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The Challenge (134km)

Our Challenge route aims to do exactly what it says on the tin and, with over 1200 metres of climbing and a regular series of ascents and descents throughout, this course is only for the toughest who relish a real challenge. The route follows both the Langtoft Loop and Classic courses so participants can get the best aspects from these two routes, but when you reach Huggate, while the Classic competitors head home for a well earned rest, you will still have another 50km of cycling to do, with some long climbs out of all the villages you pass through (Warter, North Dalton, Wetwang and Sledmere). The rewards though are great with some breathtaking vistas and the chance to see the exact spot where David Hockney painted his largest ever painting, Bigger Trees near Warter.

Distance: 134 km

Start Window Time: 8.30am-9.30am


See Challenge Route on Google Maps

Download Route Map (pdf) /Download Route Summary (pdf)/

Download Route Map (GPX) (Link takes you to Map My Ride from where you can download GPX)






Cost: £29.50

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*Unclear about British Cycling’s entry system? Click here for our Step by Step guide. You DON’T have to become a British Cycling member to enter our event.

Postal Entry


Among Market Towns: Driffield to Rudston
Once you have navigated the busy Driffield bypass you are soon into the country and heading towards the former market town of Kilham. The road climbs steadily through gently rolling landscape dotted with wind turbines. A lively descent takes you into Kilham itself which you go through, exiting the village just beyond the imposing church. From here the road heads north towards Rudston. Again, you will be going uphill before descending again into the village itself and possibly catching a glimpse of the Church and its churchyard which houses Britain's largest monolith, 34feet tall and dating back nearly 4000 years.

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Chasing the Gypsey Race; Rudston to Helperthorpe
There's a stiff climb out of Rudston on the B1253 but the views from the top are worth it. You are now riding along one edge of the Great Wolds Valley, a geological feature centred around the Gypsey Race Watercourse. You soon come off this road and wind your way along a single track road, passing through the pretty village of Thwing before emerging onto the road which runs along the valley floor and parallel to the Gypsey Race which can be glimpsed in sections on your left as you ride along. The road levels out as  you pass through the scenic villages of  Butterwick, Weaverthorpe and Helperthorpe.

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Along the Top; Helperthorpe to Birdsall
This part of the route takes you to the first feed station at Sledmere but also out along the northern part of the course. Sledmere Hall and village is very much part of the landscape around here, developed by a succession of members of the Skyes family over eight generations. It is also very much at the heart of our Sportive and you can appreciate some of its importance in the sight of the main house and gardens as well as the impressive monuments as you pass through. You can then enjoy the fast descents into both Duggleby and North Grimston

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In the High Wolds; Birdsall to Huggate
This is arguably the most scenic part of the whole route as it is characterised by stiff climbs, wonderful views and long descents through steeply inclined pasture land. The scene is set from the start at Birdsall, with its pictureseque white fencing, an imposing church and the stately Birdsall House, often used in period films. Beyond this you climb to a spectacular view before descending to the isolated village of Thixendale, regularly cut off during winter. You then rise to the highest point in the whole Wolds at Garrowby Hill (246 metres) before crossing the main road and following straight roads towards Millington. A sharp left hand turn at the village leads you along sinuous narrow roads set into a high sided valley, past Millington Woods before rising to Huggate. 

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The Bigger Trees Loop ; Huggate to North Dalton
This section makes a neat loop on the map and features some attractive traffic free riding along modestly undulating roads. There is a stiff descent into Warter where you can get a quick glimpse of the attractive pond and 19th century church, located on top of a former Augustian Priory. A winding climb draws you out of the village and onto what is in many respects the unremarkable highlight of this section - the very location of David Hockney's celebrated painting Bigger Trees near Warter. The series of beech trees next to the turning to Millington are easy to miss, but it's fun to see whether you can appreciate Hockney's vision as you speed past.

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Steeped in History ; North Dalton to Driffield
This final stage sees you go through a long loop and pass through Sledmere for the final time before beginning a long descent back to the Showground. This stage is characterised by some long climbs which will be a test of weary legs. It passes through the village of Wetwang, the subject of some derision with its series of honorary mayors (TV personality Richard Whiteley and then weatherman Paul Hudson) but it can also lay claim to be the site of perhaps the best preserved remains of an Iron Age chariot. Indeed, the past is all around you along here as you pass over the former Roman road which linked York and Bridlington as you begin your ascent towards Sledmere, and then once through Sledmere you climb again towards the ancient village of Cowlam, site of a village completely deserted at the time of the Black Death. From here you have a spectacular panorama across Driffield and beyond and you can savour the fact that you have earned the long descent back into Driffield. 

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For more information about this event contact or call 01482 841007

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