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Guaranteed Entries for Saddleback Fred Whitton Open 

Advance charity entries for the 2017 edition of the Fred Whitton Challenge have opened. Offering a guaranteed place before lottery entries open in January 2017, a charity entry is a great way to make your ride count by contributing to local air ambulance and mountain rescue services.

The Fred Whitton Challenge is one of the most popular sportives in the UK and is also famed as being particularly difficult. Riders rank it alongside European events such as the Marmotte in terms of difficulty.

The Fred Whitton Challenge consists of a 112 mile sportive around the Lake District, starting at Grasmere and taking in climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose passes.

As the name suggests, it is run in honour of Fred Whitton. Fred, who died aged just 50 in 1998, was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club.

The very top riders complete the route in just under six hours but eleven hours and over are not uncommon for the average Sportive rider. This is a very tough route and going on rider feedback the hardest one day ride in the UK, the event includes all the Lakeland passes, one with a 30% gradient and this comes at 98 miles.

The Fred Whitton is a Must Do Bucket List Ride for any UK Sportive rider.

The event is oversubscribed each year so 2,000 places are now allocated by a lottery, which opens in January. The advance charity entry is the only way to guarantee your place, and costs £60 plus upfront payment of a charity fundraising commitment of £250, which will later be refunded if you raise £250 or more.

The main charity beneficiary of the Fred Whitton is Macmillan Cancer Support, but funds raised by riders on advance entries will go to three smaller local charities: North West Air Ambulance, the Great North Air Ambulance and the Duddon & Furness Mountain Rescue Team.

Photo: Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge, Credit: Steve Flemming Photography - www.steveflemingphoto.com instagram.com/stevefleming1

Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge - Credit: Steve Flemming - www.steveflemingphoto.com