2017 will see a new route off the top of Penyghent for the 3 Peaks cyclocross.
This one’s been rumoured and expected since the National Park authority started to put down path reinforcement work near to the summit of Penyghent. I ran the 3 Peaks fell race in April and got a good recce of the new descent route because the running route took the exact same track.
The organisers have taken the step to hold back on this info until today’s official rider briefing (by email, here).
The new route, shown below, will ease things without a doubt when it comes to congestion. The numerous pinch-points on the descent to the finger-post have seen many a near miss for me and probably not quite-misses for a good number. The new flagged steps too would make for a miserable descent (think:Whernside). Mark Richmond, race organiser says,
“The steps are too narrow to safely allow two way cycle traffic. Competitors will ascend the newly laid steps, and a new descent line has been introduced along an existing quad bike track. This arrangement has been agreed following discussions with the National Park Authority and Landowner and we ask all competitors to follow this route. “
So what’ll it be like?
What’s interesting to me is how it will affect times. From what I can remember of the (running) race over there in April (here on Strava) it will make a reasonably fast and comfortable start to the descent.
It will be flagged with red tape in places on bamboo poles but I don’t expect navigation will be an issue.
The track will involve a bit more pedalling than the former descent, but it’ll also enable the rider to relax a little bit more with less heavy breaking. It’s fairly similar to some of the nicer and less boggy parts of the descent to Cold Cotes. There will be a couple of technical difficulties but not as many as the former descent – back to the point at the finger-post where we re-join the two-way traffic On the down to what AC/DC called the HIGHWAY TO HELwith Bridge.