This year’s Struggle Dales takes riders over Trapping Hill - the hard side. It’s one of the most iconic cycling climbs in the Yorkshire Dales, revered and feared in the same breath by visitors and locals alike. Here's how to master Trapping Hill...
The Kind & Queen of Trapping Hill
Trapping Hill gets a generous 7/10 from Simon Warren in his 100 Cycling Climbs of Yorkshire book (Struggle HQ believes it deserves at least 8/10). The ascent also featured in the UCI Women’s Road World Championships in Yorkshire in 2019 and the Tour de Yorkshire, when Lizzie Deignan attacked over the top of the hill and rode to victory on her home roads.
The Strava QOM is still held by World Champion Annemiek van Vleuten (7 minutes 10 seconds). In fact she’s 4th in the overall leaderboard and only 19 seconds behind the KOM holder (local hill climber Andy Cunningham).
How to Tackle Trapping Hill
The Struggle Dales route offers a decent warm-up along Gouthwaite reservoir - although it's usually a prevailing cross headwind as you head North West into the village of Lofthouse.
Within the first 500m you hit the first hurdle; the steep right-hand corner that forces you out of the saddle. Drop down the gears, keep the pedals turning without too much force and keep from pulling on the bars; the worse is still to come and you'll need all your might for it...
1km in and the real Struggle begins; the super-steep left-hand hairpin is the toughest section of this ascent. Brute strength, grit and guts is required to crest this section of the climb.
Haul yourself over that and you can sit down, take a breath and press on. Look up and you’ll see the cattlegrid looming in the distance. That is the official summit, so keep your cadence going, hone in on the hilltop and roll over that cattle grid ready for the awesome descent!
Have you ridden Trapping Hill? Let us know what you think of the climb in the comments section below.
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