All three longer rides head out on a flat, mainly downhill route, past Heaton Park, towards Salford and right through the iconic Salford Quays where you will pass Media City, Lowry Theatre, Imperial War Museum and Old Trafford. Then, staying on the flat across South Manchester, you will enjoy sweeping swiftly through the leafy suburbs of Cheadle Hulme and Woodford to our new feed station in Poynton, courtesy of and with thanks to the good people of Poynton. Shortly after the pavé (cobbled) section at Norbury Junction (mind the level crossing!), the Classic and Challenge split from the Mad which heads east to the Peak District. We head over to Hazel Grove and Marple, before rejoining the Mad at Marple Bridge. Then onwards to our old friend, a closed road KoM/QoM section up the short, but very steep Werneth low climb, affording you a sensational view of Manchester and a panorama of the hills to the Northeast and North – enjoy that view! Here our second feed station awaits 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 third feed station at the fine and stately Saddleworth Hotel. Here you can enjoy great food (including scones) and coffee whilst taking in another great view.
On departing the Saddleworth Hotel grounds, you’ll take on a couple of testy climbs. You then climb over to Newhey, ride through Milnrow and past the current sound of Big Ben (Rochdale Town Hall) before another stop, number 4, at Norden Community Primary School. There will be more hot food and a chance to prepare yourself for the final trundle 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 of the finish.
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.