The 3 Peaks – The peculiarly British cross race

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This past weekend saw a peloton of 650 – some might say foolhardy – souls tackle the triumvirate of peaks in the Yorkshire Dales for the 2014 3 Peaks Cyclocross race. Rob Jebb (Hope Technology) and Verity Appleyard (Brotherton Cycles) won the mens and womens races respectively and the full results should be up here by lunchtime today.
Traversing Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent in a loop based at the starting point of Helwith Bridge, successful racers  covered 61km (38 miles). Of these, 28km were on tarmac, 33km on unsurfaced roads and between 6 and 8km were completed on foot. The exact figures depend on fitness, weather conditions and rider ability. In summation, it’s a brutal event. Despite this, the 52nd running of the event was overbooked, with places allocated by ballot. Singletrack’s editor and sometimes correspondent Chipps, as well as Jeff Lockwood, the Belgian-based editor of the digital magazine, both successfully completed this year’s event. As of Monday 09.47, their exact finishing times are unconfirmed but have been described as “slow” by at least one of the pair. The point is they both finished the event and for the vast majority of competitors, finishing is all that matters for a challenge this tough.
To all the finishers, congrats from For those that are inspired to attempt it next year (details here), all we can say is get as fit as you are able. It will still hurt – a lot – but just for a shorter period of time.
One final, very important note: the course includes areas where bikes are normally banned and on private land. Permission is granted to use the route on race day only, so it’s actually illegal to try to complete the loop at any other time. As the organisers put it, “The future of the race will be in jeopardy if selfish riders ignore these restrictions.”
We’ll have a feature on the race in the digital magazine, so subscribers will be able to peruse that over a beverage of their choice later in the year. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, we’ve put together this little gallery from the event, courtesy of Joolze Dymond.

Copyright on all images remains the property of Joolze Dymond. You can check out more of her great work here:

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