Re-live Yorkshire’s glorious cycling summer

Autumn Skylark Sportive – One Month to Go!

As the nights begin to draw in and a spell of unseasonably cool weather reminds us that winter is coming, why not plan one last adventure in the saddle for 2014?

Cragg Vale's moorland

Cragg Vale’s moorland

The Autumn Skylark Sportive is an ideal way to end what has been a glorious year for cycling in Yorkshire. The Tour de France’s visit to the region has turned it into the number one road cycling destination in the UK and this Sportive allows you re-live those heady days of early July when the world’s best road riders raced over iconic climbs such as Cragg Vale, Ripponden Bank and Holme Moss.

You can tackle all three of these now world famous climbs on the Autumn Skylark’s carefully planned 115km route that takes in many of the landmarks of stage 2 of the Tour, plus a network of tiny lanes and minor roads that the lumbering convoy of the race was forced to bypass.

So, if you are looking for a challenging ride that allows you to pit yourself against the Strava times of some of the pro peloton’s leading riders, but also introduces you to some of the quietest and most enjoyable roads in Northern England, this might just be the ride for you.

Quiet roads are an obsession for route planner Phil Ingham, who also has an eye for the scenic too: “Throughout the planning stage, my number one priority was to make the route as quiet and enjoyable as possible. I targeted roads that combined both outstanding views and relatively low traffic levels. The ride passes through numerous villages and hamlets, but relatively few towns: there are just two small roundabouts in the full 115km. The A-roads are almost all very lightly used and breathtakingly scenic, whilst the minor roads are simply a delight to cycle. I’ve cycled all over the UK and yet I still get a thrill out of riding these, my local roads.”

golf-club2

The welcoming HQ where you can enjoy your pie and peas!

With a 50km option also available, taking in Holme Moss’s 1900 foot summit, there’s no excuse for ducking one last nostalgic ride through the all those incredible cycling memories of early July 2014.

The Autumn Skylark Sportive takes place on Sunday 28 September 2014. The event HQ is just 5 miles from Junction 23 of the M62, close to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. As well as well-stocked feed stations, all riders receive a hot pie and peas meal and a hot drink at the finish. The event HQ – a small local golf club – features changing rooms and showers, a large car park and a large, warm bar in which to relax and enjoy your meal afterwards. Riders can start any time between 8am and 10am.

Enter online on British Cycling’s website (free login require)

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