THE FIRST Evans challenge ride of 2012 is fast approaching. With one-hundred-and-thirteen miles of road to cover, and over 9,000ft of climbing, the Evans super sportive is back.

“One of the most underrated sportives around” was the proclamation of Cycling Weekly reviewer, Patrick Trainor, who attacked the King of the Downs last year, and now the epic Sportive is back.

The event, hillier and harder than our other bi-monthly sportives, will take place on May 27, carrying riders over the North Downs, Surrey Hills, Ashdown Forest and the exceptionally undulating roads through Kent. Breathtaking views flavor the hilly terrain and dashing descents make the climbing worth it.

James Berresford training on the route last year

The ride will pass over Box Hill in the year of its crowning glory. Few organizers have the pleasure of using the hairpin littered path that will play track to Olympic cyclists this year, so we’re honored to be taking our riders over this path.

Former conquerors of the downs have sung the praises of this event. Trainor said: “When you look at the course for the King of the Downs you realise it’s up there with the big boys with 10 climbs (six of which are in Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs book) and 9,000 feet of climbing to be conquered.”

Danny Frost of Thornton Road Club wrote: “This is a tough event with some proper climbs”, and our own reviewer James Berresfords called it: “A fun, well organised ride that’s a lot like a Downs greatest hits collection, it’s a veritable who’s who of the big climbs and takes in the woodland, hedge lined lanes, arable land and beautiful villages this region is all about.”

Evans host RideIt! events all year round, and our team of organisers are experts at what they do. For this extra special event, we’ve put together some first-rate goody bags, filled with samples and little gifts we have the pleasure of handing out, so here’s a sneak preview:At all our RideIt! events, there is the opportunity to benefit from the generosity of our supporters, and the King of the Downs is no exception. We have a selection of Gore Bike Wear items for test riding, and you can try a Garmin along the route as well.

Items for display only, sample sizes will be provided

The route will be fully way marked, and feed stations will be well stocked with High5 nutrition products, bananas and cake. There will be mechanical support available as well as bike cleaning facilities and broom wagon.

All the information is here and you can enter online, and view a video made up of footage from last years event. For tips on training for the event, see this great piece on Cyclosport.org. We’re also offering a really amazing opportunity for one lucky rider to be our sponsored Super Sportiver for the season. Just follow the link to enter and win!

Get in quick, because places sell fast!