Cycling challenge is ‘seriously hilly’

Tour of Strines
Tour of Strines

It is one of the toughest challenges in cycling – just ask Britain’s most decorated Olympian Sir Chris Hoy.

The six-time Olympic cycling gold medallist visited South Yorkshire during a national promotional tour as part of the preparations to stage the Tour De France which starts in Yorkshire next year.

And while he was here, the cycling legend took his bike on what is known as the Strines Challenge.

Afterwards he said: “What a tough ride in Bradfield, near Sheffield.

“Seriously hilly, only took us twice as long as expected.”

He later Tweeted: “Just finished the toughest ride of the week, beautiful place.”

Sir Chris was referring to the Strines circuit, which provides a torturous training ground for local elite riders.

Now a local cycling club has organised a charity ride along the route.

However, if you fancy taking the challenge you had better get on your bike – numbers are restricted to 200 and cyclists far and wide are expected to sign up to take part.

Keith Ainsworth, of Sheffrec Cycling Club, said: “Our challenge comprises just more than 50 miles in distance, but with 27 unique recognised climbs, comprising more than 8,000ft of climbing. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

“The Strines Challenge reliability ride will take place on Sunday, September 8, from Bradfield Village Hall – and due to its intensity and the myriad of beautiful narrow roads to be encountered, the club has decided to have a maximum limit of 200 entries.”

There is a £10 entry fee with an option to contribute more to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Log on to Sheffred Strines Challenge for more details.

* Sir Chris has Olympic gold medals from the 1km time trial in Athens, in 2004, from the sprint, team sprint and keirin at Beijing, in 2008, and the team sprint and keirin in London last year.

* The Tour de France starts in Leeds next year, with the second stage, on Sunday, July 6, from York to Sheffield.