Proving that Phil Liggett has pulling power in the UK, the fourth annual staging of the CTC president's first 'Challenge' ride attracted over 1000 riders last weekend in the Peak District. It was Liggett's first bike ride since before the Tour de France but he finished the 'short', 100km ride with energy to spare.

Record numbers take part in Phil & Friends Ride

The ‘friends’ this year were 73-year old Brian Robinson, the first Brit in the Tour de France; author and Tour de France specialist Graham Fife (his latest book ‘The French Revolution’ has nothing to do with bikes, unlike most of his others); and Carlton Reid, editor of

The Challenge Ride series helps raise cash for CTC’s campaign work and the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, set up to defend and improve cyclists’ safety and legal rights.

The 100km or 150km routes took in famous climbs such as Holme Moss, Winnats Pass and Monsal Head, part of the route devised by Liggett for the Milk Races in the 1970s and due to be used again in the Leeds stage of this year’s Tour of Britain.

Liggett said: “Challenge Rides not only test all abilities but offer a chance to raise funds to make cycling safer for everyone. Record numbers have taken part this year and I would like to thank members of the West Yorkshire CTC District Association whose help made the day possible."

The youngest person to complete the gruelling 150km Phil and Friends route was 11-year-old Jodie Brumhead from Hull.

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