Possibly one of the Toughest Mountain Time Trials on the CTT Calendar. The Teesdale Mountain Time Trial takes riders through the stunning countryside of Teesdale into Weardale travelling from Barnard Castle to Stanhope and then back over to Barnard Castle.
With its reputation of being one of the toughest time trials in the country, it attracts riders from nationwide to come and test themselves against each other and the elements. The circuit leads right across the North Pennines, it’s one of a few ‘mountain’ time trials that actually earns its name and feels particularly alpine. Being fairly early in the season the wide open, exposed summit tops can be susceptible to unpredictable weather. At approx. 42 miles long, with over 1500m of ascent and some hills with a gradient of 25% on the steepest sections, it has a profile that is worthy of its reputation.
From the Red well Garage, The course is uphill from the start, working your way up to Folly Bank for the first fast decent of the day leading you round the outskirts of Eggleston. Once through Eggleston you climb up the main road towards Middleton in Teesdale.
Just as you think the climbing has stopped for a while, the course turns right and heads up Carlonin, the first steep climb of the day before turning right and heading down to Middle End Farm. From here you join the road to Stanhope and climb up to the highest point on the course (Bollihope Common) for the first time. Now there is a long, fast decent down the other side and into the quarry bottom after dodging the hairpin at the bottom of the decent. Once in the bottom there is a sharp steep climb up to the top of Unthank Bank where the descend starts into Stanhope watching out for Cattle grids and sharp, steep switchbacks.
Once over the level crossing, there is a 4 mile undulating route which takes you up to Eastgate, across the river and back down past Horsley Hall. Once pas the hall, you come out of a junction leading back towards unthank bank. Get over the railway tracks and the climb begins, up through the steep switchbacks and then up a long drag to the top. Once at the top there is a short steep decent to just catch your breath before climbing up over Bollihope again. Once over Bollihope, it’s downhill and flat before a slight incline into Eggleston before climbing up Folly Bank on the road back to Barnard Castle. Once over here its 5 miles of flat and descending with a few sharp clicks thrown in for good measure before arriving back at the finish line just before the starting point at The Red Well.