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Who was Hard at Boggle Hole

Tales of Hardness from the Boggle Hole Ride from Wayne Randle, Mark Lovatt and co...

Two decades ago John Tanner won the Commonwealth Bank Classic pro stage race in Australia against the likes of the Motorola team including George Hincapie and Bobby Julich. When asked by the Press what he owed his early season form to John replied, “Riding to Boggle Hole with Wayne.”
This and the fact that Julich went on to finish third in the 1998 Tour de France behind Pantani and Ullrich was one of the many stories recounted over beers at Boggle Hole youth hostel last weekend by Tanner’s Planet X team mates Wayne Randle and Mark Lovatt.
Racing in Planet X colours, Randle, Tanner and Lovatt pretty much dominated British road racing in the 1990s and early 2000s and their mammoth training rides have passed into cycling folklore in the racing heartland of Yorkshire. Last weekend’s Boggle Hole Ride was an opportunity to suffer in the wheels of Wayne and Mark over one of their classic training routes – 100 miles to the coast through the North Yorkshire Moors before returning by an equally savage route the day after.

Leaving the Planet X Barnsley showroom on Saturday morning the big group headed north east via York before hitting the first big ramp onto the moors at Snainton. A strong headwind on the 2.7 miles long Snainton Lane climb really started to sort out the front group and it easily makes it into the Top Ten Hard Bits of the ride. The majority of the bunch were Planet X sponsored riders, members of Planet X staff or members of Team Cystic Fibrosis and who eventually split up into three or four groups.
Top Ten Hard Bits over the two days:
1 Rosedale Chimney Bank – With a 33% maximum it’s one of the steepest roads in the UK.
2 Snainton Lane - 2.7 miles long into a stiff headwind. Strava gives this climb 3rd cat status.
3 Snainton Lane Part Two – after a narrow descent another climb to high on the moors.
4 Hackness Rise hairpins – the 10% section of this 1.4 mile ramp is a hill climb course.
5 Gowlands climb and Helwath Road – tough drags up onto the A171 coastal road.
6 Boggle Hole Bank – From the seashore, there’s no choice other than to tackle this with cold legs.
7 Blue Bank – a relentless 3 mile climb south from Sleights.
8 Smith’s Lane – almost 5 miles with 30% gradients to begin with.
9 Amotherby Lane – with almost 150 miles in the legs any rise became an ordeal.
10 The climb out of bed on Monday morning.
A group of four riders – Lovatt, Randle and triathletes Harry Wiltshire and Karl Alexander - went clear of the rest on Snainton Lane as the riders behind began to splinter into smaller groups. An unfortunate puncture for Harry meant he lost a few minutes and despite a brave chase he could not catch the leading three before they dropped down to the coast just 4 hours 40 minutes after leaving Worsborough.
With the riders now scattered along the road there were a few (equally hard) variations in route choice with some taking in the hairpins out of Hackness before climbing up to the coastal road between Scarborough and Whitby.
Check out the Day One Strava of Karl Alexander:

Top Ten Biggest Drinkers:
There was plenty of ‘rehydrating’ to be done at the youth hostel on Saturday evening. We managed to squint at a smartphone feed of the finish of Milan-San Remo whilst finishing off the youth hostel’s barrel of craft lager. After dinner, and more beers, the lack of a corkscrew did not stop several bottles of red being opened and emptied. With Sunday’s return leg looming though the drinking was ‘steady away’ and Mark Lovatt edged the Drinking Leader’s Jersey ahead of Martin Dainty. Craig Drummond and Ben Last also get honorable mentions for choosing beer and wine over recovery shakes. Mark’s beer and wine was his only recovery drink and amazingly he rode the 100 miles back on Sunday on just one 500ml bottle.
Day Two
Boggle Hole is a tiny cove at the foot of a steep and narrow dead-end lane so departing on Sunday morning was never going to be easy. With cold legs you are forced to clip in quickly and grind away on the steep ramp away from the seashore and climb three miles back up to the main road.
The return leg actually began by turning north and dropping down into Ruswarp before tackling the tough Blue Bank and Smith’s Lane before a steep descent into Rosedale. Next came one of the highlights of the weekend – the ascent of Rosedale Chimney Bank which with a section of 33% is widely accepted to be one of the steepest climbs in Great Britain.
Mark Lovatt and Harry Wiltshire crested the Chimney side by side followed by Karl and Wayne before a gap to Alistair Seibert, James Vickers and Adrian Binns. Many others decided to bypass this lump and head directly to Pickering along flatter roads.
With the moors and climbs behind them the final 50 miles became a mental as well as a physical battle. The fast group maintained an impressive 20 miles per hour for what was a longer day out (105 miles) with more climbing (6,831 feet) than day one.
If you are a disciple of Strava you’ll see that Mark Lovatt scooped up five KOMs on Sunday including Blue Bank (link below) and he heads our top ten of hard riders along with top triathlete Harry Wiltshire. Harry notched up an impressive weekend of training for his next long-distance triathlon. Not only did he ride the majority of both days in the lead group (only the puncture dropping him from the front), but on Saturday afternoon he added a two-hour training run before dinner. On Sunday morning Harry was up earlier than most and remarkably put in another 45 minutes of running.

Top Ten Hardest Riders:
1= Harry Wiltshire – Planet X sponsored triathlete
1= Mark Lovatt – Planet X staff
3 Karl Alexander – Planet X sponsored triathlete
4 Wayne Randle – Planet X sponsored rider
5 Alistair Seibert – Planet X sponsored rider
6 James Vickers – Planet X staff
7 Adrian Binns – Eagle Road Club
8 Steven Clague – Team Cystic Fibrosis
9 Martin Dainty – Planet X staff
10 Ben Last – Planet X staff
Check out the Day Two Strava of Mark Lovatt:
Rides like Boggle Hole leave memories (and friendships) that can last forever and although everyone was tired they still had some energy to enthuse about the weekend over coffee back at Planet X Barnsley.
Wayne Randle enjoyed yet another Boggle Hole (he cannot recall how many times he’s done this ride) but he had to admit on Monday morning that his “legs feel like they’ve been ‘it with a mallet.”
Watch out for a summertime "Filey and back" which will be in the region of 140 miles - details will emerge on the Planet X website in due course.

Day One Report from James Vickers here.

22 March 2016


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