It bills itself as the hardest cyclocross race in the country, but personally I think that's just Yorkshire understatement, it's cyclocrossing in the loosest possible sense in that it involves cylocross bikes.
Crossing the tops of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent, the race is 38 miles with some 5000' of climbing, much of it an unrideable carry. It's a bike race as much about endurance, running, carrying and pushing as it is about riding.
Team Pink started the day one down after Amy made the tough call to back out with illness. It's one of those race that gets under your skin so it must have been a difficult decision. And under your toe nails as it happens — three days later I've had a preliminary hose down, a long bath, a few more showers, and I'm starting to get clean again. Muddy? Yes it was muddy. And wet, windy, rocky and really quite tough. But you know everyone around you is suffering the same way. Little things cheer you immensely, like Captain Tim on the slopes of pyg shouting out 'Up the Cake!', that probably kept me in the saddle just a bit longer, before the inevitable push and carry.
The jersey attracted some high quality banter in its new Giro-inspired pink edition. At Ribblehead viaduct one tifosi shouted 'GO ON VeloCake!' ...short pause 'and he's eating cake!' before the group roared with laughter. (Shortbread actually, but we won't quibble.) 'Best shirt of the day' was another.
My own race was could-be-better, could-be-worse, finishing 385 from 598 starters. Went well on the hills, stormed some of the descents, fell back a bit on the road (lack of basic fitness). Crippled by cramp at the foot of Whernside, not quite crippled in a few places elsewhere.
A truly great event, I highly recommend it (if that wasn't immediately clear). More here: http://furiouscycling.blogspot.com/