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Fred Whitton Challenge Ballot Opens Soon

19th Annual Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge opens on January 3rd 2018

On Wednesday 3 January 2018, the ballot will open for the 19th Annual Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge. Taking place on Sunday 13 May 2018 from Grasmere in the Lake District, the Fred Whitton Challenge is one of the most highly-coveted sportive events in the UK. With only 2,000 places allocated in a lottery, it's hugely oversubscribed every year.

Famed for its difficulty, this 112 mile sportive (with 3,950m of climbing) takes in all of the major Lakeland passes: Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose, including a 30% gradient at 98 miles! Top riders complete the route in just under six hours, but eleven hours and over isn't uncommon for the average sportive rider.

The event is in honour of Fred Whitton. Fred, who died aged just 50 in 1998, was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club and a lynchpin in the Cumbrian cycling community.

The ballot will be open from 10am Wednesday 3 January 2018 to midnight on Monday 15 January 2018. Riders must visit the website and register in that time period for the chance to secure a place.*

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.

Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge