February 2021 Strava Segment of the Month

February’s segment comprises just about 1.8 miles of fast and modest-gradient climbing with a sting in the tail, from a short incline with up to 8% gradient.

You approach the segment from the A3057 (Leckford Lane) and turn into Winchester Street. The start line is 20 metres in from the main road and the initial run is fairly flat and easy, allowing you to build up a good head of steam.

The road begins to curve gently to the left as you pass the last houses in the small development, with a modest gradient taking you to the farm on your left, as the subsequent curve to the right presents you with the long relatively straight run past the Waitrose Dairy complex on your left.

The prominent solitary tree on your right signposts a gentle right-left curve combination in the road, also marking a little increase in the gradient, pushing on to eventually run up to the crossroads, with trees and hedgerow on your right

If at the point you hit the crossroads you’re not feeling it in your legs, then you probably haven’t gone hard enough, as the top times on this segment will require a really fast effort over the first three quarters, to set yourself up for the final push.

At this point, if you’ve paced your effort correctly, you’ll have just enough energy left to hit the bottom of the final gradient with a concerted effort, ploughing on as things get steeper, before a sharp left turn takes you through the steepest section of the final climb.

An even sharper corner, to the right this time, closes out the worst of the steep part of the hill and there is the briefest of respites as the road flattens temporarily, before ramping up again. You need to hang on to the end, as the gradient will then begin to ease, as you keep going and sprint for the eventual finish line that appears just beyond the crest of the hill.

This will be a really fast-run segment, best suited to the Rouleurs and Puncheurs in our club.

Please take care to look out for oncoming traffic on the narrower parts of the lanes, following the rules of the road and adhering to whatever the prevailing social distancing rules happen to be at the time.

The link to the segment is here:

https://www.strava.com/segments/26709791