Olympians get on their bikes for uphill challenge at Goodwood

Olympian Laura Trott at Goodwood
Olympian Laura Trott at Goodwood

Goodwood House hosted the Will Carling pack event, which saw 72 cyclists take on a gruelling test around the Sussex and Hampshire countryside. Making up the ‘pack’ were London 2012 gold medallists Laura Trott and Geraint Thomas as well as four-times Olympic gold-winning rower Sir Matthew Pinsent.

The first challenge that greeted them was the famous Goodwood Hill climb - an ascent of 2.3km and steeped in a rich history, traditionally of the automotive variety.

From there, the route was fairly flat and progressed through Midhurst and Liss Forest. After 70k and a lunch break, it was on to the Old Winchester Hill - with an ascent of 234m, one of the highest peaks in the area.

After reaching the summit, the field cycled across the South Downs Way and home into West Sussex.

The third and final climb – Harting Hill - got the legs working. It is renowned for being a gruelling challenging and was used in a stage of the 1994 Tour De France.

After that it was all downhill to Goodwood House ... except for one final challenge, a lap of the world road race championship course climbing up Barn Hill towards the racecourse, making the sweeping turn round to Goodwood House and across the line.