King of the mountains challenge at Whitwell

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RUTLAND cyclists can pit themselves against the top Tour de France riders with a special challenge at Rutland Cycling at Whitwell.

A race simulator - cycling’s equivalent to a treadmill - offers riders the final 3km of the Col du Tourmalet mountain stage of the epic race.

Dan Murtagh, at Rutland Cycling said: “Using one of our top quality road bikes and the latest Turbo Trainer technology, we are able to recreate the climb using large monitors with real footage, giving the most realistic experience of climbing the Tourmalet without leaving the area.

“The best time posted during July will win a superb pair of Oakley sunglasses – the same model as worn by Mark Cavendish in this year’s tour.”

Riders have already been tackling the slopes on the simulator, with the fastest time set at 10.23 and the slowest a more gentle 25.24. But, with prizes at stake, the competition remains wide open until the end of the Tour de France itself.

Director of Rutland Cycling, and a veteran of climbing the Tourmalet Paul Archer added: “It is amazing to be able to pedal a Pyrennean road without actually leaving Rutland.”

To take part in the Tourmalet challenege costs a minimum £1 donation towards the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.