One of the country’s toughest and earliest cyclo-sportives, the Hell of the Ashdown, will take place on Sunday, February 16 2014 – and the 1500 available places are filling up fast.

The HOTA, based in Kent and run by Catford Cycling Club, has a reputation for tough weather and a series of even more tough hills to sap the legs.

The 68-mile (110km) route starts from the Charles Darwin School, Biggin Hill, and takes in the climbs of Cudham, Toys Hill, Hollow Lane, Kidds Hill, Ide Hill and a final ascent up Star Hill. In between riders can enjoy great views of unspoilt Kent countryside.

The fully waymarked route includes two feed stations and riders are electronically timed. Entry costs £30 in advance, with no places available on the day.

Last year the HOTA raised £10,000 for Demelza Children’s Hospice. This year’s event will raise funds for the Chartwell Cancer Trust, the Charles Darwin Academy Trust and the Orpington Samaritans.

For more information and online entry, visit the Hell of the Ashdown website.

Scene from the Hell of the Ashdown in 2009