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New Event HQ for Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge 2014

by Nick Gregory

After 14 years at Coniston, the start and finish of the 112 mile Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge will move to Grasmere, in the heart of the English Lake District, for 2014. The event will be based at one of the finest sports facilities in the Lake District: The Grasmere Sports Ground.

The ride, that covers 112 miles and climbs all the major Lakeland Passes, has raised to date over £600,000 for charity, and this year alone gave £50,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support, as well as other local charities.

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The Fred Whitton is one of the oldest and most famous sportives in the country, and in its own way has helped the cycling revolution.

Paul Loftus, event organiser, says: "Our original idea was to have a memorial ride for our clubmate, Fred Whitton, who died of cancer aged 49 - and what better route could you hope for than a circuit of The Lake District. The event was to be a charity ride to raise money mainly for the Macmillan Nurses, which is what it remains today."

The event began with just 70 riders in 1999, but last year saw over 1750 taking part. Every year demand for places increases, and in recent years entrants have had to be chosen by a ballot. "We know that there are a lot of riders out there wanting to ride the event next year, and fortunately we can accommodate many more at Grasmere," Loftus continued.

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Grasmere will provide suitable car parking facilities for all - whatever the weather - and additional space for refreshments, trade stalls and fun for all the family over what has become a weekend of major cycling celebration in the heart of the lake district.

Further details can be found at www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk.





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