A COMMONWEALTH Games cyclist has warned Tour of Britain riders they face an uphill struggle outside Barnoldswick after putting the toughest climb on the course through its paces.

National Cyclo Cross champion Paul Oldham took on Bleara Moor and promised: “It’s by far the hardest.”


The steep incline will test riders two thirds of the way into Stage two of the tour from Ciltheroe to Colne on September 7, and forms part of the King of the Mountains challenges that will decide the best climber in the world-class field.

Paul works at Barlick cycling engineering firm Hope Tech and rides for their Team Hope stable of top talent.

Despite recovering from a nasty fall which recently put him in intensive care, he was up to the challenge of testing the course which provides part of his daily training regime.

Paul said: “The riders start a sequence of hills out of Barnoldswick, but Bleara is by far the hardest.

“In fact, it’s the steepest and toughest of all three King of the Mountains in the Clitheroe to Colne stage. The first King of the Mountains at Nick O’Pendle will be an early breakaway, but Bleara Moor will really thin them out. Cyclists won’t lose the race from here, but they won’t win it if they don’t make headway.”

The talented two-wheeler has advised fans not to miss the Pendle stage as they will be able to see the action numerous times as the Lycra-clad legions whizz along the route.

He said: “Barrowford will be a good spot because you can then head into Colne for the big finish. You can even walk between the two.

“It’s a steady climb up to the finish in Colne, but with a tail wind behind them it will be very fast – don’t miss it.”

Stage two of the Aviva 2015 Tour of Britain heads through the Ribble Valley and Pendle on September 7.

Leader of Pendle Council, Mohammed Iqbal, said: “The sprints and King of the Mountains offer some of the most exciting places to watch the race so get your place early.”