The race takes in Simon Fell, Ingleborough, Bruntscar, Whernside, Blea Moor & Pen-y-Gent with 28km's of road, 33km's of unsurfaced track & around 8km's of unrideable terrain where you either carry or push your bike! Oh yeh and it's 5000ft of ascent!
You can get a flavour of what's billed as the toughest Cyclocross Race in Europe & some say the worlds by clicking the link below & watching a video from last year
Well the only difference was the weather, both leading up to the race which had been very wet & the weather on the day which again was wet to start with, with low cloud & mist on the tops! The weather did improve but the riding conditions didn't, it was super wet & boggy on Simon Fell & Ingleborough & very slippery on the rocks heading over Whernside & then again up and over Pen-y-Gent. It made for slower times throughout with a lot more carrying & running with the bike.
But still apart from the toughness & the challenges on the day it's got to be one of the best events I've ever done. I had a smile on my face when over 650 of us left the start & headed up the road to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, just to be part of something like this was special & then to finish in a good time, I couldn't have been happier.
Heading up Simon Fell last year
Me coming down off Pen-y-Gent on Sunday & enjoying the run down to the finish
It was so muddy & boggy up and over Ingleborough, I carried far more than I did last year & the sections which I rode were very tricky with the bike being thrown everywhere in the bogs & ruts.
Coming down off Whernside and at the Ribblehead road junction
This was a hard very steep descent of Whernside down over wet slippery rocks & mud, over slabs of limestone & over steep rock drainage dyke's, loose rocks & slippery grass both on & off the bike!
Congratulations to Nick Craig for a great win in difficult conditions & a big thanks to John Rawnsley for organising another great event.
I'm already looking forward to next year!