Rob’s journey up from London included a visit to stay with @crossjunkie and de-luxe support from Mark Turner.

Read his blog here 

A summer spent carrying my cross bike up every hill I could find later, I found myself on the start line in Horton in Ribblesdale. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced – commentator with a broad Yorkshire accent telling unrepeatable jokes, while 700 plus nervous crossers jiggle for position in an extremely narrow road.

Once we set off, the pace made a mockery of what was supposed to be a ‘neutralised’ road section. I was pretty much on the rivet trying to stay up front and away from the shambolic bike handling further back as the road twisted and swooped toward the first climb at Ingleborough.