As last year, we approach the Owslebury hill via Hensting Lane - a right turn quickly leads into a short sharp climb, brieflty touching 15% before emerging at the Ship Inn, Owslebury. This is a narrow, wooded,steep-sided lane.
A five-mile stretch along the Corhampton Road (B3035) is best described as severely undulating, not quite a rollercoaster. Thee's more of the same the other side of the Meon Valley. It doesn't seem particularly strength-sapping but your legs will remember it later on in the day.
Beyond the famous Bat & Ball pub there's a fairly prolonged climb up the tree-lined Hayden Hill to the ridgeway. The stretch from there to Teglease Down is at 650 feet - enough to afford panoramic views over the lower-lying countryside. Back across the Meon Valley, comes Beacon Hill - it doesn't seem possible that the surrounding landscape can conceal such a lengthy climb.
Beyond New Alresford it starts to get disctictly lumpy again as it passes over Abbotstone Down. Shortly after, from the village of Northington to Northington Down there is the organiser's personal hate hill, but you might enjoy it, who knows.
From Deane, east of Overton, there's a long, winding rise to Hannington, where again the course gets to around 650 feet above sea level. You lose most of that gain pretty quickly on the descent out of Hannington. A short section of the A339 (0.9 miles) takes the route to Kingsclere from where White Hill is climbed. This is the same scarp slope as Watership Down, which the route famously used to go over, but the road surface is much better. Back up around 650 ft with more spectacular views. A long recovery section, mainly straight and fast (if your legs have it) leads to Cole Henley and on.
Thee's another short and nasty hill at Cole Henley, thought worthy of a 'V' sign by the Ordnance Survey. Immediately beyond the last feed station at Barton Stacey is another hill. It hasn't got a name but the Army fires shells over it, so maybe get down low on your drops here.
The last miles are not easy. We have thrown in three new hills including one marked at 8% leading out of Wherwell. These replace the former route which led somewhat uncomfortably over Farley Mount. Now, once the new hills are done with, the route cuts across the River Test at Longstock and returns via the Stockbridhge Road to arrive at Sparsholt College via the main driveway up the hill to the campus.