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Cumbrian festival of cycling challenges riders to push themselves in one of the UK’s toughest sportives

Competitors in the Cumbria stage of the 2016 Tour of Britain. Credit Dan Monaghan, Cadence Images

[A] festival of cycling is planned for Kendal as the official sportive of the Tour of Britain Cumbria stages prepares to depart from Mintbridge, the home of Kendal Rugby Club.

Around 400 people are expected to take part in the sportive, organised by Staveley’s Wheelbase, Pennine Events, the Tour of Britain and Cumbria County Council.

The official sportive will depart from Mintbridge on Shap Rd at 8am on Saturday September 8 and be accompanied by a full day of activities.

During the day, Mintbridge will be showing live coverage of the Tour of Britain on the club’s big screen, as well as some of the best films from Kendal Mountain Festival.

Food will be available all day, prepared by Mintbridge’s rosette winning chef John Connor.

Kendal Cycling Club and British Cycling will also be organising Go Ride Racing Skills Sessions from 11am and there will be a variety of other exhibitors and activities.

As well as the full 101 mile route which follows roads ridden by the pros in Britain’s biggest professional bike race there will be a 12 mile family sportive organised by Kendal Cycle Club and a medium route of 75 miles.

The Ride The Lakes sportive departs from Mintbridge with the first ascent of the day being Kirkstone Pass, followed by Matterdale End from Ullswater, Castlerigg Stone Circle, Whinlatter Pass, past Crummock Water on to Newlands Pass then Thirlmere, Dunmail Raise and then finishing off with the toughest climb of the day – The Struggle from Ambleside – before returning to Mintbridge.

Steve Whitehead, director of rugby at Mintbridge, said: “It is really important to us that Mintbridge and its facilities play an important part in the community as a hub for activities of all kinds. We’re so pleased to be able to host the sportive, which will be a great chance for people of all ages and abilities to try something new or really test themselves. Everyone is welcome to come along to Mintbridge and see what’s happening on the day.”

Entrants for the Family Sportive can register on the day, while people registering for the medium and long routes can do so in advance at www.ride-the-lakes.co.uk

People are welcome to camp at Mintbridge and can email [email protected] for more information.

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