The Struggle sportive takes you off Yorkshire’s beaten track and over some of the most narrow, steep and unforgiving climbs. Here we talk you through what to expect when you tackle Hartwith Bank.
After a warm-up over Bedlam Hill you’ll hit Hartwith Bank at mile 10, a climb not as forgiving as its precursor.
This secret segment is unknown to the outsider. But rather than shooting through Summerbridge on their way to tackle the infamous Greenhow Hill (which comes later), hardcore locals swing right behind the highstreet and straight up onto this hidden hill.
Out the saddle
Hartwith Bank begins steep – and just gets steeper. Hartwith Bank is narrow and not traffic free, so there’s no chance of using the road to zig zag your way. Unfortunately it’s out of the saddle and straight up.
Feel the fear
As you rise up between the houses the road takes you through a long, dark and tree-covered section. The eerie atmosphere and foreboding feeling evokes fear and self-doubt.
A wheel spin on the wet leaves or a bump on the uneven tarmac can mean it’s game over, foot down and you’re walking to the top.
Suddenly a right hairpin ramps up the gradient just as your legs are feeling the lactic burn. If you manage to keep momentum as the road then bends left, you’ll crest the top of the steepest section and can finally sit down, click up and tap your way to the top.
Top tip: Don’t go too deep. Keep your powder dry. Greenhow Hill is only five miles away.
Vital Stats: Location: mile: 10; Distance: 0.7 miles; Elevation gain: 458ft; Gradient: 11% avg. Find Hartwith Bank on Strava here.