The Southwold “Roubaix” – Les Secteurs

The very first Southwold Cycling Sportive (hosted by Pedal Revolution Events in association with Adnams) will take place on Sunday 8th April. This will be a sportive with a difference – as a tribute to the classic Paris-Roubaix race (which will be held on the same day), we’ve added some challenging optional secteurs for those brave enough to attempt them.

Secteur 1

  • Routes: All routes
  • Road Type: Cycle Path
  • Optional/Compulsory: Compulsory
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Pay Attention to: Narrow bridge and beware of pedestrians
  • Distance Saved: 0.0 miles

Two miles into the ride, marshals will direct all cyclists to turn right onto a cycle path. The ONLY non-optional secteur on the ride as the other way across the river is a 12 mile detour along the A12. The cycle path and the bridge are narrow but perfectly rideable.


Secteur 2

Secteur 2 Map

  • Routes: All routes
  • Road Type: Mostly tarmac, some rough track.
  • Optional/Compulsory: Optional
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Pay Attention to: There may be some large puddles on the track sections
  • Distance Saved: 0.3 miles

Three miles into the ride, those wanting an easier on-road route, turn right out of Palmers Lane onto the Street. For the rough route, turn left then right into Lodge road.
The rough route is mostly tarmac until 4.9 miles until you join this (see images below).

The shortcut is just 0.3 miles shorter before you re-join with the easy route.


Secteur 3

  • Routes: 50 miles, Roubaix
  • Road Type: Offroad, boggy patches.
  • Optional/Compulsory: Optional
  • Difficulty: Tough.
  • Pay Attention to: For the really boggy patches, take to the verge.
  • Distance Saved: 4.3 miles

At 11.3 miles, the course splits again. If you wish to follow the easier (but longer) option – turn right. Those made of sterner stuff can continue straight ahead.

This is a really tough section with muddy puddles and a bit boggy in places, but still passable. There’s room on the verges to go around the really boggy patches.

The shortcut will shave 4.3 miles off the route so you should reach the Eels Foot ahead of those opting for a smoother road surface.


Secteur 4

  • Routes: Roubaix
  • Road Type: Trail.
  • Optional/Compulsory: Optional
  • Difficulty: Medium/Tough
  • Pay Attention to: This is a horse trail, please GIVE WAY TO HORSES
  • Distance Saved: 3.2 miles

61.3 miles into the ride, turn right for a muddy trail challenge and to shave a further 3.2 miles off the route, otherwise keep going straight to stick to the tarmac.


Sectuer 5 – The “Hero” Secteur

  • Routes: All riders
  • Road Type: Road with gravel sections.
  • Optional/Compulsory: Optional
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Pay Attention to: If raining, deep puddles may form in the gravel sections by the quay. “Summit finish
  • Distance Saved: -1.5 miles

When our riders reach Southwold, after turning onto York road they will be greeted with a Left turn sign that will take them to the finish line, however, there will also be an option to continue straight on for the final “Hero” secteur of the Southwold Roubaix. This is a 1.6 mile section, mostly tarmac that passes alongside a gravel section by Blackshore Quay. Although this is not the most challenging optional secteur on the route, it may feel a lot harder due to having to pass by the finishing straight with 70 miles already in the legs. Depending on how the weather has been leading up to the event, there may also be some extra water hazards to negotiate as part of the gravel section.

Sector 5, the gravel section
Sector 5, the gravel section

 

The ‘Hero’ Secteur also includes a summit finish (of sorts), with a short “climb” over the last few hundred meters to sap the last of the energy out of your weary legs to ensure that you have truly earned your complimentary Adnams goodie bag.


Josh from our Norwich store rode the route in early February, with ice covering most of the puddles. The bike managed the whole route just fine along all the rougher off-road secteurs. He wasn’t too muddy afterwards either.

Should you be brave enough to follow all optional off-road secteurs, your total distance travelled will be around 70 miles – although your medal will say 75 miles because that’s what it’ll feel like. For those hardy enough to complete all optional sections will be eligible for a special reward, details of which and how to claim will be announced at a later date (all we will say for now is that if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen!)