As hills go, Dover’s Hill is very well-known. It’s the site of the famous ‘Cotswold Olympicks’ or Dover’s Games held every year on hill followed by a torchlight procession down in Chipping Campden and a general town-wide level of drunkenness.
From a cycling perspective however it’s interesting as the site of several British National Hill Climb Championships. People like former Cervelo TestTeam rider Dan Fleeman, 1980 Olympic Cyclist Jeff Williams and 5 time Hill Climb winner Jim Henderson have all conquered this climb.
The hill itself is 1 mile long with a little bit of tenuous climbing from the road junction up to the real hill. Once you reach the tight left-hander, it’s go!
The hill ramps up slowly for a hundred metres or so before getting steeper as you go round the sharp right hand corner. As you climb in the near dark from the thick tree canopy (I often take off the sunglasses for this climb) you’re in a battle where the hill is getting harder and you’re getting less strong. Eventually by the farm on the right you get a brief respite before starting again.
This is the first point where you can see the top and all you have to do to reach it is one last blast up the steepest part of the climb, around 12-14% at this point. On the upside the trees disappear from the right hand side of the road and (especially in the Summer) get a great view of the Cotswold Edge extending down to Cheltenham and Cleeve Hill very visible.
Battling through, out of the saddle, you go back into tree cover and finally reach the top after around 6-7 minutes. The car park entrance on the left being the peak and a fun, speedy roll down to the crossroads junction and into Chipping Campden to get your breath back.
My PB – 7minutes 5seconds – 151st of 683 on Strava
I did this back in July and I’ve only ridden it once since, taking it relatively easy but only 7 seconds off this time. Very tempted to have a proper go at it soon…