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New and old in Surrey League five-day

By:
John Stevenson
Published:
August 09, 2005, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 0:06 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for August 9, 2005

This year's edition of Britain's Surrey League five-day stage race, August 19-23, takes in some new...

This year's edition of Britain's Surrey League five-day stage race, August 19-23, takes in some new terrain and some old favourites as the event winds its way through Surrey and East and West Sussex.

Around 100 of Britain's top riders will be taking part in the tough event. Each day they will cover around 100 miles - as well as climbing some of the steepest hills in South East England.

This year's route revisits some of the favourite spots from previous years such as the South Downs at Goodwood and the Ashdown Forest.

The first day is based on Milland in West Sussex. Organisers promise Pretty lanes and views - if riders have time to look around. But nasty little climbs in unexpected places should keep everyone's mind off the scenery.

The second day, at Wivelsfield in East Sussex, is another new area for the race, on the 'flat' roads of Sussex that aren't. Nothing steep but continually up and down on roads that are far from fast.

For day three the race moves to the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit for a time trial, followed by a road race that goes up to the Goodwood Race Course.

The fourth day returns to the race's classic stomping ground of the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. Based at Danehill on the edge of the forest, the stage has a slightly different course to stage 4 last year but it still has long drags on 'dead roads' and the hills have not been lowered.

The final stage, based at Crowborough in East Sussex, has everything you could ask for in a great stage - if you are a spectator! The stage offers long drags, steep hills, fast descents and beautiful scenery with not a bit of flat anywhere.

Previous winners of the event have gone on to represent England and Ireland in World Championships, the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Last year's 460 mile long race was won by Shaun Snodden (recycling.co.uk) who will be back to defend his title. Snodden leads a very strong team including Paul Manning and Russell Downing.

Also back is 2002 winner, Kristian House (Fujibikes UK). Tony Gibb (Plowman Craven) leads a new team including James Taylor and some talented South African riders. Yanto Barker leads a team from DFL that includes Ryan Connor and Ben Hallam. Last years points winner, Duncan Urquhart, is back leading a team from Vinerbikes Agisko. Recycling.co.uk have also entered a second team that includes Rob Hayles, Dean Downing and Chris Newton.

For more information see www.surreyleague.co.uk

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