Etapes Pennines, Sunday 7 October 2012 (Keith Wesson)

Fantastic day with support all along the route and stunning scenery; although a freezing cold start! By mid morning sun was shining and I was cooking on the relentless climbs so I had to stop and remove some of the winter clothing. The closed roads meant you could descend full on; the descent down into St Johns Chapel was amazing in a line of riders using all of the road although you had to be wary of the odd sheep crossing the roads. Descent into Rookhope was hairy but the climb out was a killer for a lot of the riders, I managed to maintain a good climbing rhythm in the later stages especially out of Blanchland where I passed Malcolm riding up the climb. It was amazing to race through my home village of Esh on the wrong side of the road and flat out to the finish at Ushaw. Mind, I did not have a single calorie left at the end!

Discovered I was the winner of my age category last night so I was quite chuffed especially in view of the severity of the route. Fantastic ride by new member Michael Openshaw who got 10th overall and narrowly missed out on a prize in the timed climb.