Cote de Blubberhouses(Cat 4) is the first of nine categorised climbs on the satge 2 route before the race heads to Oxenhope for the Cat 3 Cote de Oxenhope Moor which has been used in the Tour of Britain routing in past years.
The bottom of Cote d’Oxenhope Moor (Cat 3)
The gradual gradient of Cote d’Oxenhope Moor winds over the moors
Cote d’Oxenhope Moor summit
The route continues on to Mytholmroyd and turns right up Cragg Vale which looking at the schedule will form the start of Cote de Rippoden (Cat 3). Cragg Vale, as the sign tells you at the bottom, is the longest continuous gradient in England.
Cragg Vale: 5.5 miles of continuous ascent
A yellow bike adorns the Robin Hood Inn on the way up Cragg Vale
The race will pass through the terraces that characterise the first third of the climb before the road opens out on to bleak moorland as below
The view up Cragg Vale which forms part of Cote de Rippoden. The race will turn left at the reservoir at the top and follow the line of power pylons you see in the picture continuing towards Rippoden for the Cote prime.
Way marker on Cragg Vale.
The route then heads towards Greetland for another categorised climb Cote de Greetland (Cat 3) before heading on towards Huddersfield and Holme for the famed Holme Moss climb.
Cote de Holme Moss (Cat 2) out of Holme village is the fifth and hardest categorised climb on the route to Sheffield. The summit is at 1719ft.
Lower section of Cote de Holme Moss looking back to Holme and Holmefirth.
Looking up to the summit of Cote de Holme Moss with it’s famous TV communications mast.
The Tour of Britain summits Holme Moss back in 2004 with Australian Ben Day on the front of the break.
The descent off Holme Moss is fast and choppy in places and can catch you out at speed as do a few of the bends towards the bottom which tighten. There’s a compression-like finish to the descent as the road dips and then rises to roll towards the junction with the Woodhead Pass. The race turns left here towards The Flouch.
The Woodhead Pass which hasn’t been categorised still has a mile or two of steady gradient to be tackled. The strong riders will probably be able to regroup and chase back any break that may have been away on Holme Moss.
The race turns right at The Flouch and heads towards Langsett and turns right shortly after up through Midhopestones for the next climb, Cote de Midhopestones (Cat 3).
Cote de Midhopestones rises out of the village…
The road is narrow as it continues on up from Midhopestones village
There is some respite briefly before the route descends down Ewden Bank at 25%
The 25% hairpin down Ewden Bank which caught out a certain Tom Boonen amongst others when the Tour of Britain used these roads last.
The road climbs out of the dip from the bridge below the hairpin.
The turn for Bradfield. The road then descends towards Bradfield itself
Descent to Bradfield. Silky road surface.
The route takes in a short sharp climb out of Bradfield, Cote de Bradfield (Cat 4) before rolling along the outskirts of Sheffield before the drop in to Oughtibridge. The climb out of Oughtibridge is Oughtibridge Lane, Cote d’Oughtibridge (Cat 3) for the Tour or known locally as ‘Jaw Bone Lane’.
The view down the climb back towards Oughtibridge. With 185 kms or so in the legs this will start to sort out those in the frame for the stage win.
Looking up to the final bend of the climb……
final bend near the summit of Cote d’Oughtibridge before you reach Grenoside
Over the top and the race heads towards the fast descent of the A61 Halifax Road towards Hillsborough roundabout and the left turn along Herries Road. The route cuts through towards Brightside Lane and the old steel foundries and rolling mills for the final sting in the tale, Cote de Jenkin Road (Cat 4) about 5km from the finish line which is on Attercliffe Common close to the junction with Broughton Lane.
The mid section of Jenkin Road is the steepest point with views back to the famous steel works that include Forgemasters.
The gradient kicks in…
Gradient perspective. Check those angles.
Getting towards the top….and you see the drop off in the road to the previous picture. You can see the Motorpoint Arena where the stage finishes in the background from here too.
The gradient starts to ease slightly through the final left bend. The road continues with a right sweep to crest the climb before a right turn to descend towards the Meadowhall Shopping Centre. Worth a ‘Gilbertesque’ attack on this climb to try and hold out for the stage win.
War memorial marks the Cote de Jenkin Road summit before the right turn and descent to Meadowhall.
Once off the tricky descent to Meadowhall it’s then just a short all out flat blast to the finish and along on to Sheffield Road/Attercliffe Common to the finish line just beyond the junction with Broughton Lane at the Motorpoint Arena.