Posts Tagged ‘Tour de Yorkshire’

How many tags do you need?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 | Sport

If you’re sick of hearing about the Tour de Yorkshire by this point, don’t worry, this is my last post on the subject. Whenever you do a sportive, the organisers give you some tags to put on you or your bike. But, in the case of TdY, it seems they need to go everywhere.

Here is the first one. It goes on the front of your helmet.

Here is the second one. This one is a timing chip that goes on the side of your helmet.

Number three, this one goes on the front of your bike.

Number four, this one goes on the back of your bike. It is not very well designed as it is almost impossible to fit a saddle bag, reflector and tag on your seat post.

And finally, the race number that goes on the back of your jersey.

Surely there must be a simpler way to do this? It took me nearly five hours to complete the sportive and about the same amount of time to get all of the tags off.

Tour de Yorkshire 2018 pro finish

Sunday, May 13th, 2018 | Photos, Sport

After finishing the sportive, we went down to watch the pro men’s race finish.

The first man through was Stéphane Rossetto who went on to take the stage win. This was on Burley Road, a few hundred metres from the finish. The chasing pack weren’t too far behind.

Tour de Yorkshire scenery

Saturday, May 12th, 2018 | Photos

Taken during the Tour de Yorkshire sportive. I think this is Thruscross Reservoir. There are definitely worse places to be cycling.

Tour de Yorkshire

Friday, May 11th, 2018 | Sport

Last week, I completed the Tour de Yorkshire sportive. The medium route, 84km (90km once I had ridden door-to-door) was not only the longest ride I had ever done, by some 10km, but also included a fierce 1,200 metres of climbing.

It started up at Woodhouse Moor, where they had a small event village and meeting point. Due to the number of people that took part, there was a long queue to get started. It took about 30 minutes from joining the back of it to getting on the road.

Once at the front, we were off. The route took us along Meanwood Road up and up to the ring road, where we crossed and headed up towards Eccup and then on towards Harrogate. We climbed through North Rigton and the rolling road towards Beckwithshaw where the first feed station was located.

It was a pretty crap feed station. There was around a 40-minute queue for water, and the food available consisted of crips, bananas and Jaffa cakes. Certainly not up to the standard of other sportives.

Back on the road, we turned west on Penny Pot Lane and then north again to Menwith Hill before starting the journey homeward via Blubberhouses. The scenery up there is spectacular. Once you get on top of the moors, you can see for miles.

The hills

The road between Blubberhouses and Otley is a hilly one. By this point, the long route had re-joined us and so the road was filled with medium and long route people. Even though these were all cyclists that had chosen a harder option than the short route, people began struggling. Many people got off and pushed their bike up Snowden Bank.

I miscalculated the road we were coming out of Otley on. For some reason, I had gotten it into my head that we were taking the main road. It had Tour de Yorkshire signs all over it, after all. But we didn’t. We went straight out of the back of Otley and up Chevin Bank. 1750 metres at an average gradient of 9.4%. It just kept coming.

And, after all of that, we then went straight back down the hill to Pool in Wharfedale where the second feed stop was located. This one was better, with sausage rolls, pork pies and jelly babies. And, more importantly, reasonable access to water.

The final stretch included another tough climb: Black Hill Road into Arthington. This one was only 1500 metres at an average gradient of 7.2%. But that is deceptive because it starts off shallow and them ramps up the higher you go. The 90-degree bend half way up is rated at an eye-watering 19%. This was probably the hardest climb of the day, although I suspect that was because I already had Chevin Bank in my legs.

The finish

Finishing on The Headrow was amazing. I had enough in my legs to open up my sprint. Maybe I should have savoured the moment, but it felt great to pretend to be a pro racing for the line. Unlike the big runs in Leeds, there weren’t that many people finishing. So, when I raised my arm in victory and everyone cheered, there was a cause and effect thing going on. Thank you to everyone who cheered us home!

Results

My official time clocked in at:

4:42:54

That’s nearly 12 hours ahead of the so-called winner Greg Van Avermaet. Some would argue that doing the medium route of a one-day sportive is a lot easier than the four days of substantially longer routes that the pros did. But he had teammates and a peloton to protect him, I did it all on my own.

My average moving speed was 19.5 kph, although that is door-to-door, not just the sportive. It’s pretty slow compared to the 23.4 kph I managed in York-Leeds-York (and any objective measure), but it was very hilly.

Conclusion

I think the Tour de Yorkshire is my favourite sportive so far. In part, its a number game. They claimed to have 5,000 riders taking part. It certainly was busy and it’s nice to ride with other people. A common problem with sportives is that, even if you have 500 people, when you spread them out over 100km, there are not many of them around. It gets lonley. Here there was none of that. The feed stations were poor, but the finish was excellent. And the scenery was beautiful.

First 80km ride

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 | Sport

With the Tour De Yorkshire just days away, I set out to complete my first 80km ride. Not only would this be my longest ride yet but it would also involve even more hills than usual. So, the last thing I needed was problems with my gears.

Unfortunately, that’s what I got. I’ve been having problems with my gears for a while and, despite getting it “fixed” by Evans, it hasn’t got any better. In fact, it’s got worse. I couldn’t use first gear at all. So, I had to complete the 1,000 metres of climbing in second or higher.

But while it did slow me down, it didn’t stop me. I headed up through Otley all the way to Blubberhouses, taking in climbs of up to 14%, before heading east to Harrogate and back down to Leeds.

My legs were gone by the end of it. Finishing my ride down the canal towpath I struggled to hold 15 mph on the flat.

Nevertheless, job done. It wasn’t quite a replication of next week: it was 80km rather than 86km, and, more importantly, it was 1,000 metres of climbing rather than 1,200. Still, I feel like I can go into the sportive with a lot more confidence than I had before.