The FUCHS Silkolene Tour of the Potteries sportive is back for a second year on Sunday 25th June 2017. Following on from a successful first outing last year, the Tour of the Potteries sportive returns to Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent.
The revised route takes in some well-known Peak District climbs. Starting from the FUCHS Silkolene factory in Hanley, there will be two routes available as well as a family ride on traffic free routes around the area all in aid of local charity The Donna Louise Trust.
Following feedback from last year’s event, the long route has been shortened to 64 miles (104kms) and the short to 27 miles (44kms). However don’t underestimate the distances as they still contain a fair amount of climbing, especially the long with 6427ft (1959m) of ascent. British motorcycle racer and accomplished cyclist Shane Byrne took part last year and was surprised just how difficult the long course was. Based on his and other entrants’ feedback the organisers have reduced the distance but managed to keep the classic climbs and routes through impressive countryside.
Both routes take you quickly out of town into the countryside towards Cheddleton where they divide. The short route heads north via Longsdon to its feed stop at Horton and rejoins the long again. The revised long route meanwhile continues east from Cheddleton towards Leek. It then goes north to Thorncliffe and Longnor before the feed stopping at Flash, the highest village in England .
After this it’s the climb past the iconic rock formation of the Roches. The Staffordshire countryside then opens up in front of you with Tittersworth Reservoir being the easily identifiable landmark in the distance. The descent off here brings you to the iconic climb of Gun Hill – a Tour of Britain favourite. You then descend again back down to Ruston Spencer and Lask Edge to meet up with the short route at Horton. At Horton both routes merge (and the long route gets its second feed stop) before heading back to the finish in Hanley.
Both routes will be fully signposted, timed and have feed stops (two on the long and one on the short). There will be mechanical back up on-route and at the start/finish, with a broom wagon sweeping the course. When you finish all entrants will receive a goody bag and finishers medal.
There’s also a free family ride on a virtually traffic free route close to the town named the Knotty after the old railway system of the Potteries. There will be two routes to help novices tackle their first event. All routes offer something for all abilities and a challenge to raise money for The Donna Louise charity.