The long route is a challenge!
At 72 miles and 2,002m of climbing it’s a tough ride for even experienced riders. We hit some great scenery as we climb out the valleys and descend to the beautiful villages of North Yorkshire.
The opening 15 miles are fine, leave Stockton on closed roads by motorbike escort and head out towards Great Ayton on flat quiet country roads. Soon though we reach the first major climb of the day, the short Sharp climb to Captain Cooks. The hill comes in 2 sections, the first 33% with a tight hairpin, the 2nd has a short break on the newly resurfaced road then we hit a 25% short steep part.
It’s a fast descent to Kildale then a well-earned feed stop. Grab some snacks and take back to the road in the direction of Commondale. The next hill comes quickly, Commondale Bank, it’s a steep climb out the Village but not too long.
Another rapid downhill to Castleton and onwards towards Danby where we continue on to Lealholm with “Le Tour de Moor” riders. We drag out the Village on the long but not too steep climb and onto the moor. It’s a great quiet section, quite undulating until we enjoy a long, steep and rapid descent into Rosedale.
Right turn in Rosedale and up the quite long but never steep climb towards Ralph Cross. This is one of our own personal favourite climbs featuring in our training rides regularly for the past 25 years. Usually, a tailwind along here so enjoy it and make the rapid descent to Westerdale. Speeds of over 60mph have been clocked here but please take care.
Another short climb then it’s the final big climb of the day, the ascent from Hob Hole Ford. The Kellogg’s Tour passed through here in the ’90s and Tour de France KOM winner Robert Millar fell off! Take your chances, there is a footbridge for those who want to walk.
Now there is only one short climb left before we reach the Kildale 2nd feed and the run home to Stockton. We head back across to Stokesley and then it’s North to Stockton, not a hill in sight!
You’ll feel every one of the 72 miles when you reach the finish but it’s a ride you’ll enjoy, remember all year and like all our other regular riders, keeping coming back to beat your time!