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Fred Whitton - 2018

Entries open on 3rd January. Who’s entering and what goal do you have in mind?

I did four years in a row and had the last two off. If I get a place I’d like to crack sub-7 hours. My quickest was around 7:20 I think, but hoping that with better conditions and fitness that going under 7 hours is a realistic aim.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,991
    Was hoping to but been off the bike for months with a bad back so not looking like its worth it. Idea would have been to try sub 7 too.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • sebbypsebbyp Posts: 106
    Dont think I'm going to try and get a place this year, never cycled in the lakes & 2 years in a row not got a place. Going to hit the white rose classic instead.
  • BeatmakerBeatmaker Posts: 1,092
    I'm going to try and get an entry, it would be my first time riding the Fred, but had ing grown up around there I know the climbs pretty well.
  • BeatmakerBeatmaker Posts: 1,092
    Ballot entry in. Fingers crossed.
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    Such a great day last year. Got bored of sportives, much nicer to ride without hoardes of mamils with horrifc saddlebags and even worse bike handling, but the FW is very different, really recommend it.
  • Floated an entry in today - first time doing it last year in glorious weather, got round OK bar a miserable stretch of cramp around Eskdale. So would like to put that right and ride it all smooth.

    Saying that I'm easy if I don't get a spot - not 100% committed to the idea of hilly road training right now. Think I'd enjoy it with a few mates on the club run but the road side of my club are a notorious gang of hill-dodgers. Found it quite hard training on my own last year with fairly poor weather in late winter / early spring.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Entered yesterday, it'll be a good challenge for me as I normally ride and race at much shorter distances. Enjoy the hills but this will be a different animal altogether. Better start getting the longer rides in if I get a place.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 749
    sebbyp wrote:
    Dont think I'm going to try and get a place this year, never cycled in the lakes & 2 years in a row not got a place. Going to hit the white rose classic instead.

    The year I did it, I also didn't get in but got put on the reserve list and got in that way. It's such a daunting ride I think quite a few ballot entries pull out nearer the time.
    I've stopped doing sportives too, but the Fred is unique and if it wasn't so far away from me I would be tempted to do it again.
  • No longer doing sportives, but I enjoyed the Fred, the only time I did it in sunny 2016. Given the same conditions guaranteed, I'd probably do it again.

    Mentally it is a fairly straightforward challenge, you know where the steep climbs are and which descents to watch out for. The rest is fairly easy going. It is often pointed as the hardest challenge in the UK, but with good weather it's not that hard at all... you just need small gears and have to get used to go up (and down) very steep roads. In bad weather it is a different ride altogether
  • nammynakenammynake Posts: 215
    Mentally it is a fairly straightforward challenge, you know where the steep climbs are and which descents to watch out for. The rest is fairly easy going. It is often pointed as the hardest challenge in the UK, but with good weather it's not that hard at all... you just need small gears and have to get used to go up (and down) very steep roads. In bad weather it is a different ride altogether

    Compared with other sportives in the UK it is certainly one of (if not THE toughest). Of course you could take all day to ride it, and have a triple chainset, which would make it much less challenging. The reality is that most people have a compact chainset and do ride for a time which means a continuous effort of between 7 and 9 hours - this makes it a real challenge.

    I agree on the weather point though - I think it was 2014 when I almost got hypothermia going over Cold Fell and had to be wrapped in a foil blanket at the end. Lessons learned that day regarding clothing.
  • LIke I said,

    I did it in ideal weather conditions... warm, sunny and no wind. I can see how Cold Fell, which was a long drag for me, can become a nightmare with a 20 miles wind lashing rain in your face.

