‘Ronde Van’ translates as ‘round’ in English, however the riders who conquered the Ronde Van Calderdale yesterday were describing the ride as ‘a world of pain’ and ‘cobbled hell’…
These were, of course, words that were heard whilst riders were battling on up some of the many cobbled ascents on route.
Like many other sportive organisers, the Kirklees Cycling Academy worked hard on the event to ensure they offered riders a great day out, as well as a challenge. Well, they didn’t disappoint on the challenge front as the ride included 13 cobbled sections, with a few ‘regular’ climbs thrown in for good measure, and enough miles to ensure everyone’s legs were given a good work out over the 76mile longer route, and equally the shorter, but by no means easier, 34mile option. Both routes were set to test riders’ fitness, determination and endurance throughout – and that they did!
The first of the small groups set off from 9.30am after a rider briefing from the event organiser. Each group then started at two minute intervals to allow riders to spread out on the road.
Out on the road, the three toughest sections seemed to be Shibden Wall, Old Lane and Trooper Lane.
Shibden Wall came 60km into the ride, Old Lane 70km into the ride, and Trooper Lane over 100km in. Pictures speak a thousand words so have a look through our Facebook gallery to see riders battle up the climbs and conquer the cobbles.
Back at HQ, the ‘world of pain’ and ‘cobbles from hell’ quotes were replaced with smiling riders, happy to have completed the ride carrying a great sense of achievement whether they conquered the short or long route of the event.
Riders were welcomed back to friendly faces with family members, the organisers, volunteers, and locals at the event HQ… and most of all a complimentary bottle of beer! Everyone seemed in high spirits, with a real sense of community within the school canteen being apparent. The organisers asked riders to leave comments on the route, the ride and their overall experience. Below are some of the comments that were left:
"Brilliant, brutal and no rain!"
"See you next year, can you make it harder?!"
"Great route, great signs, great encouragement, we’ll definitely be back again!"
Last year the event saw 150 riders roll up to the event HQ ready to take on the challenging terrain of Calderdale. This year the entry field was capped at 350 to ensure the event team could deliver a great, safe event, therefore there were inevitably some riders who missed out on a place when entries sold out four weeks before the event date! Out of the 350 riders who took to the roads yesterday, 28 were women – a big increase on the 15 that entered last year!
With more and more riders wanting to take on the cobbles of Calderdale each year, on the same weekend as the pros take on Flanders, the 2015 event is set to be another sell out so make sure you keep an eye out for event announcements if you think you can take on the challenge!
Missed out on this event? Why not give the Tour of the Black Country event a go with a similiar Paris-Roubaix feel to it? Click here for more information.