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10 out of 10
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Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge 2016

08/05/2016 - Grasmere, Lake District - Sportive

Rating: 98.1% based on 4 reviews - Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 95.8% based on 194 reviews

This Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 100.000%

RichardPeasland wrote:

Absolutely fantastic!

First time doing any cycling event and it was awesome. Being local to the area I knew what to expect from the route and that it was hard. Very hard! What I wasn't expecting was the huge amount of support out on the route. At the top of every climb and in every village there were people cheering. I don't think I would have got up Hardknott without stopping if it wasn't for the shouts from the spectators.
Organisation was spot on. The feed stations were fab and the weather was perfect (possibly a tad too warm!)

I'll definitely enter again.

Rated Event: 93.333%

Andy Rogers wrote:

Amazing scenery and brutal climbs made harder by fatigue later in the event.

Rated Event: 98.889%

AndrewSage wrote:

Newbie this year and a fabulous event, admittedly blessed with amazing weather this time around making it an especially wonderful day, particularly with so many people out on the roadside supporting with their cowbells - the top of Whinlatter and Cold Fell felt more like the top an Alpine stage of the tour!

Haven't done that many sportives but this one is BY FAR the best organised, supported and friendliest one I've ridden. Huge amount of proper food available at the feed stops no queues despite dealing with hundreds of us at once.

Many thanks to all the volunteers and organisers. Can't wait to come back and do it in the rain next time round!

Rated Event: 100.000%

GL wrote:

Gets bigger and better every year. This year is my fourth time and still not seen any sunshine!!

nothing beats the view from the bottom of hardknott of 2000 cyclists winding their way up a beast of a climb. The highlight for me is always the support on the side of the road, the top of Whinlatter where there are crowds cheering you on is something else.

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 100.000%


A really challenging and demanding ride. The friendliest ride I've ever taken part in with an amazing atmosphere from start to finish. As soon as I crossed the line I wanted to do it again. But not straight-away

Rated Event: 100.000%

MattPhillips wrote:

The best sportive in the UK and perhaps the world!

Rated Event: 100.000%

Andy F wrote:

A M A Z I N G !!!
loved it, loved it, loved it. (Easy to say now Im back home and the memories of the pain and hurt in my lungs, arms and legs have know faded)
ALL of the marshalls were superb (THANK YOU +++)
The Crowd and support was also excellent and needed at times (Better than a caffeine boost)
The organisers were very friendly and helpful.
Great support from fellow riders of all abilities.

Rated Event: 98.889%

JoanneMay wrote:

Fantastic event, exceptionally organised, fab scenery, brilliant it!!!!!

Rated Event: 100.000%

TamzinRoss wrote:

First time, absolutely loved it, better than expected! Was so impressed with the support and it meant so much to be cheered on even though I was in the back group - I don't really do these events usually but this was worth all the sweat!!

Rated Event: 96.667%

SarahRenshaw wrote:

Brutal. But great.

Rated Event: 100.000%

DavidWalker wrote:

First time. Great experience all round - organisation, route and informal support at roadsides and at end. Level of support had me quite emotional a couple of times (another first!) Hope to get a place again and have recommended to all at my local CTC (with warnings!).

Rated Event: 100.000%

msjmamilcave wrote:

A thoroughly enjoyable challenge for the deciple MAMIL pedaling that road to enlightenment ! only note is I must practice those hairpin descent's a bit more.

Rated Event: 95.556%

AngusRidge wrote:

First Fred, best sportive I have done, really well organised, especially the marshalling. How to improve - better toilets at start (unless I didn't find the right ones?) and hot drinks at first feed station. An excellent event I'd like to repeat!

Rated Event: 97.778%

MartinOldfield wrote:

3rd Fred and get better each time - brilliant organisation; volunteers; marshalls; supporters.

Rated Event: 100.000%

eLBee! wrote:

People volunteer to RIDE the event because it has a deservedly tough reputation.
But the thing that MAKES it for me is the army of volunteers and supporters who turn out year after year to 'gently' encourage the riders both at the times which are gratuitously tough - but also at random spots around the course too.
I have no doubt that maintaining that level of enthusiasm for so long out in the wet and cold is just a hard as riding the event.

The cow bells were a fantastic addition this year - Kudos for *that inspired idea!!

And the organisation of the 'notorious-for-people-losing-control-of-their-speed-and target-fixating-something-solid' points gets better and better each year

And a quick mention for the Honister 92 Gazebo Support and Unofficial Feed point on Cold Fell.

I heard them from Ennerdale Bridge, and by the sounds of things many many riders were very grateful for the food/boost/encouragement they got there.

So many people give their time, and effort and do things at their own expense at this event, which keeps it true to its other main purpose of minimising costs to maximise the funds raised to go to the chosen charities.

Well done guys. Best one I've done yet!!

Rated Event: 82.222%

TorbjornLandenberg wrote:

I've done many sprotives in Sweden but also in UK. Close to Fred is Wye valley warrior in scenary. However Fred tops them all! What beaty The Lakes presents but also all friendly people and last it was tough. Will most likely be back and try to imporove my time next year.

Rated Event: 100.000%

AlanCurry wrote:

Fourth time at the Fred and the organisation and support just gets better. Cow bells were a good touch to make a great atmosphere and Honister 92 pitched up in the right spot to encourage people through the headwind and rain at cold fell. Happy retirement to Lofty who has made this into the best cycling event I've ever done which includes the Etape du Tour. Special mention to all the volunteers who help keep the cyclists safe fed and on the right route.

Rated Event: 98.889%

JamesGriggs wrote:

The best-supported event I've done - supporters and marshalls. Really friendly, helpful and efficient. Will be back for a third run for sure!

Rated Event: 97.778%

LiamKwan wrote:

I loved the ride itself despite crashing at the bottom of Hardknott.

The feed stops are sufficient and the food and drink supplied is much appreciated. All riders should try and carry sufficient food and energy powder for the ride, as all the proceeds from the Fred go to charity.

The timing was easy to use and it was good to have the timed climb up Newlands.

The signage is top notch with the website, route card letting everyone know what you are letting yourself in for.

The support and friendliness is what stood out for on Sunday. Spectators and volunteers out on the side of the road cheering for complete strangers.

What made the memorable for all right and wrong reasons was my crash at the bottom of Hardknott. With my hands numb/aching from holding the brakehoods too tightly meant that on the final steep bit of Hardknott I could not apply the brakes in time. I was lucky to crash into a grass bank with 2 rocks a few feet either side. The marshalls, 1st aider and other riders were quick to check on me. After checking I was OK albeit a bit winded, it was time to check on the bike. The crash had buckled my front wheel and I was thinking that was the end of my ride. I was fortunate enough that a mechanic gave me a spare wheel and i managed to finish the ride in a bit of pain and still beating my previous best time. I will be ever so grateful for those who helped complete the ride.

The result of my crash was severe bruising to my gentlemen bits and midriff from hitting the handlebars and a deep laceration to my left shin.

Even after all this I would want to do the ride again and would recommend that if anyone wants a serious challenge in an area of outstanding beauty, then choose the Fred Whitton.

Rated Event: 100.000%

julianFrazier wrote:

A brilliant sportive, stunning countryside, great marshals particularly on the treacherous descents.
Definitely do it again next year.

Well done to all.

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