A cycling challenge that has earned the name “The Hell of the North” has been completed by nine members of a Ripon group.
The Moonglu Cycling Club Ripon travelled to Busigny in France on April 7 for the start of the Paris to Roubaix Challenge.
Covering a total of 172km, of which 52km is a cobbled, it is regarded as having some of the most challenging stretches of road in professional cycling.
Neil Dunkley, Dave Fell, Rob Harrison, Dave Cooney, Alan Brownlee, Simon Beeson, Gary Nuttall, Rob Wilkins and Robyn McLean joined more than 2,000 other cyclist for the challenge and were all able cross the finish line at the Velodrome in Roubaixe.
While others in the group celebrated their fifth run of the course this was Robyn’s first.
She said: “It is aptly named without a doubt and deserves to be known as one of the toughest. When you come to the sign in sheets it even says “Welcome to Hell. It was a great ride and the whole thing has given us all a tale to tell.
“These cobbles are in varying degrees of shapes and repairs, they are old roads that had farmers tractors going over them.
She added: “Some of the guys on the team have done their fifth time, but this was my first. I don’t think anything could have prepare you. I was nervous even though I had trained.”
“Surprisingly at the end I didn’t feel too bad but the worst part was riding over the cobbles. They leave blisters on your hands and pains in your arms. But we trained hard and were ready for it.”
There were a number of crashes along the course, including two minor falls by the Moonglu riders who were still able to continue the challenge.
The club, which was formed roughly three years ago, is aiming to continue growing and is open to all levels of cyclists.
Robyn said: “We are trying to grow the club, it isn’t just for experienced riders as there are people like me who haven’t been riding for long.”
Visit www.moonglucc.club to find out more