GT:15 Winter Edition - Stages
*** The Winter Edition has now finished. The Spring Edition is currently active ***
(For full details of the Winter AVC GT:15 challenge, please download the 'AVC GT:15 - Winter Road Book')
Each Edition of the GT:15 will have seven stages. GT:15 Stages are ordered according to length and there are three points systems, for Short, Medium and Long stages. The Winter Edition has two Short stages and five Medium stages (we’re easing you in by saving the Long Stages until the days when it doesn’t get dark at 4pm). The details of the Winter Edition stages are below. Details of the stages in the Spring and Summer Editions will follow.
- Little Lane Power-Up (0.25m) - ( Strava | Garmin | .GPX )
- Ridgmont Reversal (2.3m) - ( Strava | Garmin | .GPX )
- Warden Abbey (3.5m) - ( Strava | Garmin | .GPX )
- Tappa Per Max (4.4m - ( Strava | Garmin | .GPX )
- Naughty Doggy (5.4m) - ( Strava | Garmin | .GPX )
- Superbad (6.8m) - ( Strava | Garmin | .GPX )
- Espresso Corso (6.8m) - ( Strava | Garmin | .GPX )
#1 : Little Lane Power-Up (Short Stage - 0.25m)
The first stage is the simplest – if you call destroying your legs within 30 seconds simple. It starts in Clophill just after the turn opposite the school onto Great Lane (the hill that leads towards Haynes). As you turn off of the High Street onto Great Lane there’s another small road on your left, it’s easily missed but this is Little Lane. Turn into it and start sprinting. It’s a quarter of a mile of single track gravelly high-banked hill. Just before the lane reaches a T-junction the Stage ends. As those hideous Afro-Russian TV rodents would say – “simples”.
This Stage (in its entirety) is also the first segment that counts towards the Le Grimpeur competition (see the sub-Competitions page for points).View on Strava
#2 : Ridgmont Reversal (Short Stage - 2.4m)
Stage 2 features two inescapable cycling elements, those ying-and-yang terrible twins – that ugly menace “Mr Hurt” and his dapper flashy brother “Signor Speed”. Hate em and love em in equal measure. Ride out to where the bottom of Ridgmont Station Road passes under the M1, near Junction 13. Point your front wheel towards Woburn and start the engine. At the roundabout turn left and climb the aching grind of Ridgmont Road. Once in Ridgmont bear left onto Station Road for the descent back to the T junction that will complete the triangle.
The last third of this Stage – the downhill sprint to the finish – is the 1st SuperMario segment.View on Strava
#3 : Warden Abbey (Medium Stage - 3.57m)
Thanks go to Rich Lovelock for this stage. He felt that the nameless lane that forms the last third of the Stage deserved inclusion for its beautiful ruggedness, the deceptive challenge that it presents, and presumably because it’s pastoral tranquillity would be nicely offset by the ragged breathing and muttered expletives of passing cyclists. So you’re out east. You’ve left behind the Chicksands MTBers and you’re on the road toward Old Warden. After passing the right turn to Ireland the road turns downward and the Stage starts. Bomb it down and under the bridge at the bottom. Head up the rise to where the road bends to go to Old Warden and turn right towards Cardington. Suffer the continuing gentle rise to the sharp left hander that takes you onto Rich’s idyllic lane. Ignore the idyll. Ignore the bunnies and the pheasants with a death wish (the Black Horse in Ireland does a lovely Game Pie btw). Ignore the pain. Push on. Finishing 50 yards before the T-junction.
The start of the Stage, down to the bridge, is the 2nd segment in the SuperMario competition.View on Strava
#4 : Tappa per Max (Medium Stage - 4.34m)
This one was devised by Max and Brian McClellan for the 2014 GT. People liked it. A lot. So it’s back (don’t say I never listen to you!) It starts just after Greenfield school on the road up to Pulloxhill. Climb that hill but take the left hand turn at the end of the High Street, down Flitton and Sand Roads. Then take the first right and head to Silsoe. In Silsoe go left, left (and up Flitton Hill) and left again to finish shortly before the Jolly Coopers pub in Wardhedges.
