LAKES Road Club rider Andy Sudell has no intention of calling it quits after winning the 2014 Fred Whitton Challenge – his second triumph in the cyclosportive.
Starting this year in Grasmere, 1850 participants tackled the 112-mile course which includes Lakeland passes Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott and Wrynose.
Sudell was the first rider back in a time of 6:01:57, recording the same time as club mate David Ralph while Robert Glaister of Keswick Bikes came home third in 2:37:10.
This was the 43-year-old’s second success having recorded victory back in 2006, in the process avenging last year’s event where he was edged out by Wheelbase Altura MGD ace Stuart Reid.
And having competed in all but one Fred Whitton Challenge since its inception in 1999, Sudell is already primed for a return next time around.
“I certainly intend to take part in future Fred Whitton Challenges,” he said.
“It’s a great way of keeping fit and that’s the main aim. I really enjoy it and as long as I get an entry I will keep coming back.
“I was pleased with the result and the fact I can still turn out a good speed and get around the course okay.
“It was slightly different this year with setting off from Grasmere, although it remains a gruelling course and it certainly doesn’t get any easier.
“It was pleasing to get around with my team mate Dave Ralph, who probably had a little bit of doubt about his ability but I knew he was capable of doing it.
“But we kept together and came into the finish together.”
The first female competitor across the finishing line was Marie Meldrum of Nevis Cycles RT in 7:00:42, with Mel Varvel second in 7:44:47 and Carolyn Hunter-Rowe third in 7:47:56.
Each year the challenge attracts new people, with Heversham’s Will Leedham one such example as the 17-year-old joined his father Andrew on the route.
Leedham finished the course in 11:24:01 and admits his experience on the passes of the Lake District have inspired thoughts of future competition on the cycling circuit.
“I have always wanted to do this event and have been training since Christmas to get myself ready,” he said.
“It’s the hardest cycling event you can do in the North West and I’m proud to have conquered it – I just go for things and if I put my mind to it I usually succeed.
“I have only recently got into cycling and only had a road bike for two years but I enjoy pushing my body to the limit.
“I’m looking forward to doing the event again and I also want to start doing some more alpine events too, perhaps at Lake Lausanne and others in the Alps.”
Fred Whitton Challenge Top Ten: Andy Sudell (Lakes Road Club) 6:01:57; David Ralph (Lakes Road Club) 6:01:57; Robert Glaister (Keswick Bikes) 6:08:54; Greg Ketteringham (Harrogate Nova) 6:11:36; Kevin Dawson (Assos-Pinarello) 6:14:46; Craig Battersby (Team Chronomaster) 6:17:54; Kris Zentek (Team Chronomaster) 6:19:20; Stephen Fisher (New Mills) 6:19:28; Scott Smith (Barrow Central Wheelers) 6:19:41; Ben Bardsley (Cyclewise Altura) 6:21:14