Yorkshire boasts some of the best cycling climbs in the UK - fact! And if you're planning to tackle one of the hardest sportives in Yorkshire like Struggle Dales or Struggle Moors, these hills are your perfect training ground.
In ascending order with the hardest Yorkshire cycling climb first, here are Struggle Events must-ride climbs...
1. Rosedale Chimney
Although not a long climb (0.8 miles), Rosedale Chimney Bank is one of the UK's most feared cycling climbs in Yorkshire. Rising steeply from Rosedale Abbey in the Yorkshire Moors, the gradient is enough to stop cars in their tracks. The first two hairpins lull you into a false sense of security. The middle segment is a straight-up 33% section that causes most cyclists on Struggle Moors sportive to come unclipped.
2. Glaisdale Horror
Loose under tyre with grass sprouting up the middle, Glaisdale Horror is more track than road. Only topping out at 25%, it’s the wheel spins and wobbles which catch riders out on this narrow ascent featuring in Struggle Moors sportive. With no room to zig zag, it’s a straight-up route through this heather-clad Yorkshire climb with false summits disguising the top.
3. Fleet Moss
Fleet Moss is worth tackling from both sides. The ‘easy side’ (heading towards Hawes) is a nice warm-up climb en route to Buttertubs, which comes in quick succession. Alternatively, have a cuppa and turn your cafe legs around to head straight up over the hard side. The latter is an ever-increasing gradient that crescendos with two nasty kickers near the top.
Image: Rosedale Chimney
4. Park Rash
Recently made famous by the Tour de Yorkshire, Park Rash is one of Yorkshire’s most iconic cycling climbs. The hill first bites at the headline-hitting hairpin (where our Struggle Dales sportive photographer stands to snap your free photo) but the gradient then continues without throwing you a bone to catch your breath. Park Rash is a must-conquer cycling climb in Yorkshire. You’ll be kicking yourself if you put your foot down.
5. Boltby Bank
This lesser know cycling climb in Yorkshire is the first ascent of Struggle Moors sportive and sets the tone for the epic day ahead. Boltby Bank boasts typical characteristic of North Yorkshire Moors cycling climbs; short, straight and steep. If you can make it to the tight hairpin where the gradient eases you’ll make it all the way. Many don’t!
6. Blakey Bank
Blakey Ridge is one of the Struggle Team’s best cycling climbs. Blakey Bank is not! The former is a long, gentle meandering climb boasting great North Yorkshire Moors views and can be ridden hard or taken easy. Blakey Bank is the steep short-cut up the side of the hill. Climbing Blakey Bank requires you to be out of the saddle and over the bars throughout.
Images: Park Rash
7. Trapping Hill
Another Yorkshire cycling climb that can be taken from the hard or easy side. The ‘easy’ side features as the penultimate climb of Struggle Dales sportive. But after 80 miles it definitely doesn’t feel easy. The ‘hard’ side, also named Lofthouse, has featured in the women’s Tour de Yorkshire and also created a platform for Amalik Van Vleuten to launch her attack on the 2019 UCI Road World Champs in Yorkshire.
8. Cote de Grosmont
This long, 33% cycling climb in the North Yorkshire Moors is one of the best cycling climbs for views - you just need to get over the steep lower slopes to reach the vista. On arrival at the top you can see the sea at Whitby. For Struggle Moors sportive riders, it’s the furthest point on the parcours and a realisation of how far from home you are.
9. Two Stoops
Known by the locals as Two Stoops (Nought Bank Road), this brute is short but steep. Two Stoops is the final climb on Struggle Dales sportive - after 90 miles in the legs. On a normal day Two Stoop is tough enough. Come the end of a long day out in the Yorkshire Dales Two Stoops feels like Everest.
10. Greenhow Hill
Arguably the best know cycling climb in Yorkshire and a popular climb on Struggle Dales sportive. Greenhow Hill is long, includes three steep sections and opens out to an exposed summit. Greenhow Hill does have it’s plus side; between the hardest segments there is rest bite to spin the legs and prepare the lungs before the gradient ramps up again.
Made famous by the 2014 Tour de France Grand depart, Buttertubs is one of the longest cycling climbs in Yorkshire. There’s only one steep section and the rest is a sit-down-and-spin to the top. Be sure to check the weather before climbing Buttertubs. This elevated ascent is open to the elements. Climbing in the wind and rain adds to the suffering but descending down the other side should be avoided on wet or icy days.
12. Eastby Brow
Tackled from Embsay side, Eastby Brow (also know as Barden Moor) features a tight hairpin that requires some force to shift yourself over it. Struggle believes it’s from the Bolton Abbey side this Yorkshire cycling climb should be most feared. Fight with your mind as you see the road rise up right in front of you. The views over the Wharf Valley are worth it when you reach the top.
13. Malham Cove
Without doubt the most beautiful cycling climb in Yorkshire, Malham Cove should be tackled from Malham side like in Struggle Dales sportive to enjoy the spectacular views of the Cove as you weave up the narrow drystone walls. Just ensure you’ve not got your head down chewing the stem. The lesser ridden Malham Rakes is also a great climb worth tackling on a separate day.
14. Hartwith Bank
Another lesser known climb, Hartwith Bank is the steepest route to the pretty National Trust site of Brimham Rocks. The poor road surface coupled with fallen debree from overhanging trees makes it hard to gain traction on this steep cycling climb. Rounding the hairpin by the house is a sure sign you’ll make the distance. Hartwith Bank is a great warm up ahead of Greenhow Hill on Struggle Dales sportive.
For full throttle, lung busting slopes, Langbar should be climbed from Bolton Abbey side. Roll over the cattle grid and get a good run up as the road dips before ramping up all the way to the top. This cycling climb needs to be tackled out of the saddle all the way but be sure to look up for incoming sheep.
An alternative to Grinton Moor, Redmire is long, winding and exposed. There’s nothing too sharp to worry about on this climb, but if you’ve just come off Buttertubs you’ll find this ascent tough on the legs. It’s worth a pitstop at the Dales Bike Centre before your tackle this beast.
17. The Stang
Hidden in the Stang Forest, this climb in the north of the Yorkshire Dales is the black slope to the nearby Tan Hill’s green run. Thankfully The Stang doesn’t suffer from Tan Hill’s high wind speeds otherwise you’d be pushing your steed around the super-steep hairpins.
18. White Horse Bank
White Horse Bank is the quiet, traffic-free alternative to the lorry-laden Sutton Bank. Offering a close-up to the White Horse through the gaps in the tree-covered hillside, this popular cycling climb boasts a few tasty hairpins but the gradient eases in between to offer rest.
19. Norwood Edge
This climbs is a popular hill rep training session for locals and used as a racetrack for many a hill climb competition. The lower slopes of Norwood Edge raise your heart rate from the gun. Once around the first bend the hill suddenly flattens. Catch your breath before the second hairpin, when the road ramps up again until the top.
20. Holme Moss
A trip to Holme Moss is always popular at Struggle HQ. Mainly thanks to Bloc; the awesome cafe at the bottom. The climb itself isn’t tough and the distance-to-go markers help you count down to the summit. It’s definitely a Yorkshire climb to tick off before descending back down to Bloc for another brew.
Fancy ticking off multiple climbs in one epic day? Sign up to a Struggle sportive here and start your training.