The Flitton Hill climb will be the 2nd Le Grimpeur segment.View on Strava
#5 : Naughty Doggy (Medium Stage - 5.39m)
Up and down, up and down, up and finish. Got it? Of course it’s not as easy as that! There again, maybe I’m over-complicating things... Look, just push hard on the pedals and all will be fine. This excursion begins in Gravenhurst of the Upper variety. Heading towards Campton turn right just after the church. It starts there. Descend a bit, climb a bit, swear a bit, and soon you’ll find yourself about to enter Shillington and faced with the left turn to Meppershall. Take it! Climb the hill and at the top, as you enter Meppershall (but before you can catch anything nasty) bear left and follow signs to Campton. Descend! Past the airfield and as you pass the first houses in Campton keep left heading back to Upper Gravenhurst. Climb again and keep going till the hill finally tops out outside the church in the village centre.
The Meppershall Rd climb is the 3rd Le Grimpeur segment and the descent to Campton is the 3rd SuperMario.View on Strava
#6 : Superbad (Medium Stage - 6.8m)
We’re really getting into the guts of this oddly complicated bike race now! There’s a little homage to the Icknield Road Club Tuesday evening TT here (worth noting if you’re thinking of pinning a number on in the Spring) as the first 3 miles of this Stage follow one of their courses. Starting by the M1 at the bottom of Steppingley hill we run north, parallel to the M1 before ducking under it and climbing in the direction of Ridgmont. At the 1st T-junction though turn left up to Berry End. Descend, then go left again at the bottom. Crank up the pace back toward the start but take the next right heading through the eastern end of Eversholt and on to Tingrith. Before getting down to the M1 underpass take the right turn onto Long Lane and start burying yourself. The Stage finishes just before the T-junction in Toddington at the top of Long Lane hill.
Not surprisingly that final climb up Long Lane will be the 4th segment in Le Grimpeur. The dash from the bottom of the Berry End descent to the turn into Eversholt will be the 4th SuperMario segment.View on Strava
#7 : Espresso Corso (Medium Stage - 6.8m)
And now the end is near but before we face the final curtain, or in this case, the complimentary coffee, we have to go one more round with the gorilla. As many of you know, The Bike Bus, that purveyor of fine coffee and peculiarly amazing cakes has moved from its previous site over near Salford and has come to rest in Bourne End. This Stage acts as a kind of round-the-houses route map to that new location. Approach the start from Marston, climbing that nasty hill into Cranfield and turning right once in the village. You'll quickly come to a mini roundabout. Go right again and follow signs for North Crawley. The road to Bourne End branches off immediately but ignore that, we have some suffering to do first. The Stage starts here and for 2 and half miles has no turns, just a lumpy road to North Crawley. In North Crawley swing left after passing The Cock (one for the Viz fans there). Ride another couple of lumpy miles, entering Cranfield University. Hang a left at the first roundabout and ride through and out of the University and up the drag alongside Cranfield Airfield runway. At the T-junction at the top take great care as you turn right and then almost immediately left. Bomb along this straight road and up a draggy rise to the sharp left-hand bend in Bourne End. Sprint out of it and finish at the Bike Bus sign another 200 yards further on. Engineer a U-turn when safety allows and go see Grant to claim a complimentary coffee for riding the GT:15.
That straight road I told you to bomb along, from about 6 miles into the Stage, is the 5th SuperMario segment.View on Strava
Stage Points System
The top twenty riders in each Stage will score points. Short Stages carry a maximum of 24 points for the winner, Medium Stages a maximum of 30 points and Long Stages a maximum of 40. For the Winter Edition there will be two Short Stages and five Medium Stages. We'll be holding back the Long Stages for when the days are longer. The system of points is shown on this table...
The Le Grimpeur Competition will be a combination of points accumulated through the four climbs within Stages, as listed below, and the climbing challenges in the Bonus section of the GT:15. To make them recognisable in Strava, Le Grimpeur segments have an LG at the end of their names.
Le Grimpeur Strava links and Points per segment...
1st = 5 points | 2nd = 4 points | 3rd = 3 points | 4th = 2 points | 5th = 1 point
The Bonus Challenges which also count towards Le Grimpeur are...
100 Climbs = 1 point per climb ridden
The Twenty & the Tour Climb Challenges = 5 points for completing each
The SuperMario Competition will be calculated entirely from the points scored in the five segments within Stages, as listed below. To make them recognisable in Strava, SuperMario segments have an SM at the end of their names.
SuperMario Strava links and Points per segment...
1st = 5 points | 2nd = 4 points | 3rd = 3 points | 4th = 2 points | 5th = 1 point