One of the most unrelenting climbs on offer in Nidderdale. This is a climb that never ends, but if it does get the better of you, there are stunning views down the valley as a consolation.
On 29 April 2017 the Cote de Lofthouse was the main climb of both the women's and Stage 2 of the men's Tour de Yorkshire 2017.
Starting from the Crown Hotel in Lofthouse you wind your way up through this pretty village with plenty to look at and take, before emerging suddenly from between two buildings on the grassy hillside, the road stretching up and away before you.
The thing to remember here is it will only get steeper, so resist the urge to stand up and mash unless you have real confidence in your legs.
That said, most riders will find themselves out of the saddle at some point in the first leg. Before too long the road turns in to the gradient and climbs straight up the hill for its first serious stretch, a real taste of what is to come before the gradient lessens and the road turns again to the right and traverses the hillside. This is your only respite on this climb so don’t waste it.
Now for the first time the height you have gained offers a hint of the spectacular views still to come. As you pass the old barn the fitter more able climbers might even be thinking this climb is not too bad, but things are about to get serious again.
Once past the barn the road turns again, to head straight up the hill regardless and the gradient only increases, the view is gone as the road drops into a gully with banking on each side and the long straight stretch just goes up ahead of you. The gradient is more or less level so you can find a comfortable gear and cadence and tap this one out. But beware, the kinks at the top don’t just twist but kick up too, with the left hander holding the steepest section of the climb at nearly 25%.
But if you make it round this corner then hold on, you’ve broken the back of this climb and now all you have to do is hold on and spin your way through the ever lessening gradients for another half mile as slowly, finally the road begins to level.
The end point is the Bridleway sign to the left, and it is worth taking a moment to catch your breath, drink from your bottle and take in the wonderful view that now stretches out beneath you.
See the rest of Nidderdale's Killer Climbs here.
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