Saintbury is as well revered as Dover’s Hill and it’s a near cert that any local Sportive will go up at least one of them.
The climb is about a mile long and feels like it gets easier as you go up the climb but still has an average of 9%.
Starting at the edge of the picturesque Cotswold village of Saintbury with its distinctive church nestled on the hillside, the hardest part of the climb is going through and out the other side of the village. Struggling up the 15% gradient here is the point where your legs are burning, urging you to stop.
Coming out of the village, there’s a gentle hook left and a steady but steep ramp up to the sharp right which touches 16%. This ramp has excellent views to the left and shows how much height you’ve gained in a couple of minutes of pedalling.
After just about getting round the right-hander, you’re covered by the trees for most of the rest of the climb but after 50-100 metres you get some respite with the gradient trickling down to a more manageable 4-5% as you pass the crossroads.
Looking left this is your last real view across the Vale of Evesham as you head back into the trees. This second half generally averages about 7% with a couple of short bites that kick back up to 10% for 10 metres or so. There’s not much to look at during this part just the slightly eerie woods and maybe a rambler.
As soon as you come out the trees you can see the golf club entrance on the right and the work is over. You can sprint the 3% finish to the main road junction and look out across the Cotswolds to Blockley Hill the other side of the Cam valley.
My PB: 9minutes 10 seconds – again set last July and something I think I could smash if it I did again properly now (208th from 801 on Strava).