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Riders in September's Land's End to John O'Groats ride will face the 20 per cent gradient of the Lecht...

A new route has been unveiled for this year’s Deloitte Ride Across Britain that will head into the Cairngorms National Park in north east Scotland and see riders tackle one of the UK’s most challenging ascents, the Lecht.

Covering 3.01 kilometres, the Lecht has an average gradient of 6.0 per cent, but has ramps of up to 20 per cent.

How hard is it? Well, Simon Warren of the 100 Climbs series of books fame ranked it among the 10 toughest cycling ascents in Britain in this 2012 article for the Guardian, and describes it as “a true monster of a climb through the heart of the Cairngorms.”

In an email sent to participants in this year’s mass ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, organisers said:  “Each year we make multiple changes to Deloitte Ride Across Britain that are all driven by a spirit of relentless improvement.

“This year we have unlocked a couple of key relationships which has allowed us to take in a new section of the country; the stunning Cairngorms. This has been a long-held desire for us, and after multiple recces and data gathering, we have made the decision to update the routes on stages 6, 7 and 8 of the event.”

The email continued: “Rest assured you are in for a truly breath-taking ride and one we feel is a genuine improvement on previous years.

“The overall distance is only 7.9 miles longer, but more importantly:

"The ‘snow roads’ we take over the Cairngorms are some of the most beautiful and unspoilt sections of riding anywhere in the UK;

"We have added a pair of truly iconic ascents, The Lecht and The Cairnwell, that both feature in the UK’s 100 Greatest Climbs;

"We now balance the distances more evenly across the 9 days ensuring more people can complete the event within cut offs;

"The new route has significantly reduced weight of traffic over the Highlands meaning a more relaxing ride experience and less local disruption.

“We are enormously excited about our first time crossing East to Edinburgh and on into the Cairngorms this September,” they added, concluding with the words, “we wish you all the best for the training and let’s hope for a long warm summer to get those all-important miles in the legs.”

You can find full details of the 2018 Deloitte Ride Across Britain here.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.