Brutal climb will be an uphill battle for riders

Langsett Cycles team get some hillclimb practice at High Bradfield
Langsett Cycles team get some hillclimb practice at High Bradfield

It’s one of the steepest hills in Sheffield, and most people drive or walk to the top for the spectacular views.

Next month, though, cyclists will race against time in the climb up the road from Low to High Bradfield.

The event is one of the attractions on the weekend of the Tour de France when Bradfield will be a hive of activity in celebration of the world’s top riders shooting past.

Organiser Andrew Elston said it was a “brutal” climb, with gradients of up to 30 degrees.

“It’s tough. I’ve ridden it at my own pace. That’s why I wanted to organise it, so I didn’t have to ride it!”

Only members of cycling clubs will be allowed to take part in the race of less than a mile up Woodfall Lane in which participants set off at intervals of one minute, competing for prize money.

‘Catchers’ will be at hand for the finish because of the riders’ state of exhaustion.

More casual riders could run into “big problems”, said Andrew, owner of Langsett Cycles, who is organising the event with Sheffrec Cycling Club. He expects entries from across the country for such a challenging climb, on the evening of Friday, July 4.

And he hopes it will be a big draw for the public.

“It is going to be a spectacular event - standing outside the pub (the Old Horns), hopefully in the sun with a pint of Bradfield beer and cheering on the riders.”

In particular, Andrew is working with Mark Etches, who organises the Monsal Hill Climb in the Peak District, one of the best in the country.

“Everything is perfect,” he adds. “It’s near Sheffield, it’s a big steep hill … and there’s a pub at the finish! It ticks every box. I want to register it as a proper course, then we can run it annually.” Andrew is also organising a 50 mile ride on the Saturday, following part of the Grand Depart route from Bradfield to Oughtibridge before switching towards Wortley and Holmfirth.

Fees of £30 will go Marie Curie Cancer Care and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The ‘Steel Stage Sportive’ at Bradfield over the weekend also includes a Bradfield Brewery Beer Festival, live music and a mini film festival.

The main camp site at High Bradfield, with 200 pitches, is already full.

Many campers are local, but some are coming from as far afield as Canada and Singapore.