The French Alps

I’ve just spent 6 days cycling in the Alps around St Jean de Maurienne and Annecy with some mates. I could write a huge spiel about each day, but that’s probably a bit repetitive so here’s the Thirteen Things I Learnt From Cycling in the Alps. People who say you can’t train for the Alps in…

Gospel Pass

Climb in a sentence. Goes on and on and on and on up what is the longest climb and highest paved road in Wales, but the hard bits come early allowing you time to enjoy the views back towards Lord Hereford’s Knob (lol) and Hay on Wye. View rating. 9/10. From the start of the plateau…

Rhigos Mountain

Climb in a sentence. A real treat, emerging from an innocuous dual carriageway near Hirwaun which keeps unfolding ahead, keeping the summit out of sight until the final moments after negotiating the final couple of alpine switchbacks. View rating. 9/10. There’s a bit of everything from the summit, with a dramatic rocky face leading to a…

The Tumble

Climb in a sentence. Once you’re clear of the trees, this just keeps getting better and better as the gradients level off and the views open up down to your right hand side in the valley. View rating. 8/10. Would be a 9 if it weren’t for slightly more traffic than you would ideally have on…

Llangynidr Mountain

Climb in a sentence. Long slog up 3.6miles of variable gradients with a false summit two thirds of the way up preceding a final steep section to the summit. View rating. 8/10. There’s a reason why Top Gear love filming here, the final section after the false summit is the best bit. Difficulty rating. 7/10 Strava Link

The Devil’s Staircase

Climb in a sentence. Box Hill on EPO, don’t think I’ve ever sworn so much on a climb, with wall-like gradients, inclement conditions and no sight of when it may ever end, this is one aptly named climb. View rating. 8/10. Shrouded in cloud when I rode it, the roads and valleys round here clearly hold some…

Haytor

Climb in a sentence. An iconic climb from the Tour of Britain, Haytor is long and varied as it climbs from Bovey Tracey up to the exposed high moorland with some steep sections to keep you honest on the way up. View rating. 9/10. Once the famous granite rocks that mark the summit come into view you…

Widecombe

Climb in a sentence. Widecombe starts steep and gets steeper with no time to regather yourself and you struggle up to the car park at the top and try to regain some composure. View rating. 7/10. Another where the sheer steepness will really limit your desire to look around and appreciate where you are, but once at…

Dartmeet

Climb in a sentence. Steep and relentless, this climb taking you out of the valley where the East and West Dart rivers converge is a tough slog which fortunately only goes on for 0.6 miles. View rating. 6/10. The wall-like steepness really gets in the way of any desire to look around and enjoy the ride, but…

Rundlestone

Climb in a sentence. Rundlestone feels like four climbs for the price of one, with a number of false summits on the way to the highest point near the famous Princetown Prison, with a real mix of gradients and views on the way up the 5.4 mile climb View rating. 8/10. Dartmoor looks great whatever the weather,…

Porlock Toll Road

Climb in a sentence. It’s £1 well spent to climb this 1200ft, billiard table smooth road up the North Devon coastline, and far more enjoyable than the steeper, shorter and car-clogged A-road that this bypasses. View rating. 8/10. The first half of the climb comes in and out of the trees, with each gap in the foliage…

Dunkery Beacon

Climb in a sentence. Steep, long, in the trees and on the moors, Dunkery has a bit of everything as you slog through the forest from the North Devon Coast up to the exposed, almost Ventoux-esque winding road up to the exposed summit. View rating. 8/10. Dramatic views all round towards the North Devon coastline and across…