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The Etape du Dales 2024

With The Etape du Dales 2024 almost upon us we’re getting down to the finer details of what you can expect when you visit the Yorkshire Dales for this year’s event.

Read on for information about the route, which has undergone some big changes this year to make a new challenge for the Etape du Dales.

The Route Revealed!

Starting from Horton in Ribblesdale, the home of the iconic 3 peaks challenge, this year's event starts with a benign roll out down Ribblesdale towards Settle... but the easy riding doesn't last for long. After just 8km the route bears sharp right in the village of Langcliffe on to the first climb of the day Langcliffe Scar. At 2.3km with an average gradient of 7.8% and a max. gradient of 18% this is stiff opening for this year's  Etape du Dales. Continuing over the top the route heads for Malham Tarn - a unique geological feature at 377m the highest marl lake in the UK and one of only 8 upland alkaline lakes in Europe.

Passing Malham Tarn on the west the route climbs the short sting of Nab End before descending in to the beautiful village of Arncliffe, the original setting for Emmerdale Farm and recently the scene of the classic James Herriot series All Creatures Great and Small.

Picking its way down the beautiful valley of Littondale alongside the river Skirfare the route makes it's way to the picturesque village of Kettlewell.

Now, rising from the Wharfe valley in leg stinging steps is the gruesome ascent of Park Rash. The first step is not Park Rash itself but just a precursor at a mere 22% before you descend back to Cam Gill with the actual climb of Park Rash looming in the distance. The start is the hardest, as you have a section of 25% gradient to negotiate. If you can, take the hairpins at the widest – certainly avoid going on the inside, where it is steepest. Used in the Tour de Yorkshire, see how your Strava times compare to the World Tour Pros!

Following this lung stripping epic, take your time to enjoy the magnificent descent of Coverdale. A narrow twisty road so beware, but if you get the chance to look the views are absolutely stunning.

The first feed station will be a welcome sight at the village hall in Wensley. Take your time for a well earned break before setting off for the next episode - it can't be as hard - can it?

Contouring the Wensleydale valley the route now takes you across to Redmire where it turns north and crosses Grinton Moor, not on the road taken by the Tour de France, but nevertheless a challenging 3.8km climb. From here we drop towards the village of Grinton turning left just before the village on Swale Hall Lane. Watch for the signs if you're descending quickly!

The ride now heads for the climb of the Fleak. At 6.7km with an average gradient of 5.5% and a max of 9% this isn't steep but lets hope it's not a strong westerly wind! Over the top and quick drop down back towards Wensleydale before an abrupt right turn and straight on to the next climb of Oxnop Scar. The climb is 3 km and the steepest section is almost 20% but it doesn't last for long and with an average gradient of 7.8% the final pull is less than 5% before cresting the climb for yet more magnificent views of Swaledale. Be careful at the bottom of the descent - it's steep and twisty before meeting the valley road.

Back in Swaledale the route now follows the valley through Muker and Thwaite up Birkdale past the remote farm of Ravenseat - home to the popular TV series the Yorkshire Shepardess. You can now experience how remote that farm life really is.

A swift descent in to Nateby brings you in to the Eden Valley and along Mallerstang Common to Garsdale Head. The Moorcock Inn is the site of the next feed station, and no doubt a welcome sight it is.

Take a right out of the feed station and after one kilometre turn left for Garsdale Station and the start of the climb of the Coal Road. At 2.8km and average gradient of 7.8% it's quite a pull, taking you to the highest mainline station in England - Dent Station on the picturesque Settle to Carlisle railway line. Be VERY careful on the twisty narrow descent in to Dentdale and the right turn at Lea Yeat. Turn left over the narrow bridge and follow the valley to Deepdale.


Climbing out of Deepdale and over to Kingsdale you will be on a gated road. Please close the gates behind you. This is the last major climb of the day but don't be fooled in to thinking its all over!

Down in to Ingleton we're nearly done! We follow the back road to Clapham to avoid the extremely busy A65 and leaving Clapham we highly recommend using the short section of cycle path that will take you to the left turn to Austwick. A brief ascent to Helwith Bridge and the end is in sight, under the imposing gaze of the peak of Pen-y-ghent. Welcome back to Horton in Ribblesdale!

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