The Skylark Sportive
Event: 13 April 2014
Just a few weeks after its launch, the Skylark Sportive has proved a hit with riders looking for something special to tackle in 2014.
Taking in several of the West Yorkshire climbs that make the second stage of the 2014 Tour de France such an eagerly awaited spectacle, the Skylark has tapped into the natural desire of many fans to try the same hills for themselves.
Now, to help riders picture the challenges ahead, both for themselves and for the Tour riders, the Skylark team have put together a series of short videos that take you on fast-forward journeys up the climbs. These videos feature the climbs of Cragg Vale, Ripponden Bank and Holme Moss.
Cragg Vale hasn’t merited a climbing classification from the Tour organisers – much to the chagrin of local riders - but it is nonetheless the longest unbroken road climb in England. Exposed and vulnerable to the prevailing Westerly winds, it will prove a tough proposition if the weather is unkind.
Ripponden Bank is, contrastingly, short and steep. It’s not going to stop anyone in their tracks at less than 2km, but its unusual zig-zag layout and unrelenting 10% gradient will certainly slow down pros and amateurs alike. It’s also tipped to be a favoured viewing point for the Tour.
Holme Moss is the final climb of the day in the Skylark and it is also the single biggest obstacle the Tour’s riders will face during their brief stay in the UK. It is long, the gradient constantly changes – often it is painfully steep - and it is very exposed. But, in common with the other two, it is also set in majestic scenery and upon reaching the summit the views are stunning.
The Skylark team have also been hard at work adding other videos and lots of detail about the rest of the three route options - 100km, 60km and 40km - to their ever-growing website.