Matt Stephens and Phoebe Sneddon's

Epic Gravel Event

Matt Stephens has often been known for his adventures on road but over the last 18 months we have put him through his paces on the rough stuff with the help of doctor, mum and gravel expert, Phoebe Sneddon. Phoebe eased Matt into this exciting gravel cycling discipline with an introductory day on the trails and followed it up with a ride, exploring the pair's local trails around the Peak District.

Next on Matt and Phoebe's bucket list though was to pin a number on and line up for a gravel event. And what an event it was. Buckle up as Matt and Phoebe take on the Hotchillee Ekoi Stone Circle Gravel Ride.

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Ekoi Stone Circle Route

The Route

Matt and Phoebe opted for the 138km Monumental Route which started at the Festival Fort on the English Heritage site of Old Sarum. From there the duo traversed Stonehenge, the white horse at Westbury Hill and King Alfred's Tower before finishing at the Festival Fort. A rolling route, that takes in over 80 kilometres of unpaved roads and amasses over 1,600 metres of elevation, this is an event for those that love a day on the gravel.

Take a closer look at the route on Komoot

Ekoi Stone Circle Start Line

The Event

The Ekoi Stone Circle Gravel Ride is a new event on Hotchillee's calendar for 2023 and gave riders the opportunity to experience some of the best gravel trails Salisbury and the surrounding areas can offer. Taking place across the weekend of 23rd and 24th June, those lucky enough to sign up were treated to two different routes, a 138km Monumental Route or the Epic 215km Route.

Miss the 2023 edition? Fear not, register your interest for the 2024 event.


Confidence in your bike, clothing and equipment is key when taking on an epic day on the gravel. Matt and Phoebe were treated to some of the best products to use over the course of the seven hours they endured on the bikes. Read on to find out what Matt and Phoebe used on their first big gravel event together.

Specialized Diverge Gravel Bikes

The Bikes

Careful consideration needed to be given when it came to deciding what gravel bikes to ride at the event. Based on how well they coped on Matt and Phoebe's Local Gravel Ride, the duo opted for Diverges again for this big day out. The bike of choice for Matt was the Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon Rival AXS Disc Gravel Bike while Phoebe chose to add additional suspension to her rig, with the toptube mounted Future Shock System, and clipped in on the Specialized's Diverge STR Pro Gravel Bike.

Shop the Specialized Diverge Gravel Bike Range

Universal Colours Chroma Clothing

Matt and Phoebe's Kit

There were many factors to take into account when choosing what kit to wear for the Stone Circle. An early start could have lulled Matt and Phoebe into thinking it would be a chilly day on the bike but by the mid-way mark the temperatures were comfortably in the mid 20s. Temperature control is one thing but comfort for an extended duration in the saddle is also high on the list of priorities.

Matt and Phoebe both chose Universal Colours' Chroma collection based on its durable credentials and breathability. Both also used Specialized S-Works Recon Mountain Bike Shoes, Matt with the lace version and Phoebe with the Boa dials. Helmet-wise and Matt reverted to an old favourite, the Tadej Pogacar edition MET Trenta 3K Carbon Helmet and Phoebe picked up a Specialized S-Works Prevail 3 Helmet for the ride.

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Gravel Matt and Phoebe's Gravel Adventures