PokerStars Mountains Competition
Fight for the famous Polka Dots
Running concurrently with the Isle of Man Cyclefest Gran Fondo is the PokerStars Mountains Competition, with separate titles up for grabs for both the men and the women. The PokerStars King and Queen of the Mountains will be determined by the fastest rides over the three timed climbs of Druidale, Round Table and Injebreck. And keeping with tradition, our King and Queen will claim their respective Polka Dot Jerseys as part of the Cyclefest podium presentations. They will be hard earned!
Forget the ‘Killer Mile’, that’s just for starters! Druidale begins with a savage gradient and covers a full five miles with its vicious dips and troughs upsetting any rhythm. There’s no smooth Pyrenees-style tarmac here either, these are the toughest Manx lanes that have forged champions.
Overlooking the island’s stunning west coast, Round Table – the second of our timed climbs – is another hard test and a difficult one to gauge one’s effort. It’s more like three climbs in one, each hidden from full view, and with the last gradient proving to be a battle against the cumulative fatigue.
With the testy ascents at Rushen Mines, The Hope and Mount Rule in between, the final challenge of Injebreck will seem inhumane. It may be the shortest of the three, but it is widely regarded by Isle of Man folk as the hardest climb on an island full of them. No wonder then that it features in Simon Warren’s infamous book, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs.