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Well the day of the ride came, and forecast was “spot on“, Cold, Wet, Foggy and Windy DOH.

We had it all wind, rain, sleet and thick fog. GIVE YOURSELVES A HUGE PAT ON THE BACK.
Despite the terrible weather conditions Team Deerness still tackled this challenging route. We started with a steady ride up Deerness Valley climbing up Cornsay Colliery bank, and descending Ragpath through heavy rain along Longedge Lane to Rowley where it got really interesting. By the time we got to Parkhead we were struggling to see the road ahead of us pushing through thick fog and side winds we dropped into Stanhope.

From this point we climbed again up to Bollihope Common via Unthank Bank with hair pin bends. By this point the team decided to cut the route short due to safety issues, returning via Hill End, Frosterly and Wolsingham; where we re-joined the route to take us back to Broompark.

HUGE Thanks, a big thumbs up and large amount of “creds” to those who turned out for Team Deerness Charity Ride for MNDa.

Also would like to thanks the HELPERS and supporters, you did great 🙂 FINE weather BOOKED for next time.

AND an even bigger THUMBS up to those two riders who did the FULL route despite the conditions. Very Well DONE TO Andy Reeves and Jim McLoughlin

A huge thanks to all those that DONATED and the Team who raised money and are still raising money via the Sponsor Forms. Money still coming in.

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The Winking Sheep course

Distance:  88.5 mls  |  142.42 km

Total Ascent: 9030ft  |  2752m

Route:

St John’s Chapel – Alston – Garrigill –  Middleton-in-Teesdale – Stanhope – Blanchland – Rookhope – Eastgate – Westgate – Allenheads – Cowshill –  St John’s Chapel

Late Aug / Early Sept:  to be confirmed

Price to be confirmed

A word from the Organisers . . .

Rather than just being a backdrop to a glorious course we want the local communities to be, and feel, an equal part of it.

The short term benefit (and pain) of having a large cycle event in the area will hopefully be converted in to long term gain for the area with increased appreciation of the delicate countryside and wonderful opportunities for future visits.

To reassure local residents:

There are no plans to close the roads.

Litter pickers will clean up after the event

Any surplus funds will be reinvested in next year’s event and/or be donated to a designated charity.

Register your Interest.

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Etape Pennines Event

A MAJOR cycling event has been axed because it has not generated enough interest to continue.

Today, (Wednesday, November 19) sponsors and organisers IMG Challenger World (IMG), confirmed The Marie Curie Cancer Etape Pennines Event would not be taking place in 2015.

The 60-mile route, which sees more than 2,000 cyclists take on the roads of Teesdale and Weardale after starting in Barnard Castle, has been held for the last three years.

This year’s event, held on July 20, also came under fire by farmers and residents who said necessary road closures would harm tourism and disrupt haymaking after it was moved from October to the first week of the summer holidays.

Weardale county councillor, John Shuttleworth, said: “It’s an event that people do follow, but then some people don’t – something else will come along. I have had mixed comments about it so I would say it’s 50/50.”

However, Richard Varcoe, owner of Barnard Castle business, Spitfire Cycles, said: “There’s been too much pushback locally so maybe the organisers have had enough.

“It’s extremely bad for the businesses because it brings 2,000 people to the area, some of which are here for three days, so all the accommodation fills up. It’s the farmers that are complaining about it because for one day of the year they cannot trunk around in their tractors.”

IMG said it was sorry to announce that it would not be happening for a fourth year.

Managing director, James Robinson, said: “Etape Pennines has been a fantastic project to be involved with and we are proud to have given many cyclists the chance to ride this fantastic, beautiful route over the last three years.

“It is disappointing that this event will not be taking place in 2015, and we would like to thank the local community and County Durham for all of their support over the last few years.”

Durham County Council previously said the event brought in about £235,000 to the economy last year.

Nigel Dodds, strategic manager of culture and sport at Durham County Council, said: “We are disappointed to lose the Etape Pennines which we believe introduced many people to the stunning beauty and visitor offer of the Dales.

 “However we understand and respect IMG’s decision.

“Being part of the etape from its concept has allowed us to gather a wealth of experience which we will now use to enrich the range of cycling events which the county has a growing reputation for hosting.”

Via Northern Echo -Major Cycle Event Etape Pennines Gets Axed

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With less than a week to go until the inaugural Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines, excitement is building in Durham for the event which is being tipped as one of the toughest on the British sportive calendar.

The 2,500 riders will be in great sporting company as the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines recently confirmed that, not only is three time Olympic medalist Rob Hayles riding the 78 mile route, but he’ll be joined by former England test cricketer Steve Harmison. After rising to fame playing for Durham County Cricket Club, Steve was selected for England and went on to win the Ashes back in 2005. Chosen as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2005, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s all time best fast bowlers. In fact, Shane Warne named Harmison in his list of 50 greatest cricketers, stating: “on his day, he is one of the most awkward bowlers to face in the world”. Now playing for Yorkshire, Steve loves to ride his bike to maintain his fitness levels.

After taking on the gruelling 78 miles of the closed road race, riders will be welcomed at the finish by two local football legends; Steve Harper and Lee Cattermole. Steve Harper is Newcastle United’s long serving goalkeeper spending 19 years at the club. Steve enjoys cycling and can usually be seen riding in the quiet lanes of Northumberland as part of his pre- season training. Lee Cattermole who is the captain of Sunderland FC only last week went out on his bike in the local Durham trails to test himself on the gruelling hills around the region.

Local Marie Curie Nurse, Paula Grufferty from County Durham said: “Marie Curie Cancer Care provided over 37,500 hours of free nursing care to terminally ill people across County Durham and North Yorkshire last year, as well as providing vital care at the Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle.

“As a Marie Curie Nurse, I see first hand the incredible difference this care makes to those who are terminally ill, and their family. If you’re taking part then I’d urge you to raise funds to help the charity to continue to provide these services to people in the North East.”

James Robinson, MD of organisers IMG Challenger World (and a local Newcastle boy himself) is delighted that the first event is just around the corner: “We’ve been working closely with the council and it is a really great feeling to know that the region has got behind this first event which is already set to be one of the leading cycling events in the UK.”

The rolling 78 mile route and promise of breathtaking County Durham countryside has certainly caught the attention of the ever growing cycling community and press, with the UK’s leading cycling magazine ‘Cycling Plus’ recently publishing a preview saying the route is ‘deliciously dramatic’ and ‘marvelously memorable’. The event is set to fill the shoes of its big brother, the Etape Caledonia, which an independent survey found boosted the local area economy by over £1million as a result of the event in just its third year.

To find out more and register your interest in the 2013 event, visit the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines website at www.etapepennines.co.uk.

World-famous sportsmen prepare for Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines.

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