Riders approach the summit of Pen-y-ghent in the mist and gloom

Riders approach the summit of Pen-y-ghent in the mist and gloom

A record winner of one of cycling’s most gruelling events regained his crown today after ceding the title last year.

Yorkshireman Rob Jebb won the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross Race in difficult conditions with driving winds and heavy rain lashing the hills on which the event is run.

Jebb’s ninth win in 3hrs 09mins 21secs on the 61km (38-mile) course came with a 10-minute margin over his Team Hope Factory Racing colleague Paul Oldham.

Last year’s winner Nick Craig was more than 15 minutes behind Jebb at the Helwith Bridge finish, though he did take the veterans’ prize.

Conditions under-wheel and foot were heavy for riders

Conditions under-wheel and foot were heavy for riders

First woman back was Victoria Wilkinson of Team JD Cycles Ilkley, in 47th place with a time just shy of four hours.

Rob Jebb is no stranger to the Yorkshire Three Peaks, with four wins in the running race under his belt in addition to his record nine cyclo-cross wins.

The course involves the ascent, with cyclo-cross bikes only – mountain bikes are banned – of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent, with extensive road sections between the hills.

Rob Jebb is a veteran of the Three Peaks Race on foot as well as on wheels

Rob Jebb is a veteran of the Three Peaks Race on foot as well as on wheels

About 28km of the route are on road, with 33km unsurfaced. Between 6 and 8km are unrideable and bikes have to be carried or pushed.

There is a total of 1,524m (5,000ft) of ascent.

There were 512 finishers in the event, with Ed Edwards crossing the line in last place with a time of 6hrs 55mins 39secs.

The race was first won in 1961, with John Rawnsley winning a shorter course in a time of 3hrs 21mins.

Members of the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team, who were manning a checkpoint on Pen-y-ghent’s summit, recorded a wind speed of 50mph (80kph) during the afternoon.

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