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Lottery Now Open for 2015 Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge General Entries

by Nick Gregory

GB Flag

The lottery to decide general places for the 2015 Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge is now open. The ballot will close at midnight on Sunday January 11, after which time 2,000 successful entrants will be awarded places. 

The organisers have stated: "To be as fair as we can to all riders, and avoid an 'internet race' to get places in the event, the 2,000 places will be allocated by the draw, which you can enter on-line any time this week. Lottery entry will stay open until midnight on Sunday (11 January) and it doesn't make any difference when during the week you enter." 

Taking place on 10 May 2015, the Fred Whitton is generally considered to be the toughest and most prestigious sportive in the UK. The route takes riders on a gruelling 112 mile loop of the Lake District, including all of the national park's most famous passes: Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Cold Fell, Irton Pike and the deadly duo of Hardknott and Wrynose.  

Whilst some of the more famous European sportives - such as the Marmotte in France or Maratona in Italy - surpass the Fred Whitton's total elevation of 3,800m, what the Fred "lacks" it total ascent it more than makes up for in gradient... As anyone who has ever attempted the 30+% Hardknott Pass after 98miles will attest! 

FW1

The organisers continued: "In the draw for places we will favour first-time riders in the event by reserving 400 places for people who haven't ridden our event before. A draw will first be done for the first-time rider places, followed by a second draw for the remaining places. Any first-time riders who don't get a place in the first draw will go into the second draw as well." 

Starting and finishing in Grasmere, the challenge is run in memory of Fred Whitton - the Lakes Road Club Racing Secretary for many years, who tragically passed away at the age of 50 from cancer. The event raises money for various charities, and in 2014 alone brought in a staggering £200,000. 

The event was included in Cyclosport's Top 5 Toughest UK Sportives.

Cyclosport's Emma Osenton is something of a Fred Whitton veteran: "Absolutely and unquestionably the best sportive in the country. The organisation is amazing, the setting is iconic, great food, great atmosphere and huge climbs with some even bigger and steeper ones thrown in to boot! I come back to this one again and again, see old faces, meet new ones; each time I think I can go a little faster. It's got me and it won't let go."  

For more information about the event visit: www.fredwhittonchallenge.co.uk.





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