‘The UK’s ultimate one-day challenge’ – Cycling Weekly
Got the Jersey?
The official Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge Jersey is available to purchase
The Fred Whitton Sportive takes you past some of the most breath-taking scenery in the UK
Important Information for 2020
We have had a problem with our ride date for 2020, the government changed the date of the May day Bank Holiday from the Monday to the Friday of our weekend, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the ending of WWII, this caused a few problems for us with the road closures we have, and with the accommodation for the 2,500 riders and staff,
After a lot of negotiating with all parties involved, we have decided on a new date for 2020, the Date for 2020 is now
Sunday 7th June
After 2020 we will revert to our normal date – The first Sunday after the May Bank Holiday Monday. Sorry for the inconvenience this may cause but this was the only suitable date available to us and saved us cancelling the event.
Full details of how to enter for 2020 will be on our website at the
start of December, there are a few different ways to enter and all will be explained then.
The Fred Whitton Challenge is one of the most popular sportives in the UK and is also famed as being particularly difficult. Riders rank it alongside European events such as the Marmotte in terms of difficulty.
The ride is a real challenge and everyone who completes it has a true sense of achievement. The Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge is a charity event in honour of the late Fred Whitton who was a great advocate for cycle sport in Cumbria and North Lancashire. It is with respect to Fred and his ideals that the event remains just that, ‘a challenge’. Fred, who died aged just 50 in 1998, was an extremely popular member of the Lakes Road Club.
The Fred Whitton Challenge consists of a 112 mile sportive around the Lake District, starting at Grasmere and taking in climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott & Wrynose passes.
The very top riders complete the route in just under six hours but eleven hours and over are not uncommon for the average Sportive rider. This is a very tough route and going on rider feedback the hardest one day ride in the UK, the event includes all the Lakeland passes, one with a 30% gradient and this comes at 98 miles.
NEXT EVENT IS SUNDAY 7th JUNE 2020
There’s an excellent description of the 2018 ride from Ollie Bridgewood from Cycling Weekly. Ollie completed the ride in under 6 hours (one of only three riders to do so), on a slightly longer course–including the Blea Tarn climb and the whole of Great Langdale. He made a great video of the ride too. A big thanks from all at The Saddleback Fred Whitton. You can see the video here.
Big Night Out The Saddleback Fred Whitton Challenge next big event, Thursday 4th July 2019 Join us for our annual Presentation Night the Lakes social event of the year a 30-mile ride around Coniston Water starting from the Square in the village of Broughton-in-Furness at 6.30 pm and afterwards at…
posted under: Charities
20th Fred Whitton Challenge After 20 years of the ride, The Fred Whitton Challenge reached a significant milestone in its history, with the tremendous help of the riders and the surplus on the event, the ride has now reached a total of One Million Pounds raised for its main charity…
In this year our Twentieth year The Fred Whitton Challenge is teaming up with Power To Weight professional online cycling coaching, offering all riders a free training plan. Power To Weight Power To Weight will be creating a free 12 week plan, designed specifically for the Fred Whitton Challenge. This…