When I found out the National Championships were coming to Norfolk this year I assumed that it would be a fast, flat course but how wrong I was!
Having lived in Norfolk all my life and being a keen cyclist and time trialist I am used to the challenging demands of battling into constant headwinds with often no real recovery throughout the whole ride. In a way it can be more physically challenging than climbing where at least you have “recovery” periods when going down hill.
The chosen route for the National Road Championship Time Trial was not what I was expecting although does start in the grounds of the most famous stately home in Norfolk. The Sandringham estate covers 24 hectares of stunning gardens and will be an ideal spectator location for the race start/finish.
The route heads East and out on the fast, flat road of Kings Avenue going through the village of Anmer before turning left onto the main B1153 and heading North going through Great Bircham on still relatively flat roads.
This is where the course changes and there are a number of undulating sections of rolling climbs which certainly break up your momentum and forces you to push harder than you would like at this stage of the race. The “Honey Hill” is an impressive dip where you can just about get enough speed to take you up the other side and on to Docking.
From here you turn left onto the B1454 and head West only for a couple of hundred meters before you turn left again and start to travel southwards. Now although this stretch is down hill I found it was very exposed and if there is a headwind on the day there will be no recovery during this period!
Once you have gone through Fring there is another steep rise before turning left and heading back into Great Bircham to complete the same 6 mile section back up to Docking and past Fring but this time you go straight over the crossroads and onto Shernbourne.
Onto Dersingham next where you think you are over the worst of it and on the home straight but don’t get fooled as there is one last cheeky climb, which I thought was the worst although very short, before hitting the finishing straight for the line!