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The Cheshire Cobbled Classic is inspired by the Tour of Flanders – the Belgian one-day Classic. It features twelve cobbled sectors, including five cobbled climbs that exceed 20% in gradient. The most notable of these is the frighteningly-steep Corkscrew, a twisting, snaking cobbled road whose 45% maximum gradient makes it the steepest climb in the country.
Much of the course is located within the Peak District National Park, starting in the beautiful Lyme Park (National Trust). The route contains over 2000m of climbing, and the event builds to a climax with a rapid succession of cobbled climbs, including the iconic Swiss Hill, a 25% cobbled climb used by Team Sky to prepare specifically for the Tour of Flanders. The profile of Swiss Hill can be viewed here.
The event was ranked as the second hardest event in the UK by Cycling Weekly in 2015 – second only in difficulty to the Fred Whitton Challenge – despite being only half the distance, and with half the amount of climbing!