The route heads out on a flat, mainly downhill route, past Heaton Park, towards Agecroft, through Salford, past Old Trafford and Chorlton to Stockport. Then 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 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 head through Tameside and climb over towards Saddleworth, passing through Uppermill before a long steady climb to the second feed station. Here you can enjoy Colin’s hospitality and his amazing scones whilst taking in another great view.
You’ll head down to Delph, where you will ascend the Grains Road climb and rejoin the Full Manc riders, heading over a testy climb and flowing descent to Newhey. The route heads past Milnrow and through Rochdale before a third stop before a third stop at Nordern Community Primary School, where there will be hot food and a chance to prepare yourself for the harder part of the ride. First you climb Owd Betts, then up to Holcombe before a Mad Manc loop which takes you up the famous “killer” Ramsbottom Rake (aka Dawson’s Rake). After this loop, you’ll re-join the main course with tough climbing and closed road section to Belmont Sailing Club where you will enjoy your last feed station. You will need to replenish your reserves here at the Bolton Sailing Club as you have Rivington Rd, Chorley New Road and a handful of testy climbs. You’ll head back past the foot of Ramsbottom Rake and tackle Owd Betts in reverse. You’ll turn right at the reservoir and keep climbing to the Windmill at the Blue Lagoon Viewpoint. Here you can take in the amazing vista, before descending down the beautiful Ashworth Valley. It’s fairly flat then until you reach the finish where there will be a very pleasant reward awaiting you – that’s assuming you can finish before the Finish line closes !”
IS YOUR MELON TWISTED ENOUGH ?