Hartwith Bank takes riders on a short and steep ascent from the Nidderdale Valley directly up to Brimham Rocks. It's a lung-busting effort 10 miles into the original Struggle Dales route. It's going to be even tougher 95 miles into this year's 2024 Struggle Dales Reverse.
Hartwith Bank.. and the Rest
Hartwith Bank (west) full climb actually starts from the village of Wilsill as soon as you turn off the main Pateley Bridge road.
It's aptly named on Strava as Say a Little Prayer. It's 1.74 miles long and 16% at the steepest, but and thanks to a little downward section the average comes in at only 4%.
It's another KOM held by Tom Bell (5 minutes 21 seconds), while one of Struggle's best training buddies and ex-pro triathlete Ele Williams holds the QOM at 7 minutes 29 seconds.
How to Tackle Hartwith Bank West
Turn off the main road and start to think about your gear selection. The first section of the ascent is best climbed seated in order to keep your heart rate down ready for what's to come.
The real climbing begins at Smelthouses, where the road ramps up to 16%, with the worst of the gradient at the very top.
It's a narrow climb, with the right-hand bend at the very top obscuring your view of the summit. But keep your head up for oncoming cars leaving the popular National Trust site at Brimham Rocks.
This is your final big ascent of Struggle Dales Reverse and you can enjoy the fast descent as you begin to approach Harrogate and the finish line.
Have you ridden Hartwith Bank West? Let us know what you think of the climb in the comments section below.
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