The route heads out on a flat, mainly downhill route, past Heaton Park, towards Agecroft, through Salford, past Old Trafford and Chorlton to Stockport. The course gently rises through Stockport to Marple and starts climbing at Marple Bridge. After a “warm up” climb, you enter a closed road KoM/QoM section which tackles the short, but very steep Werneth low climb, affording you a sensational view of Manchester and a panorama of the hills to the North East and the North – enjoy that view! You get a chance to get a stop courtesy of the wonderful Chef and Brewer Hare and Hounds Inn – who kindly let us use their facilities. On another day you’d stop here and enjoy a beer and their great food, but not today.
After a quick “light” refreshment stop, you’ll head through Tameside and several climbs around Saddleworth, passing through Uppermill hills before a long steady climb to the second feed station at the wonderful Saddleworth Hotel. Here you can enjoy great food whilst taking in another great view.
On departing the Saddleworth Hotel grounds, you’ll take on a couple of testy climbs including the Grains Bar climb which featured as a Tour of Britain KoM segment. You then climb over to Newhey, ride through Milnrow and past the current sound of Big Ben (Rochdale Town Hall) before a third stop at Norden Community Primary School. There will be hot more food and a chance to prepare yourself for the harder half of the ride. First you climb Owd Betts, then up to Holcombe before a VERY tough climbing route, including a loop to take in the Ramsbottom Rake – you’ll remember that for a long time. You’ll rejoin the main course heading through Edgeworth and taking on a closed road section to Belmont where you will enjoy your last feed station. There’s great nutrition and a truly incredible view. You will need to replenish your reserves here at the Bolton Sailing Club as you have another handful of climbs over to Rivington then back towards Bolton and Ramsbottom and you’ll finish off with the climb up Owd Betts. Then just to add that little sting to the tail, you have a short sharp climb to the Windmill before a fantastic winding descent which takes you to within a few miles from the finish. You’ll have to keep the pace up all the way, otherwise you’ll be diverted down one of the shorter routes.
However, the Tour de Manc® is not all about the fastest and this is not a race – we award spot prizes for grit and determination too.
Please note that the route is subject to change.