Olympic silver medallist Rob Hayles sampled the course of the Etape Pennines ahead of the inaugural event on Sunday October 7.
The 78-mile Etape Pennines was launched last year and starts in Durham and heads out to the hills of ‘England’s backbone’, tackling Harthope Moss, the highest paved road in England at 627m, on a route which takes in 1,648m of climbing.
Hayles, who claimed Olympic team pursuit silver at the 2004 Games in Athens but retired from road and track racing last year, now coaches Mark Cavendish and led a group of riders previewing the Etape Pennines course.
“In the professional peloton we would describe this route as ‘grippy’,” said Hayles. “I enjoyed testing out the journey that riders will eventually join me on in October. The countryside of the north-eastern Pennines, through which the route took us, provides some dramatic spectacles for riders.
“Hopefully, after a successful Olympics for Great Britain, more individuals will be inspired to participate in this event and raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care; a cause I both believe in and have found close to my heart.”
Entry costs £61 on www.etapepennines.co.uk