets rough, you’re going to be wasting an awful lot of energy.

The best way to build your gravel skillset is to ride off-road. Challenge yourself technically when choosing routes rather than always riding the same trails.

Equipment

A dedicated gravel steed is a must have for both of these events.

Think about your gearing and, for both, a 1:1 bottom gear or lower is recommended.

Tubeless means fewer ride halting punctures and the ability to run lower pressures for improved traction and a plusher ride. It’s really a no-brainer off road.

Keep an eye on the weather in the lead up to the Ridegway and, if it has been at all wet, you’re going to need some knobblies.

For the Suisse Gravel Explorer you can opt for something faster rolling but, for both, 38mm is the minimum tyre width you should go for.

As you taper your body in the final weeks before both events, show your bike some love too. You want to be 100% confident in your bike so book it in for a full pre-event service.

So, are you gravel tough enough for both?

Become a Premium Hotchillee member today to access the exclusive Ridgeway event and you’ll also receive a 10% discount on the Suisse Gravel Explorer!

Premium members also have access to discounts and offers from partners and sponsors, the Hotchillee app and more! Find out more and join the gang here.

The Ridgeway

26 June 2021 - Chilterns, UK

Limited places available!

Hotchillee the ridgeway off road

In the week of the summer solstice make the most of the daylight hours and tackle what is arguably the toughest single-day event we’ve ever laid on.

Throw in the technical challenge of riding the country’s oldest road and you have a gravel adventure worthy of the most seasoned off-road aficionado.

The Suisse Gravel Explorer

16 - 20 September 2021 - Graubunden, Switzerland

Limited places available!

Suisse Gravel Explorer Mountain

Explore the breathtaking Swiss Alps on gravel tracks, forest trails and silky smooth tarmac. 

With some punchy climbs and grin inducing downhills this adventure’s not for beginners!

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Stone Circle 2023

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LONDON-PARIS 2023 entry will open on 2 August 2022. Fill out the form below to be notified when entries are available.

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Register for 7-day priority access to enter The LONDON-PARIS by Tour de France 2023.

You’ll also be entered into a prize draw for 2 x tickets to the Tour de France 2023 route launchon 27th October 2022 at Palais des Congrès, Paris.

Your priority access will start on Tuesday 26 July 2022. We’ll be in touch then, keep an eye on your emails, or the Hotchillee companion app.

Friday 23 June: Festival Fort / Sign On

Please let us know what time you plan on arriving on Friday for Sign On. This is when you collect your rider number. The Festival Fort will be open all afternoon with a live DJ, a 35km social gravel ride from the Lauf stand at 14:14, Rider Welcome at 17:00 and free pizza and beer from 18:00:
For those not able to Sign On on Friday the registration desk will be open for 30 mins from 05:00 - 05:30 on Saturday morning. Signing On on Saturday will delay your start and should be avoided.

Saturday 24 June: Arrival

For those who have not booked camping, access to the site will not be available before 04:00. This is when the gate to the car park will open. The start line is open from 05:00-06:00. If you’re driving please arrive set up and ready so there’s minimal faff. For us to manage traffic flow please let us know how you will be arriving:
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cancellation waiting list

The LONDON-PARIS by Tour de France 2022 road route has sold out. Join the waiting list to be contacted when cancelled places become available. 

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GLEN WHITTINGTON

Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.

Website: www.aeightbikeco.com

Instagram: @aeightracer

NIK COOK

Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.

Twitter: @nikalascook

Instagram: @nikalascook

ADELE SMYTH

Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.

Website: www.purebodybyadele.co.uk

Instagram: @purebodybyadele

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