With the fog settling and the sun beating its mighty rays down on Surrey’s picturesque, rolling hills, it was clear we couldn’t have picked a better day. Cannondale, Cervelo, Colnago, Specialized and Trek popped up their gazebos, ready to show off the latest iterations in their line of bikes, with Mavic and Lightweight providing top of the range wheels to test. Wahoo's ELEMNT BOLT GPS Cycling Computer was also on display at this, Sigma Sports's first ever Demo Day.
The clock ticked over to 8am and registration began. With a colourful array of pink and red wristbands flashing colour as they filled the event village, Sigma Sports’s first ever Demo Day was officially in full swing. Goodie bags handed out and riders taking advantage of their complimentary water bottle and cap, this was the sort of day that demanded some cover from the sun out and a full bottle of water.
We were pleased to be joined by HotChillee's experienced Ride Captains, who offered some great insight, chatting to fellow riders before the 9am ride roll out. The four designated Challenge Ride groups headed off for 90km of rolling roads and glorious climbing around the Surrey lanes.
Whilst the Challenge Ride was in full swing, clear skies and 22-degree heat enveloped Denbies Wine Estate, offering more than perfect conditions not just for the vines, but for riders eager to test their dream bikes.
Premium bikes available for test rides, Lightweight's Urgestalt Disc, Specialized's Roubaix and many more were available to guests to tackle the private hill climb up a traffic free road. The demo route took riders onto Ranmore Common and was followed by a fast descent back down into Dorking, allowing riders a comprehensive overview of just how the top bikes handle and respond.
Returning in 20-minute increments, delighted faces rolled back into the village, where they were greeted with a Belgian beer and a delicious hog roast. Feet up, the riders were treated to a live screening of the Paris-Roubaix.
The Queen of the Classics trickled gently past it’s half distance mark, just 120 kilometres of tantalising racing remained. The excitement in the event village was growing. Every puncture, crash and mechanical felt by the spectators, jeers, hollers and sighs soon drowned out the ticking of bike hubs rolling down the ramp into the village.
With Greg Van Avermaet taking home the cobbled trophy concluding Paris-Roubaix for another year, a thoroughly disappointed Zdenek Stybar of the Quickstep Team had to console himself with second place on the biggest day of the Classics calendar. Sebastian Langeveld and Jasper Stuyven arriving in 3rd and 4th, whilst Team Sky’s Gianna Moscon, who prompted the stadium to erupt with his last-ditch attack on Van Avermaet, rolled over the line in 5th.
A thrilling Paris-Roubaix having once more delivered the drama, all that remained was to ride on home in the crystalline sunshine of a cloudless and successful day, showing off the best that cycling has to offer.
A scintillating end to a fantastic day. Thank you to all those that joined us for our Demo Day.