The Bastion 2015 bike leg preview

Sharp climbs, long drags quintessential English villages – we look at this year’s edition

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As if a 180km bike leg in an iron-distance race wasn’t hard enough, The Bastion course has been designed by a former Royal Marine – and with just under 2,000 metres of ascent it represents one of the toughest long courses in the UK.

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Starting and finishing at Hever Castle in Kent on 12 July, this is a three-lap affair with each lap counted as 60km long and taking in some of the stunning sites of the Weald and Ashdown Forest – an area of outstanding beauty.

Triathlete racing at The Bastion

The circular route itself will take competitors out of Hever Castle, up through the High Weald of Kent before passing through and over the Ashdown Forest and into the village of Maresfield.

Those familiar with the various bike courses at the Hever Castle Triathlon will know all about the sharp climbs out of the Castle and the longer drags past Hartfield and up into the forest. Gear selection, fitness, pacing and nutrition will all play a big part in successfully completing the challenge.

English villages on the bike leg of The Bastion

After a quick tour of the village, competitors retrace their steps to the top of the forest before returning to Hever via the historic and quintessentially English villages of Groombridge, Fordcombe and Penshurst. There is plenty of support for the riders on the course, particularly whenever they pass Hever Castle and see their friends and family. 

Forewarned is forearmed and a recce of the bike course is very much recommended. Despite the fearsome looking course profile, competitors from the 2014 event rated it as one of the best cycle courses they had taken on with many returning for 2015. The event has a few remaining spaces and it is well worth adding this iron-distance race to your calendar this year.

For more information on this year’s race head here

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Will you be racing The Bastion? Let us know in the comments below!