Mammoth climbs up Buttertubs Pass and Cragg Vale are among the mountainous challenges facing an increasing number of cyclists hoping to get a feel for what the likes of Chris Froome are facing this summer.
Nearly 250miles of twisting Yorkshire roads await riders preparing to take part in the world’s most watched annual sporting event on July 5 and 6 – roads which amateur hillclimber and Veloviewer blogger Ben Lowe has tackled time and time again.
Inspired by the upcoming arrival of the race, the 39-year-old software expert is sharing special Tour de France posts with our online readers to give a detailed insight into some of the most testing climbs facing Tour competitors and enthusiasts.
Veloviewer uses data collected by riders using the popular Strava GPS-powered ride analysis application to compile timing lists and graphs to help motivate riders to push themselves harder and explore the region.
The father-of-two, who has been cycling regularly for over 25 years, said: “These posts are for anyone really – seasoned cyclists that want to look and see what’s there or people that are doing it because they want to get an idea of what they’re getting themselves in for.
“It’s a good way for people that have never been out to the climbs to go out and have a look.”
Founded by Ben two years ago, Veloviewer is currently accessed by around 40,000 cyclists from countries including the UK, Norway, USA and Australia.
Well-versed in Yorkshire’s well-trodden cycling routes he has lived in Harrogate, Knaresborough and now Sheffield.
He said: “It’s a labour of love. It’s gone from a little play thing to people going on a ride, uploading their Strava data and going straight to my site and using the data there. The main goal is to motivate people to do more.”
And with Le Tour less than three months away, Ben is keen for people across the region to embrace the landmark event.
“It’s amazing to have it so close,” he added. “The routes look really interesting but up around Sheffield it should be fantastic and the scenery aspect of stage one will just be great.”
Click on the ‘tdf-blog’ tab on our website to see the Veloviewer posts.