3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross

Yorkshire, UK




Organised annual race


1 day


September (annually)

Difficulty rating


What is the 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross?

Fancy grabbing your bike, heading to the hills and getting muddy?


If so, this annual cyclo-cross challenge set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park could be just the ticket. It’s a mass start race taking in a magnificent and lung busting loop of the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent.

The route is 38 miles of which 34 miles are rideable. Just over half the race (20 miles) is off-road and if you complete the challenge you’ll climb around 5000 feet. The four unrideable miles are a lovely combination of steep climbs and energy-sapping bog.


Although, it’s not the longest course and doesn’t have the greatest height gain, it's truly one of the toughest cyclo-events going.


  • This is not your average cyclo-cross race. Even if you’re not competing, this event is a unique and inspiring spectacle that will most likely lead you to signing up for the next race.

  • It’s world famous and for good reason. It’s tough

  • It’s great fun and a bit crazy.

Quick facts

  • Distance: 38 miles (61km)

  • Road: 17.5 miles (28km)

  • Unsurfaced: 20.5 miles (33km)

  • Unrideable: 4-5 miles (6-8km) depending on experience and skill

  • Ascent: 5000ft (1254m)

  • Entry fee: £60

  • Fastest time: Rob Jebb (2hrs 52, 2008), Louise Robinson (3hrs 39, 2003)

  • Official website / Sign up here

Who can do it?

  • The event is open to everyone but you must have a cyclo-cross bike with drop handle bars (mountain bikes are not permitted).

  • This is a tough and challenging cyclo-cross event. You should be fit and a proficient cyclo-cross rider to take part. 

  • Expect to take between 3 hours (elite) and 6 hours to complete the course.        


What is cyclo-cross?

At a simple level, cyclo-cross is often described as mountain biking on a road bike, with unrideable sections that require you to run (walk). These sections are typically steep, rocky, craggy or extremely muddy. Cyclo-cross is typically less technical than mountain biking but does required strong handling skills and will involve riding on different terrains and surfaces. To find out more, take a look at this guide.

Have you done the 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross race? Are you a fan of cyclo-cross? Get in touch and let us know what you think.

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