By Simon Warren
Stage two | 112km | Ripponden | Rating: 4/10
Ripponden Bank has been a popular hill-climb course for many years so it’s fitting it finds a place on this hilliest of stages.
Known to local cyclists and hill-climb specialists as the V999, its stinging 1,300 metres are a substantial challenge to ride at race pace, but as the climb is so early in the stage don’t expect the pros to tackle it full-bore.
Beginning by leaving the A58 heading south, you swoop down onto the B6113 so build up as much speed as you can and try and use that momentum to get you as close to the upcoming 90-degree bend as you can.
Once you’ve reached it the steepest climbing is behind you, but you’ll hardly notice the difference as the road still steep, straightens, then kinks right to climb up through some houses and then on past the Fleece Inn on the left.
Resisting the urge to sample their hospitality, push on for the summit, past the junction with Stainland Road to the point where the climb levels out.
Where Head south from the centre of Ripponden on the B6113, from the junction with the A672, then start the climb as the road rises.
Grid ref SE 050 200 (OS104)
Height gain 117m
Approx climb time 7 mins