Harrogate Nova conquers the cobbles of Calderdale
On the 8th April Nova riders took on the now infamous long route of the Ronde van Calderdale sportive which has some very testing climbs on both cobbles and tarmac road sections in and around Calderdale proving that Yorkshire can rival the settings for the early season Belgian classics.
The route climbs a whopping 3,000 metres over 75 miles, many of which are up very, very steep cobbled climbs. In total there are 13 cobbled climbs over 8km. The notorious, stand out climbs waiting to be attacked are Shibden Wall (900m at 15%), Trooper Lane (800m at 19%) and the short but awkwardly steep Old Lane (200m at 22%).
For many of the sportive riders it is not about getting up these climbs quickly; it is only about getting up them. Thankfully the weather held as tackling the cobbles in the wet would have added an unwelcome dimension to the route.
Tom Denwood, Greg & Simon Ketteringham and new member Jerome Marjorel led the charge by setting a high tempo, aggressive pace to the 300 strong peloton from the start. All Nova riders completed the event and returned to the much welcome sight of a bottle of the specially brewed “RvC pale ale” from local brewer Empire given to all riders upon finishing.
Most riders say they hated the route and it’s the hardest thing that they’ve done; but all seem to return the following year.