HUNDREDS of cyclists from all over the country got on their bike for this year’s 112-mile Fred Whitton Challenge in near perfect weather conditions.

The gruelling marathon raised £65,000 for charity last May, and organiser Paul Loftus believes that the 1,000 plus bikers taking part this year would probably better that total.

“It was fantastic and probably one of the best days we’ve done yet,” said Mr Loftus.

“There were only a couple of small accidents and the weather was fantastic.

"From our point of view everything went smoothly and there were no problems. It was as good as we can get it.

“I’m still going through e-mails saying thank you for the event from spectators.

"There were hundreds of people watching and Whinlatter Pass was blocked solid with cars.

The Dave Rayner Fund and Macmillan Cancer Support are the two main charities supported by the event, which was sponsored by elite cycling equipment importer Saddleback.

Mr Whitton, who was a secretary of the Lakes Road Club, received help from Macmillan nurses before he died of cancer 12 years ago at the age of 49.

He did a lot of work with young cyclists and so the Dave Rayner Fund, which gives financial support to young riders trying to make a career on the Continent, was chosen as the other main beneficiary.

Staveley’s Rob Jebb was the winner of this year’s challenge, claiming the title for a fifth time. This was his third triumph in a row.

“It’s a good event,” said the 35-year-old. “It’s got really popular so I’m happy to win it.

"It’s a really good test on the bike. I’ll probably try to get it again next year.

“Hardknott Pass is probably one of the steepest climbs on the route and you hit that after about 100 miles, so that catches a few people out. It’s a steep one, and you know it’s coming.”

The challenge takes in all of the famous Lake District passes in one day, starting and finishing at Coniston Sports Centre.

The route goes north on Kirkstone Pass up to Troutbeck, before heading west, going around Derwentwater, Loweswater and Ennerdale Water.

The challenge then goes onto Eskdale and cyclists must tackle Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass until turning south and heading back to Coniston.

Cyclists can now take part in the Fred Whitton Challenge all year round. For more information visit