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Wednesday, 01 April 2015

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New cycle route in Lake District set to test riders

Cyclists will be tested by the Slate Stinger – a new steep route unveiled in Cumbria.

Cycle photo
Riders take on Honister Pass in the Fred Whitton cycle race last year

The new ride will be launched next month by Cycling Weekly after it secured a start location at Hutton-in-the-Forest, near Penrith.

The Slate Stinger is one of seven events being held around the UK as part of a Cycling Weekly series and the only road event they are staging in the Lake District.

Riders can take part in either a 34-mile, 60-mile or 93-mile route – with the longest one taking in Honister pass and rising 356 metres with a one in four gradient.

Robert Garbutt, editor of the cycling magazine, said they were pleased to have secured Hutton-in-the-Forest as an event centre for the new race.

“It provides an amazing backdrop for what’s set to be an epic sportive taking in the fearsome Honister Pass,” he said.

“We’re very excited”.

The race will be held on June 8 and families of those riding will be able to get discounted entries into the home and gardens of the Inglewood family. The three routes have been planned by Gav McDonald, director of Rather Be Cycling, a UK- based cycling holiday and events company.

“I am especially excited about the epic route and the main reason for that is I wanted to organise a sportive in Cumbria that wasn’t solely over the popular passes but still included some serious climbing,” he explained.

“With 2,770m of ascent that’s exactly what we’ve developed. Like other routes I have planned, there’s a nod to cycling’s heritage as well – in the Slate Stinger we’ve a rough tarred farm road that echoes a Paris – Roubaix sector and an uber steep, short climb that’s just like a mini Koppenberg, but with a concrete surface rather than cobbles.”

He said it was “just the sort of sportive I’d want to enter myself”.

“There’s so much more fantastic riding in the Lakes than just the “Big 6” passes and that’s what we wanted to introduce people to,” he said.

“However, it would have been rude not to include one of the Big 6 so the route takes in Honister from Borrowdale.”

Meanwhile, around 1,500 participants are due to take part in the Jennings Rivers Ride tomorrow and raise an estimated £50,000 for the charity Cumbria Community Foundation.

The family fun event offers rides covering 10, 38, 55 or 75-mile challenges.

All routes will start and end at Fitz Park in Keswick, where a family fun day will take place between 10am and 4pm.See Monday’s News & Star for a report and pictures.


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