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Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines 2014

20/07/2014 - Durham - Sportive

Rating: 92.7% based on 5 reviews - Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 85.6% based on 14 reviews

This Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 85.556%


Timing chip incompatible with Campag quick release levers so didn't get a time registered at all (no warning to bring cable ties which would've been the alternative), otherwise a truly amazing ride. Great marshalling, feed stops well well-stocked by really enthusiastic people and the scenery is just stunning. Only 100km but don't underestimate the climbing. It's a best - definitely doing it next year!

Rated Event: 98.889%

grahamwatson wrote:

fantastic event I cant wait for next year!

Rated Event: 91.111%

MartinHutson wrote:

A truly beautiful route well designed. It was very difficult because of the hills. I am not good at climbing being about14 st. I would like to try ot again and do specific hill training. Enjoyed the last 5 miles where I really did well averaging about 20 plus mph. I actually found it harder than the Trossachs Ton and that had two big climbs. All the Marshalls were very friendly and welcoming
The bike repair people were particularly pleasant. Thank you for the adventure!

Rated Event: 98.889%

DavidCummins wrote:

My first sportive and I can't wait on the next!!
Beautiful and sometimes stark scenery. Some wickedly steep climbs - had to walk 3 times , which I never DO!! Brutal is certainly appropriate.
I'd recommend to anyone who is keen on a challenge.
I like the early start time - gives you plenty of daylight hours to feel smug in!!

Rated Event: 88.889%

bob wrote:

Great ride, really friendly people running the show. Nicer to have a shorter route so I could go all out - these days the distances get longer and longer more like audax rides!

Some sharp hills too with thrilling descents (and I've done a lot of riding on the continent too.

The only negative was the ungodly start time of 6.30. Doing a hard ride with only a half nights sleep, then having to ride home, is dangerous for me, my fellow riders and anyone I'm driving near on the way home!

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 78.889%

DavidHammal wrote:

Oh my God. I have done some hard days riding. For example, I did C2C in a day earlier in the year, but this was harder because of the gradients involved. When you turn left onto Well Bank and its like a scene from Saving Private Ryan with cyclists stopped in their tracks and many just having to walk, you know it's a bit cheeky. I pride myself on not getting out of the saddle on hills normally - that went out of the window early doors. The last 25 miles were meant to be flat and easy. They may have been flatter, but were still challenging and we were riding into a strong gusty wind. My long term aim is to do the Fred Witton Challenge. I think this was an ideal stepping stone in that direction. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes stark, beautiful landscapes and pain!

Rated Event: 92.222%

GuyMasters wrote:

This was my first time at this event and only my fourth spotive.

Organisation was excellent from registering through to taking part. Only reservations were there were never enough toilets and the food options at the feedstations was limited.

Course was stunning but relentless and brutal. This really wasn't a course for a novice or the faint hearted. As someone commented, long climbs linked by rapid descents to start climbing again. I had the wrong gearing which made it tougher.

I will do it again as it tested to me to the absolute limits of my mental endurance but gave me an unbelievable sense of achievement.

Rated Event: 80.000%

stephensmith1 wrote:


Rated Event: 92.222%


This was the toughest sportive I've done, you always know it's going to be tough when you start on a climb...

Closed roads was brilliant, enjoyed taking lines you would normally avoid because of oncoming traffic, took a while to get used to owning both sides of the road.

The climbing was relentless and I was pretty much cooked by the end of it, real sense of achievement at the end.

Four feed stations was plenty, I have to say that what was at the stations was adequate, my only issue and it's common with nearly all I've been on is that I get totally sick of sweet stuff and could of nailed something savory. Perhaps that's just me.

All in all I would highly recommend adding this event to your to do list, the question is would you do it again?

Rated Event: 70.000%


Generally well organised but feed stations very poorly equipped it would be handy to have some basic spares and equipment like a foot pump at each of the feed stations you can only put so much air in a tyre

Rated Event: 81.111%

AndrewRobertson wrote:

Loved it, but I had friends doing their first sportive and they were disillusioned and won't come again. It's a charity ride at the end of the day, and should be enjoyable and challenging but NOT crucifying. It's unlikely we'll match the weather again, and I would have significant safety reservations if adverse.
Fantastic organisation though, and great volunteers. Doesn't have the atmosphere of, say, the etape Caledonia.

Rated Event: 93.333%

PeterNewbould wrote:

Excellent organisation, the marshalling on the route was brilliant.
The scenery on the route was breqathtaking.

Rated Event: 85.556%

MartinCockerham wrote:

Very tough course. I found it very difficult - had a bad cold, lots of 'steep' hills, maybe didn't train enough and being 58?

Rated Event: 93.333%


i must agree they got the amount of climbing totally wrong advertised as 1500metres but my garmin told me different it told me just over 2500metres. i must agree parking was a pain for people, but not me as im a local and rode the 5 mile to the start. i was trying to tell people it was a lot harder than the calie, as i knew the hills well, but even i dont do them all in one go, (apart from yesterday), had no problems with feed stations, or anything really. we were very lucky to have lovely weather or it would have been carnage in middle part of ride. just like to say a big thank you to all the marshalss and cadets and well everybody involved. was v happy with 5h 28 mins

Rated Event: 90.000%

NeilBrown wrote:

Brilliant event. Extremely challenging but equally rewarding. One bad thing was that it was advertised as 5400ft of climbing but actual climbing was closer to 8300ft which is a massive difference. I really enjoyed it but a lot of people struggled and maybe would have done more training if they knew how difficult it would be.

Rated Event: 96.667%

MarkLansdown wrote:

Sure to be a sell out again next year after the success of this years event. Congratulations to the organizers - job well done.

Rated Event: 97.778%

MartinGiles wrote:

The overall sportive was brilliant, aided by perfect weather I must admit. However if it had been overcast I still would have been impressed.

I dont know where the "feed stations were a shambles" came from as I found them brilliant. Well stocked, well manned, well organised. Easy to find and get what you wanted.

The course on the day was very well signposted, and the majority of junctions were marshalled so no worries at all. My only issue was the signage on the reg day were a little sparse in some areas.

The day was brilliant and I really enjoyed it.

Rated Event: 48.889%

Disgruntled1 wrote:

Should have been fantastic....
Firstly, the good.... the course, the weather, the people.
However, the bad.... the feedstations were a shambles, £5 for parking in a field after a monster entry fee?, no food at the finish?
As I said, it should have been great but let down by some poor points.
Won't be doing this next year.

Rated Event: 98.889%

tyhsia wrote:

People, put this Etape Pennines on your to do list for next year. This closed road tour around the Pennines near Durham was an epic! I've done more sportives than I can count this year, and this was a highlight (even more so than La Marmotte, and definitely better than Dragon Ride). There were some serious, killer climbs (>20% in some, and long drags a la Alps/Dragon ride in others). I don't know what this '5' for difficulty by Cyclosport comes from, but trust me, it was HARD. The descents were unbelievable--better than the Alps--less technical and with closed road, much more reassuring. I hit 54 mph at one point, and I'm sure others were even faster. Great organization, and wonderful spectators all along the route. And the scenery--pure wonder. I'm sure the great weather we had helped the experience, but nonetheless, it was simply brilliant. Start was delayed by ~ 15min. but that's about all the complaint. For an inaugural event, well done Marie Curie and IMG!

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