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General Entry Now Open for 2015 Tour of the Peak - a Classic Sportive Set in the Heart of the Peak District

by Nick Gregory

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The seventh edition of KILOTOGO's Tour of the Peak, taking place on 17 May 2015, opened entries to the general public this morning. This sell-out event attracts over 1,500 riders each year, and many of those entries have already been snapped up for 2015 during a priority booking period for previous participants. 

You've heard the saying you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs? Well you can't design a picturesque route in the Peak District, taking in some of the country's toughest climbs and favourite beauty spots, without creating an incredible cycling challenge. That's the essence of the Tour of the Peak - it'll take your breath away in more than one sense. 

Next year's running of the event is set to be the biggest and best yet, with organisers KILOTOGO offering a fully closed road ascent of Winnats Pass, as well as the additional challenges of the seven mile Cat 'n' Fiddle climb and Holme Moss - now of Tour de France fame. The Tour of the Peak is one of very few sportives to tackle the 'Big Three' of the Peak District - described by Cyclsoport's James Berresford as the "triumvirate of pain."  

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The Tour of the Peak is based on the old Tour of the Peak race (1943-2005) that played host to some of the biggest names in British cycling history. There are two routes on offer - 115 miles and 62 miles - with the stiffer of the two tests serving up an eye-watering 13,000ft of climbing in Britain's most popular national park. 

Last year the event moved to a new, larger base in the picturesque town of Bakewell. The new HQ, at the eponymous Showground, offers plenty of on-site parking and also means riders have a much better opportunity to crack Winnats Pass, as it now appears just 16 miles into the route. 

Winnats Pass is one of the most iconic and spectacular climbs in Britain. A cleft cut between two limestone pinnacles, the climb is relatively short at 1.2 miles, but reaches its steepest gradient near the summit. The average gradient is 11.7%, but tops out at a gear-grinding 25% at its steepest. This year Tour of the Peak riders will benefit from a full road closure on Winnats Pass, making it 'easier' and 'more enjoyable' for riders. 

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(Image: SportivePhoto)

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Holme Moss is the second major climb on the long route option only. Keep a look out on the road for the distance markers to the top where, you'll see the radio mast and the ice cream van. This is a long but gradual climb that starts just after Holmebridge, but in effect actually starts way back down in Holmefirth. The gradient stays steady for the most part, and once you've got to the top there's a fantastic long descent which, courtesy of the recent Tour de France visit, has now had a bump smoothed out part way down - perfect for the speed demons.  

Cat 'n' Fiddle is the last major climb on the route. At nearly 7 miles long, this climb is similar to those found on the European circuit. Both routes take on this climb from the edge of Macclesfield to Buxton.  

James Berresford has reviewed the Tour of the Peak a number of times for Cyclosport: "The Tour of the Peak is fast becoming a classic in the UK sportive calendar, and deservedly so. The difficulty level and scenery is up there with the biggest and the best, and KILOTOGO seem to have the sportive formula down to a tee." 

For more information and to book your place, visit www.kilotogo.com.





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