As you head out of the start point in Wareham, just on the outskirts of Swanage, the first few miles will be uphill but you’ll soon be rewarded with a pleasing run of drops while you head out towards the sea. This sets the tone of the course, as an up-and-down route that is just as rewarding as it is challenging for a test of gradient.
Cresting the top of the Ballard Down hillside, you’ll get right up and close to the Jurassic Coast before entering Studland, riding on top of the ridged shore, until it’s time to stop at the first feed station of the day. From here, you’ll head inland briefly while taking in forest and woodland trails with the sea still in sight.
You’ll cross points of the old and historic Swanage Railway while you continue through the rolling Dorset countryside – reaching the same hillside section of the Purbeck Heritage Coast as was ridden earlier while you complete the geographical circular loop of the area, soon passing Corfe Castle and then heading back out to the Wareham start and finish point.
It’s a tough ride, but you’re bound to savour the technical drops as much as you might lament the tricky climbs – all topped off with the magnificent views along the way.