The Mad March Hare is a 72.2 mile sportive with a total Ascent of 1192 m (3911 feet).
The organisers advertise it as a mini-sportive which is intended as a warm-up for riders that are preparing for the longer and harder sportives throughout the summer that said it’s no walk in the park for 95% of riders at that time of year!
There was a GPX course file to download. I personal didn’t need this as the route was clearly marked. The course starts in Wythall making its way through Ullenhall, Temple Grafton and chipping Camden. Then back through Alcester, Henley in Arden and back to Wythall. The start location was well organised with good toilet facilities, parking and food. The first part of the ride was mostly quiet rolling roads down towards the Cotswolds. This keeps the legs fresh for Dovers Hill. This is the hardest climb on the route and tests everyone. You know when it’s a hard climb when people are pushing their bikes up!
The only feed station is Coppice Primary School at around 50miles. The facilities were excellent with lots of cake and energy drinks. Hot food was available but you had to pay. After the feed station the last 20 miles are testing due to it being a gradual climb back to Wythall. It doesn’t help due to a shortage of long rides due to winter. The finish was a welcome sight; I racked my bike and went straight to the finish tent for a deserved bacon butty and coffee. You could also sample the local beer for a cost.
The course is an excellent start to the season’s sportives, which also gives you a good guidance to your fitness levels after the winter. I would recommend this to everyone due the facilities and well-marked testing course.
Hayley Gwillam – 5:31:43
Natalia Tchibrikina – 7:39:47
Louise Beasley – 4:33:12
Lee Dowling – 4:33:20
Martin Potter: 5:14:15