Skylark Sportive

Cycle Sportive , Huddersfield – Sunday, 13 Apr 2014

Event Details

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Start Date:

Sun, 13th Apr 2014

Event Type:

Cycle Sportive (Non-Competitive)


Marsden Golf Club , Mount Road , Hemplow, Huddersfield, HD7 6NN
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Event Overview

The Skylark Sportive - Sunday 13 April 2014

"Tour climbs and so much more!"

A brand-new event for 2014 The Skylark Sportive takes place on Sunday 13th April. At 100km in length, it will include three of the most significant climbs of the 2014 Tour de France Stage 2 route through West Yorkshire.

First up is the six mile ascent of Cragg Vale, famously the longest uninterrupted road climb in England and a major feature of the Tour’s 2014 visit to the area. Starting in the depths of the Calder Valley, Crag Vale breaks into two distinct halves - the first through a wooded side valley, past a series of small hamlets; the second a more open and exposed passage across moorland with heather and rocky outcrops on both sides.

A fast descent into the village of Ripponden then brings riders to the foot of Ripponden Bank. Although less than a mile in length, this 10% climb is going to be a stinger, its smooth surface belying its consistently uncomfortable gradient. The Tour will sweep spectacularly up "the Bank", but will you?

The final climb shared with the Tour is Holme Moss, which is both long and steep in places. Again it has two distinct sections, a lower struggle out of the Holme Valley, before a brief respite as it passes through the village of Holme, before the final push for the summit, via switchbacks and a very exposed traverse across a bare moorland hillside. A huge radio tower marks the summit, form where the views deserve a moment's appreciation.

Between these climbs, we have concentrated on creating a route that steers you away from the urban towards the rural. Where there are 'A' roads, we have chosen high, exposed and beautifully engineered stretches that experience only light traffic. But it's the area's network of small lanes that really characterise the Skylark experience: small roads, ancient rights of way, running between dry stone walls along moorland edges. 

It all adds up to a ride rich in variety and offering both something for everyone and suprises and delights around every corner.

Of course, a riding experience like this doesn't come easy and you and your bike will need to be prepared for the challenge. The climbs are generally not steep - though several short sections are distinctly "sharp" - but they are frequent. The weather also needs to be factored in, with exposed sections vulnerable to wind and rain. Some of the road surfaces demand respect too: whilst it's generally plain sailing, there are often pot-holes opened up by winter weather. Plus the minor roads twist and turn in and out of tiny side valleys, meaning you'll need to be focused on what's coming up.

But that all amounts to a fascinating challenge, where you pit your fitness and technical ability against a big range of conditions and experiences. It's certainly not a boring slog along featureless 'A' roads!

Two shorter Skylark Sportive route options, both still taking in the Holme Moss climb (up which all riders will be timed), are also available. At 60km and 45km, they share many of the characteristics of the 100km route, but avoid Cragg Vale and Ripponden Bank, but explore the roads above and in the upper reaches of the Colne Valley as compensation.

Info for Riders

The Skylark Sportive takes place on 13 April 2014. The longest of three routes - 100km - includes three of the most significant climbs of the 2014 Tour de France Stage 2 route through West Yorkshire. The Skylark Sportive loops northwards via the heather moorland and villages of the Yorkshire/Lancashire border before swinging Southwards and on to the six mile climb of Cragg Vale, famously the longest uninterrupted climb in England and a major feature of the Tour’s 2014 visit to the area. Hard on the heels of Cragg Vale comes the relatively unknown Ripponden Bank, a spectacular sweeping climb out of the pretty village of Ripponden, a likely spectator hotspot when the Tour comes to town and a tough challenge in its own right. Holme Moss is the final big climb, a five mile monster, both steep and exposed in the upper stretches. There are also 45 and 60km options, both including Holme Moss. So there's no excuse not to pit yourself against the climbs that are set to become part of the TdF legend.

The Rides

Date Start Ride name Ride length
13/04/14 08:00 Epic - 100 km 100km / 62 miles
13/04/14 08:00 Standard - 60 km 60km / 37 miles
13/04/14 08:00 Short - 48 km 48km / 30 miles

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Enter a Ride

Ride Epic
Date Start Distance Est. Field Size
Sun 13/04/14 08:00 0 laps / 100km / 63m ---
Entry: Postal: (£25.00)
Ride Epic
Sun 13/04/14 - 08:00
100km / 63 miles
Entry: Postal: (£25.00)
Ride Standard
Date Start Distance Est. Field Size
Sun 13/04/14 08:00 0 laps / 60km / 38m ---
Entry: Postal: (£20.00)
Ride Standard
Sun 13/04/14 - 08:00
60km / 38 miles
Entry: Postal: (£20.00)
Ride Short
Date Start Distance Est. Field Size
Sun 13/04/14 08:00 0 laps / 48km / 30m ---
Entry: Postal: (£15.00)
Ride Short
Sun 13/04/14 - 08:00
48km / 30 miles
Entry: Postal: (£15.00)

Skylark Sportive Releases Video Climb Guides

Posted 18/11/2013 - British Cycling

Key climbs of 2014 Tour de France in video View Full Report

Tour climbs and so much more for new south Pennine cycle sportive

Posted 18/11/2013 - British Cycling

Ride takes on roads of Tour de France View Full Report

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