What an awesome bike ride. Even in the drizzle Yorkshire is the most beautiful part of the UK, maybe even the world.
Me an a large group of Alba Rosa riders set off first at the 7am start. Winding out way out if the grounds of Harewood House we separated ourselves from the other riders and then started chain gaining out towards Ilkley. We were making awesome time and it was all going well. Until we hit the first incline where my broken lungs meant I got dropped, pretty quickly. A mate dropped back and paced me back up to the group but again at the next incline I was gone. We we 50k (of about 200) in so there was still a long way to go on my own.
Still, not to worry. I had planned to go out with the first group so when I inevitably got dropped I could then ride witht the second Alba group. That didn’t quite happen though. Being dropped after 1hr it wasn’t until 3hrs of riding I saw another rider when a group came smashing past me, and again I was on my own. After 6 hours a small group of four came blasting past, offering me the chance to join them, but I couldn’t keep up. Turns out they where doing the short route and had missed out the last two climbs. That explains why they were so fast!
The first hill the Côte de Cray was pretty uneventful, as was the Côte de Buttertubs. The drizzle making the climbs cooler. Unlike when Jens Voigt did it last year there wasn’t 10,000 people lining the climb to the top of Buttertubs. Just a bloke with a camera waiting to snap photos of knackered riders.
As per the forecast the sun came out at midday, which just so happend to coincide with the climb of Côte de Grinton Moor. It wasn’t a bad climb, the incline was fine but the sudden heat was more than a little unpleasant. There was however a nice cooling breeze, indeed a tail wind, along the top an I manged to blast along fairly easily at 50km/h.
After that it was a faily un eventful run back to Harewood via Harrogate only for me to be overtaken by another small group in the last half kilometre. Crossed the line, collected my medal and got a burger.