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Struggle #Bringcourage

In 2016 we were linked into the guys who have now become intrinsically wedded to the hardest sportive in Yorkshire, The Struggle. Matt and Victoria have designed, delivered and indelibly inked a sportive on Yorkshire’s cycling calendar which is designed to test even the most hardened dyed in the wool Yorkshire cyclist, and those who show a penchant for cycling events which need real grit.
How did you get into riding? How long have you been riding?
My father is the Chairman of Glendene, one of the biggest cycling clubs in Essex. As soon as I could walk I was plonked on a bike and soon found myself racing at Eastway, the local circuit, against riders such as Bradley Wiggins and Tony Gibb. I caught Glandular Fever at a crucial time in my development from junior to senior, so focused on getting a degree in Leisure Management and Business. I’ve never stopped racing and now I’m proud to be the Team Manager of Yorkshire’s highest ranking race team. I’ve always been involved with putting on cycling event and races and it’s through this that I met my business partner Victoria and Struggle was born.
What’s your favourite route to ride?
Leaving Harrogate I’ll often ride into the Dales in a similar direction to the Struggle Dales route as it offers some of the best cycling roads in Yorkshire. I’ll head to Burnsall via Bolton Abbey and back via Appletreewick. The route has got a bit of everything; I like to test my form on the Skyeholme climb. If I’m with a group of lads we’ll then finish with through-and-off down a very fast section called Duck Street. It’s slightly downhill and you’re almost always guaranteed a tailwind. 
Post ride refreshment – coffee or beer?
I’m not a big drinker and I’m a real coffee lover. Victoria and I usually plan our cycling weekends away around searching out new coffee houses. However, when we’re on our training camp in Mallorca I can’t beat a refreshing post-ride lager top after a 100 miler. 
How would you describe Struggle to newbies?
Struggle are cycling events riders aspire to achieve. They are just over 100 miles long and take in Yorkshire’s most notorious climbs. They are not to be taken lightly but with prior training they are achievable for almost any ambitious road cyclist. I’d suggest starting with the Dales event and then working up to the Moors, which is a real climbing challenge for even the hardest of riders.
What motivated you to set up Struggle?
Firstly to encourage cyclists to pedal further, explore their capabilities and escape their comfort zone. Secondly, to showcase our beloved Yorkshire to the country as a beautiful, brutal and ultimately rewarding place to ride a bike. Thirdly, to put on events for cyclists – by cyclists; at Struggle HQ we’re passionate cycling and understand all the fine details needed for our riders to achieve their goals in the best possible shape – and enjoy the buzz of accomplishing it.
What’s Struggle got in store for 2018?
We’ve grown the events organically from 2016 and now believe them to be the best days out on the bike. This is reflected in our Facebook reviews which are all 5 stars and quote very kind words. Last year Struggle Dales sold out and this year we already have 3,000 people pre-registered for only 1,000 places so it’s set to be a big affair.
We launched our Moors event last year and that’s now got a reputation as one of the hardest UK cycling events, so we’re expecting word to spread as more and more hardy riders want to test themselves against the steep gradients. For 2018 we’re planning to create more of a community around the events with tips, advice, training tool and even reccy rides in the lead up. We’re excited to launch the new Paria kit. It looks awesome. It will be available to pre-order when entries open in November.
Cycling the new golf – good or bad?
Good obviously! We’re passionate about encouraging everyone to ride a bike. Outside Struggle Dales and Struggle Moors we organise corporate cycling days on behalf of companies looking to engage their clients or motivate their staff. We love hosting these events because cycling is a tough sport and it evokes camaraderie and teamwork, which allows us to help our clients build long-standing relationships. 

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