SRAM and Felt Bicycles, via distributor Saddleback, have signed up to become Official Sponsor of the Fred Whitton Challenge, an 11 year old cycle sportive starting and ending in Coniston.
The gruelling event, taking place on Sunday May 9th 2010, will see Saddleback provide neutral service supporting the 1000 riders taking part.
Covering a 112 mile circuit across all of the major Cumbrian cols, the Fred Whitton Challenge is always a sell-out.
It takes place in and around the Lake District, covering six of the most difficult passes in the UK and over 3,800 metres of climbing. All proceeds from the event, run in the memory of former Lakes Road Club president Fred Whitton, are donated to charity, including MacMillan Cancer Care and the Dave Rayner Fund.
BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid has ridden three of the events and is hoping to gain an entry for this year’s event, too.
"It’s pure masochism," said Reid. "At 100 miles you have to ride the steeps of Hardknott Pass, one of the toughest roads in Britain. It’s the sort of road where the smell of burnt-out clutches lingers. My goal every year is to get up this climb, jelly legs or not."
Event organiser Paul Loftus said: “The Fred Whitton Challenge is a fantastic platform for the promotion of any brand, but is particularly so for a fast growing company in the bicycle trade, and so we are proud to be partnering with Saddleback for this year’s challenge and beyond.
“It is of the utmost importance to us that the riders in the challenge receive the highest quality of support and Saddleback’s input can only help to further this aim, by providing top quality support for the riders who take part in the event.”
Saddleback director Andy Wigmore enthused: “We are delighted to be the Official Sponsor and to provide neutral service to the The Fred Whitton Challenge. From the beginning the Lakes Road Club made it very clear they wanted to work with us and showed great confidence in our ability to deliver a great product and a great service.
“There is no question the the Fred Whitton Challenge is now an important event on the sportive calendar and the perfect showcase for the market leading brands we distribute. The Fred Whitton Challenge has a particularly strong connection for Saddleback, the company name was inspired by the Lake District mountain Blencathra or Saddleback as it is best known by the locals and the area has a strong family history.”
Riders wishing to enter the event download an entry form and then go into a lottery, unlike the first-come-first-served of previous years: www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk