The chal­lenges

Cycling Weekly - - Insider’s Guide -

1 Berry Bush

Never too steep, the gra­di­ent is a max­i­mum of six per cent, but at two and a half miles it drags on and on. Luck­ily the des­o­late beauty is enough to dis­tract you.

2 Witchy Knowe/ Swire

Heat trapped in a bowl cre­ated by the hill com­bines to make this 3km climb a real chal­lenge. Ramp­ing up as you ap­proach the top, the gra­di­ent ex­ceeds 12 per cent in places.

3 Paddy Slacks

The three-kilo­me­tre Paddy Slacks is the fi­nal climb of the Tour o’ the Bor­ders. How­ever, it only ex­ceeds five per cent in the open­ing me­tres, and its shal­low gra­di­ent makes it the eas­i­est of the day’s climbs, so go for it.

4 Wall of Talla

Ap­proach­ing along the shores of the Megget reser­voir in the heart of the Et­trick For­est, you’ll see the road snaking steeply up the side of the hill and a sign warn­ing of 20 per cent gra­di­ents con­firms the climb’s dif­fi­culty. It’s just over a mile in length with an av­er­age gra­di­ent of eight per cent. The first half of the climb is the steep­est sec­tion and lives up to its name as ‘the Wall of Talla’. As you cross the bridge over Talla Wa­ter, the road lev­els be­fore point­ing sky­ward once more but thank­fully the gra­di­ent is a more re­spectable seven per cent. Pace your­self as you’re barely half­way around the course.

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