Road Race ~ Ronde the Bays
This is now Jersey's only "en ligne" road race and is the "Classic" of our season. The route described is the one we aim for each year but often road-works, fallen trees (it's out in the sticks) and other of life's little obstacles, require a last minute change of course. So, always listen to the race briefing!
Race HQ is at West Park, first lay by The race starts neutralized and runs along the sea front until it gets to the Bulwarks at St Aubin. It's here (for safety reasons) that our Strava segment and map starts...
First climb, Ghost Hill, short, sharp, 10% steep with sections of over 25%. Watch out for cars coming down hill, as (for some reason) it's not one way! Carry on all the way to the main road at the top and when you get to the yellow line, turn right to head for the Noirmont Corner Shop.
Take a left at the main road and almost immediately after the lay-by bus stop, drop down left in to St Brelade's Bay. Head towards the end of the bay, and just before you get there, take a left to turn between the chapel and the church hall. At the end of the road, take the right to climb Route des Camps, (Chapel Hill 7.6%) to Beauport. Once at the top, continue all the way to the yellow line, where you turn left, to head for Corbiere Lighthouse.
As you drop in to the bay, be aware of the strong cross winds, and take the long sloping 6.6% climb out of the hole. Carry on for 500 metres, turn right just before the garage and head for the descent of La Pulente. Drop in to St Ouen's Bay and hope you have a tail wind to carry you along the never ending curve.
At then end of the Five Mile Road, take the first left, then the second right to bring you out at the foot of La Saline Quarry. Head left towards L'Etacq, and follow the road, the long way around the rock to tackle the climb at the end of the bay.
At the op of L'Etacq (9.5%), take the sharp left and follow the road past Les Landes, and carry on until you get to the top of Greve de Lecq. Drop in to the bay and take the long 5.2% climb out, heading for St Mary. Once on the main road, carry until you come to the houses with the Mansard Roofs. Turn sharp left in to La Rue d'Enfer. The Road to Hell!
How we raced it in the old days ~ 1986
Me ~ 7-Eleven. Nick Smith ~ Cafe de Columbia
52x42 Chainset, 12-21 7 speed Block, Hairnet Helmets
Drop in to the bottom of Mourier Valley and take the 11.2% climb out, taking a left at the top, to get you to, and follow, the coast road all the way to the 8.4% climb at Fremont Tower. Keep left and at the yellow line take a sharp left then a sharp right to drop down the very steep ramp that takes you to the foot of the 8.3% Bonne Nuit, with 200 metres of over 25%. Once you leave the hideous drag behind, head across the top of the island and use the rear access road to get to Bouley Bay.
Take a right at the yellow line and climb out of the seemingly easy, but consistent, 9.6% bay, taking the left at the top to head for Rozel. In and out of the 5.5% Rozel, taking a left around a kilometre from the top of the climb to get you "route one" for Fliquet. The scene of my infamous 80's accident, but I don't like to talk about it!
Snake your way out of Fliquet (5.7%), and once back to the "main road" angle left for the final run in. At the foot of St Catherine's climb, take yet another left and head to the breakwater and around the rock. On your return, head straight up the 8.7% St Catherine's Hill and keep going until you get to St Martin's Main Road. It's a left as usual for the flat out dash to Ransoms.
Just after Ransoms, take a right and dive in to Queens Valley before taking the final, 3% climb, and kilometre long, 2.7% drag, all the way to Hougue Bie. Go past the burial chamber, follow the road to the right and prepare yourself for the sprint to come. A 53 km, 30 mile, route, that takes in some of Jersey's toughest climbs.
Which are in order (a new Strava window will open);
|Ghost Hill||Chapel Hill||Corbiere||L'Etacq||Greve de Lecq||Mourier Valley||Fremont Tower||Bonne Nuit|
|Bouley Bay||Rozel||Fliquet||St Catherine's|
|Queen's Valley||Hougue Bie|
All in all around 845 metres of some seriously steep climbing. Here's Ali Cann's on-bike footage of Ghost Hill in the 2011 Edition of the race. Look for the gradient in the bottom right corner...