The Classic route on the Etape du Sussex is the longest route at 86 miles and has three feed station enroute to make sure you don’t run out of energy.

Setting off from Burgess Hill the route travels through Sussex on some really picturesque roads towards the Ashdown Forest where the majority of the hard climbs (Cob Lane) and exhilarating fast descents reside (Kidds Hill descent).

Riders travel over the High Road of the Ashdown Forest 732 feet (223 m) above sea level, its heights provide expansive vistas across the heavily wooded hills of the Weald to the chalk escarpments of the North Downs and South Downs on the horizon.

After enjoying the great views on the High Road  the descent of Kidds Hil requires caution as speeds wel over 40mph are possible.

In total there is around 4752 ft of climbing to be done on the Classic Route but most of this is in the first half of the ride. The trick is how far do you go into the red in the first half of the route before the faster 2nd half. 



The longest climb on all 3 routes doesnt have a name as such although you might have some suggestions when climbing it or when it end’s up on the High Road of the Ashdown Forest.

Starting at Witches lane 13 miles into the route the road starts to gradually move upwards reaching the top of the ascent only after 6 miles have been done fighting gravity.  

The 2nd major climb into the route is the Priory Road Climb. 

After the first feed stop in Forest Row riders then climb the of Priory Road (see above) at 24 miles into the route by which time some fatigue might be setting in in the weakest of riders when in reality all  riders should really be keeping their powder dry for what they are about to face next.  

At just after 36 miles into all routes riders have to once again deal with the problematic causes of gravity. Know locally as the cycling shoe cleat breaker, Cob Lane is a short but step mecca for many local cyclists that aren’t averse to the extra gravity that seems to be in this area. 

With an average gradient of 16% and with some parts as much as 26% you’ll need to save some leg strength for this ascent. We advise practicing your smile under duress before the event so you can be ready for the event photographes that will be on this climb. 


It’s important to talk about the descents on the Etape du Sussex.  Due to the nature of the routes on the Etape du Sussex with their gradual climbs but fast descents off those climbs, we need you to be cautious when decending.

We want you to enjoy the descent because they are awesome but please be careful when descenting the many descents of the route.

Most notably is the descent of Kidds Hill (@20 miles), which many may of climbed in the Burgess Hill Springtime Classic Cyclosportive in the past. Kidds Hill descent is dangerous where speeds of over 40 mph can be achieved.

We suggest you don’t attempt go too fast on any descent and instead think about safety first, both for you and other road users.


The Etape du Sussex Cyclosportive

Tour Route 50 miles

Below are the standard times you need to achieve to gain a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award. Certificates of your achievement can be downloaded from this website after the event, see the Riders Page for more details. 




All riders must finish and be back at the HQ to hand in their timing chips before 5pm