Yesterday the Tour of Britain passed through Winchcombe as part of stage seven, Tewkesbury - Gloucester (see:Race of Britain ). It was incredibly hot and the majority of us were struggling with heat of 30+ degrees and high humidity.... surely not suitable weather for lycra-clad men on bikes - but hey!? Still the occasion did register and I staggered down from the shade in the garden to take a couple of photos as they whizzed past.... it was over and done with in seconds - literally!
Mum was able to get a bird's eye view from her new home as the cyclists started from Church Street and The Cross (photo left) in Tewkesbury.
Leaving Winchcombe the cyclists rode up what the BBC and other websites called Winchcombe Hill but is an actual fact called Sudeley Hill (get it right!) and this is a Category 2 climb.
There are five grades of category climbs in cycling, but there are no hard and fast rules defining them. The easiest category is 5 and gets tougher until reaching number one. Apparently, races like the Tour de France have King of the Mountain points linked to different category grades. As you can tell, I’m not particularly bothered about the nuts and bolts of it all! However, having said that, Sudeley Hill is Category 2 and according to an cycling enthusiast’s website:
“Category 2 climbs will get you seriously out of puff. They’re usually among the biggest climbs outside of the mountainous terrain of the Alps of the Pyrenees – though you’ll find plenty of Category 2 climbs there as well. A short Category 2 climb could be 5 km at 8%, while a longer one could average 4% for 15 km or more”.
OR “A category 2 hill in cycling is a climb that is usually longer than 5 km and has a gradient of around 5% to 7%”. Yep… a good indication that Winchcombe is definitely nestled in a valley within the Cotswold Hills!!
See the BBC link for an excellent picture of Winchcombe's Gloucester Street: