You will leave Guisborough with short and long route riders past the iconic Roseberry Topping and through Great Ayton. A cheeky uncategorised climb of Clay Bank is a warm-up to Carlton Bank. Those who haven’t ridden it before will be in for a surprise! It’s quite an infamous climb with local riders previously being used for the National Hill Climb Championships as well as the annual Cleveland Wheelers Hill Climb. The hill is 1,890m long, it drags up to the halfway point at the cattle grid, getting progressively steeper. From the grid, things relent slightly as the view opens up but then very quickly returns to around 25% as we crest the summit. The fastest recorded time we know of is Stuart Dangerfield in the National Champs in a mighty impressive 5.39.6 Anything under 10 mins in the Sportive will be very good.
From there we descend into Bilsdale, a bit bigger road but enjoyable and rolling as we head towards climb 2 – Newgate Bank. It’s not a bad climb, the steepest section is at the bottom and the top, so ride steadily in the middle, many have fallen foul over the years! The view to the right at the top into the valley is great for those with enough composure to enjoy it.
From Newgate we descend towards Helmesley and the new Feed Station 1, about 3 miles from Helmesley.
On leaving the feed we turn right off the main road and descend steeply to Rievaulx Abbey on the new section of this route. It’s lovely by the River as we twist around on this small road towards Old Byland.
We climb up steadily to what is a surprising highest point in the ride on the moor past Old Byland. It’s a long drag to this point, never too steep and when you are up there, it doesn’t feel so high!
From there is a really quick descent to Hawnby and a sharp climb out of the Village, carry some speed from the descent and it will be a lot easier!
The leg to Osmotherley is a great piece of riding, not a car in sight and the stunning scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors looks great this time of year as we twist and turn on the narrow roads with fast descents and occasional little climbs.
We drag up out the Village, past Cod Beck, and then the rapid challenging descent into Swainby and the second feed at The Black Horse. Careful not to miss the right turn as you will be at speed coming into Swainby. From here the end is in sight. We head across the fields to Hutton Rugby and the last little hill, the climb from Skuttersgill. If you keep it on the big ring and sprint early you can carry the speed over the first summit, it does require some strength to be in the legs still!
From there we join a really interesting quiet back road which few will know. It’s rough in places but we like it. Always it’s a tailwind down here so we can carry some nice speed, it feels rather like Paris Roubaix as we blast toward Great Ayton again past Roseberry and onto the finish in Guisborough.
Both Medium and Long routes are very enjoyable ends to the Sportive season. They are challenging enough without being so long, there are no boring sections added to make the miles up, just pure riding enjoyment from start to finish.