What is a Cat 1 climb in the UK?
Bealach na Ba is impressive for the UK, but only half the distance and height gain of something like Col de Galibier. It is steeper though, twice as much so if Wiki is correct. We’re a bit limited by our geography, even the Scots…
Hardknot is steeper again, but very short. We do tend to build our roads and footpaths steeper than on the continent.Posted 7 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
Winnats Pass in the Peaks, forget ‘cars of the day’, cars of today have to go up in 1st!
Snakes Pass From ladybower is ~6 miles and ~300m, especialy when combined with (from sheffield train station) Broomhill to manchester road, snakes pass to glossop, glossop to chapel, chapel to castleton (rushup edge), then back through hayfield and up the hill over to hunters bar.
Mapmyride.com will tell you what category any road falls into, anoyingly it stops counting the moment it levels off, so what you think of as one continuous slog with a minor respite halfway it only see as two smaller climbs.Posted 7 years ago
Out of interest what would the climb up the back of Mam Tor (from edale direction) be classsed as?
2nd Cat probably. That’s a bastard climb cos you can’t get into a rhythm on it, it’s all up/down. Winnats is actually quite easy if you know the technique for it, the problem with that road is it’s so busy and so narrow, not wide enough for 2 cars + bike. I did some video footage for the Tour of the Peak Sportive last year which included Winnat’s:
Hardknott and BnB are probably the two hardest roads in the UK, hors categorie (above 1st cat) in the language of continental climbs. This book:
is good for a bit of inspiration if you’re looking for hill-climbing challenges.Posted 7 years ago
Terry: depends a bit on weather – you’re right, I agree, it’s just long, it’s not that “hard” (although there’s still plenty of people who walk it) but throw in a howling headwind, mist/rain etc and it’s a pretty grim 30 minutes.
I think that’s where it’s got it’s reputation from combined with it being, what, 3rd highest road in Scotland?.Posted 7 years agoDibbsMember
A quick search found 2 Cat 1 climbs from last years Tour of Britain (there may be more).
Stage 4: Minehead to Teignmouth, Category 1 Climb at Peak Hill, Sidmouth.
Stage 5: Tavistock to Glastonbury, Category 1 King of the Mountains Climb at Coombe Hill near Hemyock
Don’t go thinking that the North has all the steep climbs 😉Posted 7 years agoiain1775Subscriber
yep crazy legs, thats what I assumed from looking here – http://www.zanibike.net/motore.aspx?quanti=20&ID=1&da=az&come=af&lingua=eng&commenti=FalsePosted 7 years ago
and worst on road bike was Jubilee Tower on the Lancaster to Clitheroe road.
I used to live in Lancaster, I remember the very first time I went out on a road bike round there. Lancaster, over Jubilee Tower to Slaidburn, did a big loop round there then back a similar way to Lancaster. Nearly 100 miles which I’d misjudged, I blew up big time. 🙁
Once I got used to it, I didn’t mind it, I’ve done the Jubilee Tower Hill climb race a few times – fastest I ever managed was 8.40 but the record is under 8 minutes (from the crossroads at Quernmore to the tower).Posted 7 years agoglobaltiMember
Seasoned roadies think little of a 70 to 80 mile circuit like that. If you’d told me three years ago I would be doing that kind of ride I would have laughed in disbelief but now… road riding has made me soooo much fitter than I ever was on pure MTBing. I just regret that I didn’t take it up years ago; I’d have been a much faster MTB rider and would have done better at Polaris events, races etc.Posted 7 years agochameleon78Member
I went out for the first time in about 5 years with the Saturday MTB group having done a few road rides and turbo sessions in training, I was gobsmacked at how I got on, i expected to be at the back all day, thanks to my roadie work i wasn’t, a good start to a comeback year.Posted 7 years ago2tyredMember
Anyone know how the Kirkstone and Hardknott passes compare to the aforementioned road up to the Radar station in Leadhills? (Assuming the one SBZ is talking about is the climb to Wanlockhead either up the Menock Pass or up from Elvanfoot, then onto the radar station).
I’m pondering a wee day trip to Penrith to ride out to Eskdale (and back) over the Kirkstone and Hardknott and wondering how they compare? Reckon that’s 80 miles over 2 big climbs, should be a good day.
FWIW the radar station climb and the BNB are good, tough climbs but can’t be compared to, say, the Col de l’Iseran. Are the lakes ones but mere hillocks in this regard?Posted 7 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
We did a TDF climb when down in the pyrenees, depending on who you asked it was either a cat 1 based on its length or hors category due to its difficulty, either way it was a godawful endless mother****er. There’s nothing equivalent in the UK simply because there aren’t any mountains tall enough- the ascent was higher than the relative height of any mountain in the rest of the UK and all but a couple in Scotland, and none of those have a road to the top. No doubt the TDF guys wafted to the top without breaking a sweat though. I nearly had to be put down.
(your weapon of choice should not be a 30lb 6 inch bouncer on fat sticky tyres, bit of a schoolboy error really)Posted 7 years agoshortbread_fanylionSubscriber
Agreed Gary. The radar climb is easier than Bealach na Ba as well – similar height gain from Mennock but over a longer distance IIRC so the average gradient is less. The surface is also a lot smoother but it’s a great climb nonetheless. Hardknott is way steeper and tougher than either, although much shorter.Posted 7 years ago
Are there any races go up Hardknott? I’d love to see a Tour of Britain stage that followed the Fred Whitton route.
No and TBH I doubt they’d ever do it. The road is too tough and in too bad a condition. Bear in mind that a pro race will have dozens of cars and vans in the race convoy, TV motorbikes etc and the logistics and danger of getting all that over a hill like Hardknott is one hell of a big ask. It’d also make for pretty crap TV cos the field would be blown to pieces within seconds.
On the continent it’s fine, the roads are wider and far superior (usually to ski stations so they’re in excellent condition), the crowds are HUGE and the atmosphere is great. In the UK – you’d just get the farmers bloody moaning that they couldn’t get to their sheep for half a day…Posted 7 years ago13thfloormonkMember
Great thread, thanks guys, I’d heard of this secret big climb in the borders but never found it, now I know! 😀 Would make an interesting century from Edinburgh, shame the roads there and back are a bit uninspiring…
Mam Rattagan is a beauty, although I’ve only climbed it from the Glen Elg side.
No mention of the climb from Kenmore to Amulree? I would have thought just for general nastiness it should get a mention, I’ve no idea what makes a Cat.1 though.Posted 7 years ago
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