Some 150 vintage cyclists took to the Goodwood Motor Circuit today as a preview of the Eroica Britannia cycling festival, which will be based at Goodwood in 2022.
Led by Sir Chris Hoy MBE, the vintage cyclists enjoyed a lap of the Motor Circuit in front of the Revival crowds, before a 20-mile ride through the beautiful Sussex Downs.
The route took the riders up Kennel Hill and past the finish line of the 1982 UCI Road World Championships, which were held at Goodwood. The riders then rode down Prince's Drive, the private road that the Royal Family used to take from Goodwood House to the Racecourse, and past Goodwood's famous Kennels.
At the bottom of the hill the riders turned left, past Goodwood House and up the iconic Hill Climb, as used in the Festival of Speed – a unique opportunity to cycle up one of the most celebrated stretches of tarmac in historic motorsport.
Legs and lungs burning, the 150 riders rejoined the public road, passing through the picturesque villages of East Dean and Charlton before climbing Knights Hill. The riders then savoured the Hill Climb again, but this time descending from top to bottom. They continued past the cricket pitch where the earliest known set of cricket rules were written in 1727 by the 2nd Duke of Richmond.
The cyclists continued up New Barn Hill, with views of the Halnaker Windmill, before turning left onto Race Course Road. After taking in the view of Goodwood Racecourse, the riders cycled down the Hill Climb for the second and final time, before returning to the Motor Circuit for a well-deserved drink. A stamp in each rider's route book confirmed they were among the lucky few to complete the course.
Sir Chris Hoy, MBE, said: "That was a tough ride, especially on a vintage bike! To cycle around the Motor Circuit and up the Hill Climb was a real privilege. I'm sure the Goodwood crowd will have appreciated the spectacle of 150 riders and their beautiful bikes – their enthusiasm for vintage cycling is infectious!"
As enjoyable as the Revival ride-out was, it's only a prelude to Eroica Britannia 2022, when the cycling festival will return in all its glory. Over the weekend of August 6th and 7th, thousands of vintage cyclists are expected at Goodwood. Riders will have the choice of 25-mile, 60-mile, and 100-mile routes, and there will be a traffic-free Family Ride on the Motor Circuit.
With entertainment laid on for the cyclists and their supporters, and the finest local food and drink that Sussex has to offer, Eroica Britannia is expected to be a popular addition to Goodwood's family of events.
Tickets for Eroica Britannia 2022 will go on sale later this year. Sign up to Goodwood's cycling newsletter to stay up to date with plans for next year's festival.
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