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May 18, 2018

The Fred Whitton, the one and only Fred Whitton, the toughest baddest sportive in the land. Some are longer, some gain more altitude but only the Fred has the climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Cold Fell, Hardknott, Wrynose and now Blea Tarn, and for this reason alone it is without parallel. My ‘relationship’, and yes for all the pain it has caused I do love it, began back in 2009.

I entered because I knew a lot of the climbs I needed to include in my first book were on the route, in fact six of them, so what better way to experience them than one after the other, and yes, what an experience it was. All started well but once on Hardknott pass, after I’d cramped trying to force a 39x26 up the 30% bit, snow began to fall. I can tell you honestly that I have never been more afraid on two wheels before or since than I was that day descending first Hardknott and then Wrynose on a road that was fast turning white. Dropping down through 25% hairpins in the dry is a test enoug...

May 15, 2018

My love affair with riding in the mountains goes back to the summer of 1992. In-between my first and second year at university, along with a couple of club mates I booked on a trip to chase round after that year’s Tour de France. I either paid very little notice to the itinerary or have little recollection of it but what I do remember is that the first couple of days were fraught with problems. Our bus broke down numerous times meaning we never got to where we were meant to be and did no riding what so ever. We saw brief glimpses of the race but it wasn’t until the third day, when our much maligned coach pulled up in Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, at the base of the Col de Télégraph that we were set free.

I’d ridden plenty of hills, and on holiday in Italy some reasonably long climbs but nothing that could be classed as a mountain, so this was to be a journey into the unknown. There was a mix of eager excitement and also nervous trepidation as we built our bikes up, I knew II was pretty swi...

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Britain's Greatest

Cycling Climbs BOX SET

Comprising a total of 545 ascents from the tip of Cornwall all the way up to the highlands of Scotland, the eight region-specific volumes of Britain’s Greatest Cycling Climbs contain the most comprehensive documentation of Britain’s hills ever compiled for road cyclists.

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