Sue Ryder Bronte Sportive 16 July 2017

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Sue Ryder Bronte Sportive 16 July 2017

Postby Jack Hughes » 17 Jul 2017 15:22

Not really a race, but I did pay to enter it.

An intriguing event this. Very much targeted as a fund raiser for the local Sue Ryder hospice, at Manorlands in Oxenhope. Organised by the Sue Ryder events team, so not really a sportive run by the usual sorts of organisers. Which is quite refreshing.

Despite it being a fund raiser, the main 88 mail course has a reputation for being brutal. Hardly surprising, as it's all round the local South Pennine roads. There are short alternatives. Behind the scenes, I suspect there is some input from some of the local cyclists - it's sponsored by a local bike shop, that also has a race team. And the route appeared under the account of one of the local fast boys - not quite a pro, but getting there.

So, 88 miles and over 3,000m of climbing. Including some of the iconic climbs featured increasingly on TV, as well as in Simon Warren's 100 climbs books.

The obligatory photocall in Haworth for the second climb of the day, following the TDF 2014 route. Photos only spoiled by the rain which continued until about 11.

Over the tops towards Hebden Bridge - highest point on the route at 432m (in fact, the second highest road pass in the South Pennines).

Up Cragg Vale (longest continuous ascent at 8.38km in England), then departing from the TDF route and dropping into Lancashire. Following the road next to the Canal (so not so steep) back to Hebden Bridge. Then up the infamous "Mytholm Steeps". It took me over 20 minutes to do this one - I was going slowly.

First feed stop at a pub, then rolling route over the moors. Very beautiful here. Even the "alpine" bit where the Twoc'ers like to roll the stolen cars over the edge, then ensure they burst into flames, movie style.

Back into Yorkshire at up a nice long climb onto roads used recently by the Tour of Britain. Then a smashing descent into Carleton (50mph even for me), then the final feed stop. The across the Aire valley and into the foothills of the Dales north of Skipton. A bit of a rolling route with some short, sharp climbs then over into Wharfedale to cross the river at Ilkey, to climb the rather busy (Sunny day, 20 mph limit for gritting, queues on both sides of the road) Cow and Calf Climb. Wander round the famous Ilkley moor for a bit, then drop back down into Airedale and back to the HQ.

I decided to ride out to the start and back home to get the distance up to 100m (also helped by a bit of an unplanned detour from the route).

It's a great low key event, lots of serious cyclists like to do it, because it is very tough. I will have been one of the slowest doing the full route - as slower people tend to drop out, or drop down to the lower course.

Knee started playing up fairly soon into the ride, which was both unexpected and annoying. Got a bit of a tan top up as the Sun was beating down from 11am onwards. And it was quite a long day.

Forget what the mainstream marketing teams of the big sportive brands tell you - this is a very tough event.

Well worth doing.
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Re: Sue Ryder Bronte Sportive 16 July 2017

Postby jonathon.e » 17 Jul 2017 17:56

Excellent stuff as always, nice one :D
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Re: Sue Ryder Bronte Sportive 16 July 2017

Postby Jimba » 21 Jul 2017 11:44

Nice report, made it sound easy! Hope the knee sorts itself out.


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Re: Sue Ryder Bronte Sportive 16 July 2017

Postby Jack Hughes » 23 Jul 2017 14:35

Jimba wrote:Nice report, made it sound easy!


Did I forget the bit about seeing grown men crying?
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