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Tackle the Toughest Climbs in the Eastern Peak District with the Igloo Sportive

by Nick Gregory

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The Igloo Sportive is back for a third year. With a new start venue and a completely new route, it is set to provide a fresh road biking challenge in and around the Eastern Peak District. Both routes offer a similar distance and elevation change to last year's event, but that is where the similarities end. 

The new 131km long route (with a total of 2666m of climb) includes some real classic climbs of the East Peak: Curbar Gap, Totley Moor via Horsleygate, Sir William Hill and Beeley Moor, to name just four of ten ascents on the route. The shorter 67km route has 1380m of climb and is basically the southern loop of the longer ride. 

Starting out from the quaint village of Holymoorside near Chesterfield, both routes head South over the climb of Northedge near Alton before descending down to Ogston Reservoir. From there it is on to Crich, passing through the villages of Brackenfield and Wessington on the way. Riders now head North via Holloway and Lea beginning the long ascent of Dethick, skirting Matlock as they climb. In the woods above Darley Dale the routes finally split. 

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Now fully warmed up, the riders of the long route have the testing anti-clockwise Northern loop to contend with. Heading "trans-peak" in the direction of Sheffield, they pass through Chatsworth Park, Baslow and up and over the superb 20% climb of Curbar Gap. 

It is then on to Cutthorpe before a pretty rolling valley road through Barlow and Millthope provides a brief respite before the back to back climbs of Totley Moor and the notorious Sir William Hill. The panoramic views from the ridge at Breton above Eyam will go some way to repay the efforts exerted on Sir William Hill's steep gradients. 

Now 90km in, riders head South through Foolow up and over Longstone Moor where yet more expansive vistas will be on offer. A long decent will bring the riders down to the honey pot village of Ashford in the Water. The short but extremely steep ascent of Kirk Dale, will get the legs going again and from the top riders will be pleased to have less than 30km to go. 

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At the bottom of the climb of Brichover the two routes rejoin for the final leg of journey. Be sure to take in the spectacular views from Stanton Moor before pushing on to the final climb of Beeley Moor. From the top it is all downhill to the finish. 

For an in-depth preview of the event including details of all the climb make sure you read the Igloo Road Book. Click here for the Igloo Road Book

The event will offer a clearly signed/arrowed route, Beat the Bonk feed-stations, en-route climb information boards, a colour route map including emergency numbers, SPORTident chip timing for an instant post-event time, refreshments at the finish, event photographer courtesy of Cycle Sport Photography and finishing certificates with Gold, silver and bronze awards based on your finishing time. 

For more information visit www.darkwhitecycling.co.uk/igloo.





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