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Ride the Lakes – the official sportive of the Tour of Britain Cumbrian stages

Brought to you by Tour of Britain, WHEELBASE, Pennine Events and Cumbria County Council.

Saturday 8th September 2018

Mintbridge Kendal – Kendal Rugby Club, Shap Road, Kendal, LA9 6NY

Ride the Lakes is a challenging cycle sportive that takes in some of the finest roads in the Lake District. With three route options to choose from, there is a distance to suit every rider and stunning scenery on offer on each ride. The event takes place on Saturday 8th September.

The official sportive of the Tour of Britain’s Cumbrian stages, Ride the Lakes follows roads ridden by the pros in Britain’s biggest professional bike race. Stage six of the 2018 race sees the riders traverse the Lake District from south to north, culminating in a summit finish on Whinlatter Pass. The climb features as one of several tough ascents in our sportive route, along with the aptly named The Struggle.

Setting off from Mintbridge Kendal, the home of Kendal Rugby Club, the routes wind along quiet country lanes towards the village of Staveley and enter the Lake District national park. At this point the family ride splits off and follows its own course along more meandering lanes back towards the event HQ, covering a family-friendly 12 miles in total. The medium and long routes continue further into the Lakes and towards the first major ascent of the day, the Kirkstone Pass.

At 454m, the riders will climb to the highest point of the day and then be rewarded with some spectacular views on the descent towards Brotherswater. Following the shores of Ullswater, the route continues north and climbs up to Matterdale End, a gradual ascent with a steady gradient all the way.

Keswick sees the first feed station of the day. It is from here that the long and medium courses split, as the long continues west onto the climb of Whinlatter Pass and the medium reaches its halfway point and begins to turn for home. After climbing Whinlatter, the long course turns south and passes along the shores of Crummock Water, through the village of Buttermere and on to Newlands Pass for what is a truly spectacular climb.

The long course then rejoins with the medium and heads south from Keswick onto the climb of Chestnut Hill. Following the A591, the route rolls nicely through the centre of the national park, alongside the impressive Thirlmere reservoir and towards Ambleside for the major challenge of the day. The Struggle starts steep and rarely relents as it ascends from the centre of town for almost 5 km with extended sections above 20%. The pro peloton took on this classic Lakeland climb in the 2016 Tour of Britain as huge crowds gathered to watch the world’s strongest riders grind up its seriously steep slopes. Make sure you’ve saved some gas as this climb is seriously tough.

Once at the top of The Struggle it’s mostly downhill to the finish line where there’ll be a hot meal and post-ride refreshments for the exhausted riders. Ride the Lakes offers big challenges backed up with big rewards and a mega day on the bike.

Camping is available for those staying over – contact info@kendalrugby.co.uk for further details.

Event HQ is at Mintbridge Kendal – Kendal Rugby Club, Shap Road, Kendal, LA9 6NY

British Cycling and Kendal Cycle Club will be organising Go-Ride Racing and Skills session from 11am on the day.

There’ll be live coverage of the Tour of Britain on the big screen and we’ll be showing some of the best short films from Kendal Film Festival.

Enter

Kendal Cycle Cub Family Sportive (Entry on the day only) – 12 miles

Ride the Lakes offers a family-friendly route of 12 miles as a perfect introduction to sportive riding. The course follows quiet country lanes around the edge of the Lake District national park with some stunning views across the fells.

On mostly flat roads, the route heads out from Mintbridge Kendal through the villages of Bowston and Staveley and returns alongside the River Kent. Riding under the shadow of Potter Fell gives riders a taste of how good road cycling can be in the Lake District.

Medium Route – Starting from 9am – 75 miles – 1958 m elevation

Setting off from Mintbridge Kendal, the route winds along quiet country lanes towards the village of Staveley and enters the Lake District national park. From here we head north towards Troutbeck where begins the first major ascent of the day, the Kirkstone Pass.

At 454m, the riders will climb to the highest point of the day and then be rewarded with some spectacular views on the descent towards Brotherswater. Following the shores of Ullswater, the route continues north and climbs up to Matterdale End, a gradual ascent with a steady gradient all the way.

From Matterdale we descend north and west towards Keswick where we’re greeted with a well-stocked feed station at 42 miles. Once refueled and revitalised we’re back on our way and climb out of Keswick via Chestnut Hill.

Following the A591 through the centre of the national park, the route runs alongside the impressive Thirlmere reservoir towards Ambleside for the major challenge of the day. The Struggle starts steep and rarely relents as it ascends from the centre of town for almost 5 km with extended sections above 20%. The pro peloton took on this classic Lakeland climb in the 2016 Tour of Britain as huge crowds gathered to watch the world’s strongest riders grind up its seriously steep slopes. Make sure you’ve saved some gas as this climb is seriously tough.

Once The Struggle has been conquered there’s 15 miles of rolling terrain to go back to the finish line where there’ll be a hot meal and post-ride refreshments for the exhausted riders.

Long Route – Starting from 8am – 101 miles – 2674 m elevation

Setting off from Mintbridge Kendal, the route winds along quiet country lanes towards the village of Staveley and enters the Lake District national park. From here we head north towards Troutbeck where begins the first major ascent of the day, the Kirkstone Pass.

At 454m, the riders will climb to the highest point of the day and then be rewarded with some spectacular views on the descent towards Brotherswater. Following the shores of Ullswater, the route continues north and climbs up to Matterdale End, a gradual ascent with a steady gradient all the way.

From Matterdale we descend north and west towards Keswick where we’re greeted with a well-stocked feed station at 42 miles. Once refueled and revitalised we’re back on our way and head for the climb of Whinlatter Pass. The climb will be packed with crowds for the pro riders as the Tour of Britain takes it in twice on stage 6 on the Friday and expect to see a few folks lining the route as the sportive takes on its challenging gradients a day later. This is an amenable climb by Lake District standards with an average gradient of around 7% for 3 km and never bridging north of 15%. Avoid going too deep here as there are still plenty of challenges to come later in the ride.

After climbing Whinlatter we descend into Low Lorton and turn south to ride along the shores of Crummock Water, this stretch of road is spectacular and one of the quieter corners of the Lake District. Once we reach the village of Buttermere the route heads uphill again and ascends Newlands Pass. This is a stunning climb and feels very remote, it climbs sharply at the start before relenting slightly in the middle and kicking up again towards 20% at the summit. From the top the route descends through the Newlands valley and back to a second stop at the Keswick feed station.

The long course then rejoins with the medium and heads south from Keswick onto the climb of Chestnut Hill at 70 miles. Following the A591 through the centre of the national park, the route runs alongside the impressive Thirlmere reservoir towards Ambleside for the major challenge of the day. The Struggle starts steep and rarely relents as it ascends from the centre of town for almost 5 km with extended sections above 20%. The pro peloton took on this classic Lakeland climb in the 2016 Tour of Britain as huge crowds gathered to watch the world’s strongest riders grind up its seriously steep slopes. Make sure you’ve saved some gas as this climb is seriously tough.

Once The Struggle has been conquered there’s 15 miles of rolling terrain to go back to the finish line where there’ll be a hot meal and post-ride refreshments for the exhausted riders.

Riders suffering towards the top of The Stuggle in the 2016 Tour of Britain.
Classic Lakes weather descended as the pros tackled the 25% slopes of The Struggle from Ambleside.
Two WHEELBASE riders climb The Struggle on a clear day.