The most demanding and longest distance challenge in the event is the notorious Mad Manc with a distance of 200km and an ambitious 3,000m of leg-burning climbing under your belt. This particular route winds its way through all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester in an anti-clockwise direction. There are other less torturous distances of a 50km, a 100km route and a 100 Miler event. Check out the Strava full Tour de Manc HERE.
Rest assured, we will be riding only 18km of this entire Tour de Manc course. The area of Saddleworth parish, 18km northeast of Manchester, consists of several villages and hamlets which in the 18th and 19th centuries were historical centers for weaving and cotton spinning. There is not much farming due to the undulating nature of the terrain. This route takes us twisting and turning along tree lined narrow roads flanked by old stone velvety moss-covered walls that wind through Oldham's suburbs in the Pennine hills. The surrounding countryside soon opens up, offering a landscape of endless vistas of vast moorland and grassy pastures.
Our shorter journey on this shark-tooth profile begins on one of five steep but short climbs starting in Greenfield. Our ride covers 585m of climbing with an average of 3% and a brief but challenging 18% maximum gradient. This slope can be a bit eye-watering if you have a direct drive smart trainer that allows for good accuracy but also, it does feel more like the real deal!
We then ride over a few more climbs around Saddleworth, passing through Uppermill hills, where you can stop for a brief break for tea and scones before hopping back on your bike and heading up a long steady drag to the Saddleworth Hotel. You'll then pedal up a couple of testing sections, including the well-known Grains Bar climb, one of many short climb sections on this route that has featured in the Tour of Britain from time to time.
Watch some of the action in footage on route up Grains Road climb in one of the Tour of Britain stages HERE. You will have the opportunity to see some of the region's Old English-style brick buildings surrounded by ancient low dry stone walls as you ride through the quaint villages with their old world charm and over rolling moors. Low clouds appear to press down on the landscape, typical of the UK's scenery and bleak, grey weather.
The route video is of excellent quality, giving you a natural feel of what it's like to ride in England without even leaving your home.
How to ride it:
These five short climbs provide us with a perfect opportunity to do a few quality hill climb repeats!
After a good warmup of 10-15 minutes, pace yourself conservatively at the start of every climb, spin a higher cadence, increasing your intensity the closer you get to the top. Power the last 300 meters to beyond your FTP over the top of each summit, avoiding slowing down before the top. Take it easy and catch your breath on all the downhills once you have increased your speed while allowing your heart rate to drop and recover before the next intense effort. After the ride, do a short cooldown to help your legs recover more quickly.
You can also join the Tour de Manc challenge and ride 3 segments from this exceptional event. Register for the Challenge HERE
Remember to ride the selected routes in a "Time Trial" or Race mode.
Start and end dates: 24.01.2022 to 20.02.2022