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The Three Peaks Cyclocross race is held in the Yorkshire Dales and is a unique event on the British cyclocross calendar. The race was first run in 1961 and it feels like very little has changed since then.
The race still relies on volunteers, mountain rescue and the village pub to provide everything it needs and has a wonderful no-nonsense ethos. The course hasn’t changed since the first event either.
The 61km route ascends the three highest peaks in Yorkshire: Ingleborough (723m), Whernside (736m) and Pen-y-ghent (694m). Of course, what goes up, must come down. The descents are steep and fast, covering a fearsome mix of boggy moorland, rock-strewn paths, staircases and river crossings. To make sure it still feels like 1961, mountain bikes and tyres wider than 35mm are forbidden.
This year’s edition, held last weekend, was won by Paul Oldham and Delia Beddis. In the early stages of the men’s race it was Rob Jebb, a world-class fell runner who led. His unique skillset allows him to run up the extreme gradients, beyond 45° in certain places, much faster than his rivals. However in the latter stages, where riding is more important than running, the gap closed and Paul Oldham was able to catch and overtake Jebb to take his second Three Peaks win.
In the women’s race, Delia Beddis was able to hold on to take the win despite an amazing charge from former winner Verity Appleyard. On the final road section and climb of Pen-y-ghent, Appleyard clawed back several minutes to miss out by just 20 seconds.
See below for a selection of images from the 2016 Three Peaks Cyclocross race.