Côte de Ripponden

Distance: 1315 metres, Ascent: 125 metres, route map

Ripponden Bank is a short sharp shock of a climb that was included in the 2014 Tour de France as a Category 3 climb. The pros probably climbed it a bit quicker than you will but then they had thousands of spectators to urge them on. We’d all find these hills a lot easier with that level of support.

The starting point is not far from the centre of Ripponden. Near where the A58 meets the A672 Rochdale Road you will find an awkward junction for the B6113 Elland Road. From here the road drops down steeply towards the river. When the road tilts up again on the other side you can start pedalling.

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The road goes straight up the hillside getting steeper as you come to the sharp left-hand curve. Things ease off marginally once you’re round the bend but it’s still a slog up to the first of two right-hand bends.

Dig deep and hear the crowds cheering you on as you clear the right-handers and power past the hollering spectators at the Fleece. Not far now and the polka dot jersey has your name on it.

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Actually the TdF route takes you to a rather inconclusive summit so instead take the right hand fork which is signposted for Stainland. There’s a fairly decisive top to Stainland Road where you can get your breath back and bask in the adulation of your adoring public.

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