    My comment is more in the way that it is mentally straightforward. The bits that connect the climbs are fairly fast and sheltered. At some point I recall going at 55 km/h on the A road to Keswick and I got to the bottom of Honister averaging nearly 27 km/h... then I slowed down of course :-)

    The hardest bit, I found, was dragging myself from the bottom of Wrynose to the finish... there was a banner earlier on in no man-s land between Hardknott and Wrynose saying something like 10Km to go! But it was more like 25... that I found hard, but the ride was already in the bag by then
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,991
    Yes I got caught out by that, 10k to go empty the tank see if I can get inside 7 hours, 15k further on, 7 hours been and gone, tank empty 5k back, where is the finish!! I was that empty my vision started going dark around the periphery and I had to focus on a wheel in front and just try and follow him because I couldn't actually focus far enough away to be safe riding a bike.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • Entered, so am now crossing my fingers
    Trek,,,, too cool for school ,, apparently
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,521
    Did it last year and loves it, but I'm not a climber and it comes smack in the middle of race season for me. Last year training for it and recovering for it ruined my early season. Paris-Roubaix for me this year.
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,319
    Ballot entered this year - for a third crack at it. The last time I did it was 2016, and as Ugo said, a cracking day weather-wise. Last year was also a 20+c day, so I'm sure we're due a bad one!
    I'm not sure how I'll get on in the ballot - I think there is a bit of 'weighting' towards first timers, so that makes my entry less likely to succeed, which might actually be a bit of a relief. Plus I might have a go at the Etape Du Dales if I don't get in (which this year is apparently going to be ridden the opposite way round I understand, which apparently makes it more difficult?).
  • Plus I might have a go at the Etape Du Dales if I don't get in (which this year is apparently going to be ridden the opposite way round I understand, which apparently makes it more difficult?).

    Buttertubs is definitively harder in a clockwise route... and marginally harder is also Fleet Moss... however, Garsdale Head is easier and not having 20 mph wind in the face going up Tan Hill also makes it easier.

    On balance I don't think it's going to be harder/easier... just different and probably more interesting, as the bigger climbs come at the end, rather than at the start
  • mike1-2mike1-2 Posts: 456
    Said I wasn’t gonna put in this year, however I did it last minute. 4th in a row for me if I get in. We’ll see what happens with the ballot. Had a good year last year with not a foot down so wanted to call it quits for a little while, however a tour of all the lakes proper passes is too much of a draw for me.
  • You'll be reet with all the miles you're putting in Mike. We're having an extension on the house so I suspect any training time for the first half of this year will be spent elsewhere.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • mike1-2mike1-2 Posts: 456
    I’m not overly worried Rich, my justification for this is the Mallorca 312 2 weeks before, I figured if I trained enough for that and got through that, I should be alright for Fred. Slightly different challenge but just as valid.
  • 1986sv1986sv Posts: 83
    *Refreshes Email Inbox*
  • First time applicant. Didn't get in.
  • Oh shoot, I'm in. Anyone have any training plans?...
  • I'm in! First timer, have been training in anticipation for a couple of months. Fingers crossed for OK (I won't say good) weather.

    Happy to receive any tips from past participants.
  • 1986sv1986sv Posts: 83
    Still no email :o
  • leodis75leodis75 Posts: 184
    In. First time applicant.

    Thinking about Lakeland Loop in April to test some of the climbs.
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,319
    I don't want to put a dampener on anyone's evening, but I'm pretty sure that if you have not received an email then you've been unsuccessful. This is what happened to me, and I checked the list of confirmed riders on the website and my name was not there.

    Oh well, there's always next year! And I'll probably do the Étape Du Dales instead, presuming that isn't over subscribed!
  • BeatmakerBeatmaker Posts: 1,092
    I'm in too. Not sure how I feel about this development.
  • nammynakenammynake Posts: 215
    Fifth time in for me. Celebrated with a pork pie for dinner. Athlete.
  • SRC1SRC1 Posts: 301
    First time entering for me, but didn't get in :(

    How does the entry work, is it just random?
  • nammynakenammynake Posts: 215
    There are proportionally more spaces for first-time entrants, but it is massively oversubscribed. Entry is by ballot, i.e. luck of the draw.
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