The Fred Whitton Challenge
Last weekend I headed to the Lake District for the infamous Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge. It is a 112 mile sportive starting and finishing at Coniston, including some of the steepest roads in the country: Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott and Wrynose passes.
A few months ago Michael Bonney of MTBcut team sponsor Orange Mountain bikes, suggested I did the ‘Fred Whitton’ on their new road bike, the Carb-O. After agreeing to it, I looked at the route profile and saw what an epic it was!
I stayed in my van in the start field the night before, ready for an early start. My van is so cosy and I slept like a log. The weather was meant to get worse throughout the day so I wanted to set off early. I packed my back pockets with gels, bars, a pump and a tube. I thought I’d ride as light as possible. Photographer Cheryl King came to take photo’s of the event. Cheryl arrived and we had a quick hug and a Hi, then I set off just after 6am.
I kept a good pace, and rode steady and consistent all day. My friend Alison was at Keswick and Whinlatter for bottle refills which was great! Michael Bonney stuck with me the whole way in his car, taking photos and giving some great moral support!
I made sure I ate every 20 minutes or so, even though I didn’t feel like it. Although there were 1,370 people riding, there were times there were no other riders about, which was hard on the long windy sections. It was a great atmosphere, and cool having spectators cheering everyone on.
The route was really beautiful. Joe and I grew up in the Lake District so it’s always nice going back, the route even passed by our old school in Patterdale! It was a great day, and definitely something I’ll always remember. I finished in 8 h 9 mins.
After a pie and beans, I did a post race interview with Cheryl. Read it here!
Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!
- Awesome day in the sun testing out my new Bluegrass kneepads and @met_helmets , thumbs up! Thanks guys!:) #cutmedia http://t.co/RMLtEOCQ41,
- RT @met_helmets: Even one of the world's toughest MTB race becomes fun when riding under our protection @hannahbarnes66 #TransV http://t.co/OtrQ0EvxQr,
- RT @UK_Haglofs: @hannahbarnes66 well done on the Trans V race, looks nails, and huge well done to Joe for the EWS race, top family results eh!,