The Three Peaks Cyclo Cross, which is widely recognised as the toughest off-road cycle race in the world, takes place this Sunday from its familiar start and finish location at Helwith Bridge.

Commencing at 9.30am, the event, encountering more than 40 miles of arduous pedalling and bike humping and more than 5,000 feet of ascent and descent over the towering contours of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent, has attracted a mighty 670 entrants from across the British Isles and from eight different countries.

Among them are defending men’s champion Rob Jebb, himself bidding for a new record ten victories in the event.

But unfortunately missing will be the defending women’s champion, Skipton’s Victoria Wilkinson, due to her challenge in the Edale Skyline Fell Race which is a round of the English Fell Championships.

It was postponed when the course was snowbound on its originally scheduled date in March and frustratingly re-arranged to coincide with Sunday’s Three Peaks classic.