The Fred 2017

The Fred 2017

The Fred Whitton is a unique event and one that is on most cyclist's bucket list. It has a hypnotic effect upon cyclists that urges them to return each year to pit themselves against the roads of the Lake District. First timers are often filled with trepidation, questioning whether their ability, and training, will be enough to overcome the Challenge. This is, after all, the one certainty of the Fred Whitton - it is a challenge.

The pictures that follow document the day as it unfolded across 112 miles, telling the stories of the riders and the scenery along the route.

The Fred Whitton start village 5.30am Grasmere

Paul Loftus MBE. Event organiser.

Riders arriving from all around the UK

The Rotary Club running a smooth operation in the car-park.

Bikes arriving with their riders.

The Fred Whitton Challenge - is what it says on the banner.

The car-park is full of activity as riders go through their preparations.

Fix your numbers to the bike.

His four legged friend is not impressed!

Get a bacon buttie in you!

Bike ready! 2500 bikes, average £3000 = £7.5 million about to hit the roads.

Local cyclist and tri-athelete - keen to start his first Fred Whitton Challenge.

Teamwork will be essential.

Time to check in and complete the final preparations.

Final group signing in at 6am.

Human Race Events staff ensuring a smooth process.

Time for one last caffeine hit.

Emergency repairs thanks to the Saddleback mechanics.

Well if it's isotonic...

The start is ready for the riders.

"Right we'll keep our heads down until the top of Wrynose and then I'll lead you out for the sprint"

Time to start!

The Castelli Boys looking good.

Last instructions "Have a good ride and stay safe"

Away we go!

Kirkstone Pass awaits - a bitter headwind to battle against to reach the highest point in the event.

Wrap up well was the order of the day. This rider's reflective jacket bounced the flash straight back.

Weather conditions on Kirkstone Pass encouraged group riding (file 070917-3)

Lakes Road Club - Fred Whitton Challenge riding strongly on the front of a group.

Glossop Kinder Velo rider smiling in testing conditions.

Riders were filmed by Mediamotos.

"Fame will not change me - I intend to ride the 2018 event"

The weather did improve on Kirkstone - apart from that wind!

Our other photographer, Alastair, was on Newlands to capture the action on the timed climb.

Big smiles on Newlands Pass.

Strong climbing on the timed section of Newlands Pass.

Rider at the top of Newlands.

Hardknott Pass, one of the leading riders takes on the 33% incline.

11.45am Hardknott Pass - we don't know the story about this rider's right leg, some viewers might want to look away! He rode the entire Hardknott with a big grin. Hard as nails! (file 114521)

Still going strong - Medic! (file 115115-2)

11.52 First woman up the Hardknott Pass. (file 115246)

11.55 Hardknott Ramp all to yourself. (file 115508)

London Phoenix rider battling the road (file 124231-2)

Looks like it's going to be a close fought fight... (file 124232-2)

Phew! He just manages to stay upright and not impede the other rider.

This rider completed the course in 7 hours 10 minutes. (file 120345)

Go on dig deep! (file 120354)

Velo Club Cumbria/Team 13 rider aiming for the summit. (file 134145-2)

Rider smiling and/or grimacing his way up the Hardknott. (file 135331)

Actually we're fairly sure it's a smile! (file 135333-2)

Standing on the pedals. (file 132803-2)

Express yourself! (file 134847)

I'm loving it! Rider poses for the camera. (file 140456)

Only tandem on the Fred this year? (file 141841)

The real spirit of the Challenge, even when it's tough. (file 150949)

Some great beards on display this year. This rider is rocking it! (file 133839)

Best ensemble awarded to extreme adventurer and star of the Discovery Channel. file 135855-2)

This rider representing MacMillan Cancer completed the ride in 10 hours 4 mins. (file 152147)

Wheelie good effort!

"Could you look after this for me please?" (file 142735)

It is a stunning view. (file 132626-2)

Rider on the Hardknott. (file 161023)

Soft tar from the intense sun on the Harknott. Unusual, considering typical weather...

Hydration was critical in the heat of the afternoon. (file 121936)

This isn't going to end well. (file 145450)

Whoops! (file 145450-2)

Ouch! (file 145450-3)

Proving popular with clients, 12 high res treatments applied to a single image to give you a choice of look - sent to you on DVD or DropBox.


This rider, at 80 years of age, completed the course in 12 hours, chapeau!

Close to the summit of Newlands.

On the intermediate section of Hardknott Pass.

Hardknott hairpin soaked in the late afternoon sun!

In 2007 I rode my first Fred Whitton Challenge. The following year the lottery wasn't in my favour and I didn't get to ride. However, a colleague did. I grabbed my camera and headed for the Hardknott to lend my support. That year was the start of a ten year collaboration that led to me becoming the official event photographer. I've had the pleasure of working alongside the dedicated and eternally good natured organsisers of the Fred Whitton Challenge, and it has been an honour to watch the event grow into a world class event. Congrats to all this year's riders!

Steve and Matthew, Marian is hiding behind the camera.