Riders challenged to knock Millar from the top of Harwood Dale

David Millar. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpixDavid Millar. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix
David Millar. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix
CYCLING legend David Millar has thrown down the gauntlet to cyclists across Yorkshire by challenging them to beat his time on one of the county's favourite hill climbs, the Cote de Harwood Dale.

The former professional rider, one of only two Britons to have worn the leader’s jersey at the Tour de France, Vuelta Espana and Giro D’Italia, has set a benchmark time on the climb which features on the 2016 Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Rides on Sunday May 1.

The Côte de Harwood Dale is a 1.3km climb through picturesque rural North Yorkshire Moors, with an average gradient of 7.4 per cent and a maximum gradient of 16 per cent. Millar tackled the climb in 3 minutes 57 seconds to instal himself as the early ‘King of the Mountain.’

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The Maserati rides will take place over a choice of three distances - 40km, 85km or 119km on the same day and on many of the same roads as the third and final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Maserati is offering complimentary ‘King of the Mountains’ climb photography to all 6,000 riders. Each rider will be photographed at the finish line of the climb and then their image will be edited alongside David Millar with their respective times.

Millar said: “The Côte de Harwood Dale climb is a particularly British climb – it isn’t the sort of climb we experience in continental bike racing and that’s because it’s in ramps.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity to compare yourself to the pro riders, who will set their times on the same climb later that day.

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“I’d recommend taking it easy in the early stages and turning a small gear, as there’s a very steep section early on. Always have in the back of your mind that the last section is going to be very hard so preserve enough energy to stand up and push it over the finish line, where the clock stops and your picture is taken. Let’s see how many of you can beat my time of 3 minutes 57 seconds.

“And don’t forget to smile when you cross the finish line.”

To register for the ride on Sunday 1 May click here