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Saddle up - Ride Rochdale gets British Cycling boost

15 March 2017

Ride Rochdale.

Ride Rochdale, our new cycling event for women taking place in Rochdale on Sunday, 21 May 2017 has been handed a boost after being selected by British Cycling as one of just 11 events in the UK to be part of their national Sportive/Breeze series for 2017.

Last year B​​ritish Cycling linked up with Breeze - the women’s cycling programme​ –​​​​​ to pilot a new project aimed at breaking down some of the barriers to participating in challenge events, with Breeze Champions riding and sharing their experiences at selected Sportives across the country.

Following its success and an increase in women participating the project returns this year.

The announcement will see Ride Rochdale, championed by Middleton’s double Olympic gold medal-winning and World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE, put on the national map and promoted to thousands of female cyclists across the country. A Breeze Champion will take part in the event, blogging about their journey before and after the day.​

Coach Tim Kelly, organiser of the event said it has given the event a real boost to receive British Cycling’s support:

“For Ride Rochdale to be selected in our first year is fantastic news and will put us on the national map as well as really help to give us a strong platform to build on. The Breeze Network has strong links with thousands of female cyclists across the UK so I’m looking forward to showcasing our stunning Pennine routes to cyclists from across the region. We’ve put together 2 superb routes, with a real mixture of climbs, drops and stunning flat sections, passing through beautiful villages and breath-taking countryside - it will be a really fun and friendly day out. The scenery on these routes is absolutely stunning and in the sunshine there is nowhere else quite like it.”

Ride Rochdale features a choice of 2 scenic routes – Blackstone Vale and Blackstone Vale and Moor.

Blackstone Vale is a 50-mile route with the distinct climb of Blackstone Edge within 4 miles of the start, a long descent and short valley section taking you to another classic steep cobbled climb through the medieval village of Heptonstall followed by a moorland road. There are flatter sections deep in the valley bottoms through Todmorden and Hebden Bridge before tackling the classic 5 mile Cragg Vale climb before riding down Blackstone Edge and the final 4 miles back to Kingsway Park Sports Centre.

Blackstone Vale and Moor is a 75-mile route that follows the ‘Blackstone Vale’ course until branching off at Hebden Bridge to tackle the steep cobbled climb through Heptonstall for a second time. This is followed by an epic 20 miles of serious climbing and descending over the Widdop Moors. Reversing the moorland road will lead you back down to Hebden Bridge with just a short valley section before the grand finale of the Cragg Vale climb, Blackstone Edge descent and easier roads to the finish.

‘2 superb routes, with a real mixture of climbs, drops and stunning flat sections, passing through beautiful villages and breath-taking countryside - a really fun and friendly day out’

Both routes take their names from Blackstone Edge in Littleborough which will feature in the early part of the scenic courses.

Councillor Janet Emsley, our Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing said:

“This is fabulous news for Ride Rochdale, which will be a great way to boost your fitness, have fun and explore some fantastic routes around Lancashire and Yorkshire. We are really pleased that British Cycling have chosen us as a Breeze Sportive event for 2017 and I look forward to encouraging more ladies to jump on the saddle.”

Ride Rochdale is also supported by Link4Life and Transport for Greater Manchester’s ‘Women on Wheels’ 

Joanna will join entrants at the start of the event, with both routes setting off from Kingsway Park Sports Centre.

Disabled riders are also invited to cycle routes around Kingsway Park Sports Centre during an accessible ride being staged on the same day, aimed at showing how cycling is for everyone. National organisation Cycling Projects with Link4Life Rochdale Wheels for All will provide a broad range of accessible bikes for the event.

Ride Rochdale - view route maps, register for places and download a FREE Ride Rochdale training plan.

Registration is £20 for ‘Blackstone Vale’ and £25 for ‘Blackstone Vale and Moor.’​​

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