The Lapierre Cheshire Cobbled Classic
07/06/2015 - Wilmslow, Cheshire - Sportive
Entries are now open for the 2015 Lapierre Cheshire Cobbled Classic - an extremely tough 105 km (65-mile) sportive which is inspired by the Tour of Flanders - the Belgian one-day Classic. It features twelve cobbled sectors, including five cobbled climbs that exceed 20% in gradient. The most notable of these is the frighteningly steep Corkscrew, a twisting, snaking cobbled road whose 45% maximum gradient makes it the steepest climb in the country (see photo above).
There are also two long flat cobbled sectors (something of a rarity in England), which, even more unusually, are surfaced with round cobbles rather than the more common square cobblestones or 'setts'.
The eastern half of the Cheshire Cobbled Classic is located within the Peak District National Park and takes in the spectacular Goyt Valley and the Fernilee and Errwood reservoirs. The route contains a significant amount of climbing - roughly 1800m in total - and the event builds to a climax on the iconic Swiss Hill, a 25% cobbled climb in Alderley Edge, which is used by Team Sky to prepare specifically for the Tour of Flanders. The profile of Swiss Hill can be viewed here.
The event will have a Belgian theme, with a variety of Belgian foods, chocolate and a glass of Belgian 'Leffe' for every finisher. In addition, everyone who completes the course will be presented with a full-sized commemorative cobblestone, reclaimed from the very same roads that the event passes over! Feed stations, a broom wagon and medical support will be provided. There is also the option of a shorter 65 km (40-mile) route, which skips sectors 5, 6 and 7, but is otherwise the same as the full 105 km route. All of the roads used on the route are relatively traffic-free.