Gold at the Cycling Weekly Welsh Raider

We’re very proud (and in awe) of our cycling designer, Phill Brown. Last weekend he thought it would be a good idea to cycle 69 murderous miles around Shrophire and Wales – and he did very well…

Phill’s story

What was planned to be a morning ride around the Shropshire countryside (with a few breaches of the Welsh border) turned into a war against the weather. Staring from the medieval castle town of Ludlow in the heart of Shropshire, the ride had everything expected of a challenging sportive… only to be burdened with the remains of hurricane Bertha to fight along the way.

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After leaving Ludlow in torrential rain and heading through Craven Arms, the quiet roads of the Welsh Marches led to a trawl across the ancient Bronze Age Kerry Ridgeway and Offers Dyke, before finally crossing the border into Wales. Once in Montgomery, a welcome change in the weather came with a change of course, which turned south and followed the route of the river Severn through Abermule, before switching back to a grueling climb up to the border at Anchor. A rewarding decent towards the banks of the river swept past Clun Castle and across the medieval bridge before the smell of the finish line was in the air.

After 69 miles, half in torrential rain with the remainder filled with hope at a few rare sightings of blue sky in the distance… 3677ft of climbing and some segments with hills pushing a 27% gradient, the Cycling Weekly Welsh Raider was over. To my delight I managed to complete the course in 4 hours, 8 minutes and 6 seconds at an average speed of 16.7mph (26.8kmh) and slotted well inside the gold timing bracket.

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Phill Brown on Anchor Hill

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