Top UK cyclist Paul Oldham tested out the toughest section of the Tour of Britain Stage 2 race this week, with just over two weeks to go before the big race on Monday 7 September.
Paul’s a National Cyclo Cross Champion from Pendle who’s represented his country at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He rides for Team Hope and works for Earby cycling engineering company HopeTech in his day job and they are sponsors of Tour of Britain Stage 2.
Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, said:
“The Sprints and King of the Mountains offer some of the most exciting places to watch the race so get your place early!
“We’re now picking up the pace as the race gets closer to ensure everyone has Monday 7th September in their diary for the UK’s biggest cycling event.”
Details of the race including where the cyclists will be and when, plus all three King of the Mountain stages and Sprints are on www.tourofbritainstage2.co.uk.
Despite recovering from a nasty fall which put him in intensive care and nursing cracked ribs and teeth, Paul put the Bleara Moor King of the Mountain through its paces this week.
Paul said: “The riders start a sequence of hills out of Barnoldswick, but Bleara is by far the hardest!”
“In fact it’s the steepest and toughest of all three King of the Mountains in the Clitheroe to Colne race,” he explained.
“A lot of riders will fall back on climbs like this,” said Paul.
“The first King of the Mountain at Nick O’Pendle will be an early break away but Bleara Moor will really thin them out.
“Cyclists won’t lose the race from here, but they won’t win it if they don’t make headway on Bleara Moor,” he stressed.
After Bleara Moor the cyclists will make an exciting long descent westwards into Colne: Said Paul: “They’ll be doing 40mph despite having a prevailing head wind in their faces.”
Paul loves the hilly territory for stage 2, it’s his daily training ground.
“It’s a long pull up Pasture Lane up to Annals Cross up to Pendle’s Big End for the final King of the Mountain,” he admitted.
On 7th September Paul will be seeing how the cyclists fare on Bleara Moor King of the Mountain, before heading off for the final finish in Colne.
“I’ll be seeing the race twice!” He said.
“The beauty of the Pendle part of Stage 2 is that you could see the race three or four times.”
Here’s Paul’s hot tip: “Barrowford will be a good spot because you can then head into Colne for the big finish”, he said.
“You can even walk to Colne from Barrowford!” He added.
Paul warned: “It’s a steady climb up to the finish in Colne but with a tail wind behind them it’ll be very fast! Don’t miss it!”