Not too tough to start with, but the Cote de Midhopestones soon gets nasty
By Simon Warren
Stage two | 167km | Midhopestones | Rating: 8/10
From here on in, the profile of stage two resembles the gaping jaws of a great white shark, just waiting to chew through the rider’s legs and the first jagged peak is this climb, the ‘Côte’ de Midhopestones.
Turning south off the A616 there’s 100 metres of descent before the road begins to rear up, not too tough to start with but as it kinks slightly right, it starts to get nasty.
Ahead of you the road snakes between the sloping grassy banks, up and away into the distance, steep and getting steeper before reaching a very welcome brow where you can reacquaint yourself with your saddle.
You’re allowed to spin your legs for a few moments as the road levels, dips then begins a different type of climbing; from here the gradient is steadier but with all the climbing already in your legs it’s still hard.
Bending gradually left the road drags and drags up to the final peak before plummeting down the 25% twisting descent to the foot of the next tooth in the shark’s mouth.
Where the climb starts almost as soon as you leave the junction with the A616 and head south.
Grid ref SK 240 975 (OS110)
Height gain 149m
Approx climb time 8 mins