Mark Cavendish: The Manx Missile: 48 Grand Tour Stage wins, 30 Tour De France Stage victories, 3x Madison World Champion. A cycling legend in his own right. Rise Above is a sportive around the roads he learnt to cut the cloth in his profession, where trained whilst a youth cyclist in the British Cycling Academy. What better way to celebrate the amazing season he has been having than riding these roads.
We started early in Chester with the initial stages of the sportive on closed roads before heading out into the Welsh hills.
As the sun came up the amount of climbing we were about to contend with started to become a reality. Over 2400 meters across just shy of 170km became a long day in the saddle.
The route included a timed climb of Horseshoe Pass.
(Bwlch yr Oernant, "Pass of the Cold Stream") is a mountain pass in Denbighshire, north-east Wales. It separatesLlantysilio Mountain to the west from the 565 metre (1,854 feet) mountain and Marilyn Cyrn-y-Brain to the east. The A542 road from Llandegla toLlangollen runs through the pass, reaching a maximum height of 417 metres (1,368 ft). The road travels in a horseshoe shape around the sides of a valley, giving the pass its name.
This route dates from 1811, when a turnpike road was constructed across the area. As with the rest of the roads in the Clwydian Range, it is not uncommon for sheep to gather in the road, sometimes causing problems for drivers. The road is also frequently closed in winter due to snowfall or landslides.
The Pass is well known for the Ponderosa cafe at its highest point and the scenic views along the road. Both the cafe and the pass itself are extremely popular with cyclists & motorcyclists. There are many walks and routes in the immediate area that are popular with hikers, and there are a number of campsites nearby.
The route itself was equally rewarding and challenging. Meaning you could attack the hills as hard as you liked. All feed stops were also well stocked up. All in all a fantastic sportive in a beautiful part of the world.
Here's the Strava file!