Dartmoor Classic

Several Spinners tackled the Dartmoor Classic in 2024, Rod Inglis and our chairman Tony Peek. Their experiences are described below:


A close thing but Gold it was at the Dartmoor Classic. 6hr 44mins for the 106 miles & 3000m of up, one brief stop at Princetown and a euphemism break. Ideal conditions with cloud cover all day and a light breeze with some light, almost drizzle and the temperature just right. I came 3rd on the KoM segment out of 107 in the 60—69 vet group. So virtual podium. A fellow 60’s vet supplied a wonderful tow down the Teign Valley to make the gold time for the both of us, but it was full gaz just to hang on his wheel! For the rest of the route it was Billy no mates all the way.


A little while ago whilst on a Zwift ride with Stephen Dabbs I decided to join him on the Dartmoor Classic. I haven’t done this for a few years so my legs had forgotten what it was like. Dartmoor covers 954 km2 (368 sq mi). The medio ride itself Distance: 68 miles / 110 km.  Elevation Gain: 5600ft / 1700 m with a Max Gradient: 20%, setting off from Event HQ: Newton Abbot, TQ12 3A the race course. So I met Steve at the race course for 7am in plenty of time to check in and get ready for an 8am ride start. So off we set through Newton Abbott following a van that kept us all together before we went through the official time check start. After that we were on a roll. Chatting together about this and that, at about 6 miles in we hit a descent of which I flew down and then tackled the 1st proper climb. I pushed on until I got to the top going over the 1st of many cattle grids. Here I wait for Stephen. After 7 or 8 minutes I phoned him. No answer. So I headed on thinking I had missed him. A couple more climbs and then we did a sharp left into a closed road section which was the KoM/ QoM. I decided not to go hard on this section as they use it as part of the Tour of Britain, however I found it to be an easier climb then I thought it would be ! Too late by then so onwards to Ashburton where the climb really hits. A 20% climb before kicking left towards Princetown. That was tough. People were walking it . At Princetown was the feed station. 32 miles done. Now stupidly I never had any ready salted crisps this time. Normally I have two packets before a sandwich. I was really going to regret this later. 

I waited at the feed station for 25 minutes in case Stephen showed up. However I decided to carry on as my legs don’t like stopping for too long. I did mention to a marshal to let Steve know if she saw him. Once again it was climbing. It seemed like my garmin kept telling me there was another climb. I knew this next bit and loved the dips followed by short punchy climbs , on one of the dips I clocked myself doing 44 mph around the bend. Boys will be boys. At 50 miles we reached Moretonhampstead and another climb. This is where I started to struggle. Due to the humidity I was sweating a lot and not taking on enough replenishment so cramp set in. From there on every climb or gradient I was to suffer. At one stage I was peddling with just my right leg clipped in trying to ease the pain in my left leg by letting it just hang. However I did make it to the finish line and got my medal and goodie bag. Here I waited for Stephen to finish only to find out he had two punctures before Princetown. And the lady at the feed station said to Steve we had only just missed each other !  Stephen says that unfortunately he won’t be joining me next year for the Dartmoor classic but in true cycling fashion we enjoyed a well earned pint together at the end.