The Fred Whitton is widely regarded as the toughest sportive in the UK and right up there with European events such as the Marmotte, Maratona dles Dolomites and the Etape du Tour.

The route changes a little from year-to-year but typically is around 114 miles (182km) and 3,900 metres of climbing. Starting and finishing in Grasmere, in the middle of the Lake District, the route takes in plenty of the iconic climbs of the area but crucially has the Hardknott pass 99 miles into the ride, which finishes off many riders who end up walking the final section.

The very strongest riders finish in just under six hours, but many riders take eleven hours or longer.

Entry for the Fred Whitton is through a ballot which opens from 4-23 January 2022.

Sign up to our free email alert service to be informed when entries open for 2023.

On our estimates, you usually have about a 40% chance of getting a place via the ballot. Charity entries are also available, offering a guaranteed entry for riders who commit to fundraising a certain amount for charity. Visit the event website for more details.

History of the Fred Whitton

Until his untimely death at the age of 50 in 1998, Fred Whitton was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club. In his capacity as club secretary he was full of enthusiasm for the club and ran it practically single handedly. He was the organiser of the Lakes Road Club Easter 3-day each year which attracted many of the UK’s top riders.

Not only was Fred the main instigator behind all the clubs activities, he was always there on the club runs and training weekends, cracking a joke, having a laugh and generally enjoying the sport to the full. Amongst all this, Fred also managed to find the time to be the Lakes & Lanc’s Division Road Race Secretary and was well known and liked throughout North West cycling circles.

Raising money for charity

The Fred Whitton has raised millions of pounds for charity in the past two decades and the main charity is currently Macmillan Cancer Support.

More content about the Fred Whitton sportive:

At a Glance
  • 08 May 2022 6:00am
  • Tickets On Sale
  • Fred Whitton Challenge 2022Fred Whitton Challenge 2022Grasmere, Cumbria, UK
  • Up to 180 km (112 miles)
  • From 70.00 GBP
  • 2000 Riders