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Ballot Entries Now Open for Fred Whitton Challenge

by Holly Blades

At 10am on Wednesday 3 January 2018 until 5pm on Monday 15 January 2018 the ballot for the Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge 2018 is open. With only 2,000 places allocated by ballot, this event is hugely oversubscribed every year.

Hopeful riders can visit the website between within this window, to register in the ballot and have a chance of securing a place. Entrants to ballot can register as individuals, giving them one "ticket in the lottery", or those who want to ride together can enter as a group of four, which gives them one ticket, but if successful all four riders get in.

Famed for its difficulty, this 112mile sportive (with 3950m of climbing), takes in all of the major passes in the Lake District National Park, including the infamous passes; Hardknott and Wrynose, with a 30% gradient climb at 98 miles.

Taking place on Sunday 13 May 2018 from Grasmere in the Lake District, this event is deemed on a par with La Marmotte, as one of the most challenging events in Europe. Top riders complete the route in just under six hours, but eleven hours and over is not uncommon for the average sportive rider.

Riders who tackle this challenge will experience the most heartfelt support of any sportive, including cow bell ringers along the route. This truly local event, showcases incredible volunteer support from Lakes cycling clubs and the involvement of many local businesses. Feed stations are stocked with handmade cakes and other local Lakes produce.

Paul Loftus, Chair of the Steering Group, says; "Opening the ballot is always an exciting time for us. We're looking forward to show more first timers, and overseas riders the fantastic riding there is to be found in The Lakes, and of course there's always such camaraderie amongst our die-hard regular riders."

Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race, days; "We are amazed every year at the appetite for The Fred. Again, we have seen record numbers of charity entries this year for our local charities, which shows that the appetite is still growing. We look forward to showing off this new UNESCO World Heritage Site in all its glory."

Additionally, all riders are encouraged to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Care. The Fred Whitton Challenge has now raised £1,138,000 for Macmillan and local charities.

The event is in honour of Fred Whitton. Fred, who died aged just 50 in 1998, was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club and a lynchpin in the cycling community of Cumbria.

The ballot for is open from 10am 3 January - 5pm 15 January 2018.
Visit to register for the ballot.

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