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THE COURSE

Whilst the entire 37.7mile mountain course presents a real challenge when ridden solely on the rear wheel there are a number of particular parts that stand out in terms of the difficulty they pose, these include:

1: Bray Hill - Mile marker 1 - The steep descent so soon after the start means that neither the rider or the bike will be fully warmed up or acclimatised to the challenge. This will be the first occasion that the rear brake will be put under load and could be quite inconsistent due to it not being up to its operational temperature. This early downhill section quickly followed by the right hand turn through the two roundabouts at Quarter Bridge will present a tough initial challenge.

2: Ballaugh Bride - Mile marker 17 - The hump back bridge after such a long flowing section of road prior to it is a potential spoiler. The speed of the bike will need to be greatly reduced, and potentially a one of only a few gear changes will need to be made in order to have the required rear wheel control as the road sharply rises and then falls within just a few metres. After a successful pass, normal rolling speed will be resumed after having reselected top gear once again.

3: Ramsey Hairpin - Water Works - Gooseneck - Mile markers 24 to 25 - Following the right hand turn in Parliament Square the next mile or so is a very technical uphill section with a couple of tight corners. Subject to weather conditions, again it may be necessary to select a lower gear in order to safely navigate first the turn at Water Works and then the 180-degree Hairpin as the road continues to climb and which can be incredibly greasy if wet due to the trees overhead.

4: Verandah - Windy Corner - Mile markers 30 to 32 - From the recces to date this is the point at which the wind can really play its part if the weather turns bad. The open nature of this fast flowing section with no real protection from the wind coming in from the sea on the left hand side of the road is a real threat to a safe passage. This part of the course could prove to be really tough with the impact of such conditions only reducing after the aptly named Windy Corner.

5: Kate’s Cottage - Signpost Corner - Mile markers 34 to 36 - The descent from the mountain section is the longest downhill part on the course and is one of the most potentially demanding in terms of the strain that will be put on the rear brake. Careful attention will have to be paid to using the two braking systems in order to prevent the brakes overheating and failing as that would have catastrophic consequences, especially in terms of negotiating the sharp right hand bend at Signpost.

6: Governors Bridge - Mile marker 37 - Without doubt the final sequence of turns is by far the most technical on the course. The downhill approach turning right into the narrow section of leaf covered tarmac more commonly known as Governors Dip is both ultra-tight and off cambered. From the initial right hand-approach the normally unused section of road then immediately swings left and heads uphill before re-joining the famous Glencrutchery Road where the finish line tantalisingly awaits just a few hundred metres away from this potentially disastrous final obstacle.

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