A CYCLIST has died after losing control of his bike on a notoriously dangerous hill which attracts riders from across the North.

The 38-year-old man had been descending the Red Brae Bank section of Greenhow Hill, in the Yorkshire Dales, which features gradients of up to 19 per cent over 1.8 km and tight bends, alongside a friend when he crashed into a stone wall, at 4pm on Friday (July 10).

A motorist stopped at the scene, on the B6265 between Greenhow, one of the highest villages in Yorkshire, and Pateley Bridge, to help the cyclist as emergency services were alerted, but minutes later paramedics found the cyclist, from Lancashire, had died of his injuries.

VIDEO: Showing how dangerous Greenhow hill can be

Police closed the road - which is ridden by about 8,000 coast to coast Way of the Roses cyclists annually and many club riders in time trials - for several hours as accident investigators examined the scene.

Officers issued an appeal to with anyone who spoke to the cyclists, who were carrying high-visibility rucksacks and riding a blue Carrera mountain bike and a red Raleigh cycle, at the nearby Toft Gate Barn Café.

Police are also keen to trace a woman who stopped at the scene to assist, who is believed to have been driving a small blue car. 

The incident comes less than two years after an inquest found a police detective inspector on a charity ride of the 170-mile route had been descending the hill too fast before he crashed into a tree and sustained fatal injuries. 

North Yorkshire County Council's road safety team has examined Greenhow Hill and found cyclists' concentration may lapse during the long descent due to a plateau in the midsection, that it was difficult to keep speed down and there was potential for drifting across the road into oncoming traffic on tight bends.

The study concluded that while the seven warning signs and slow road markings were in the best positions, once riding down the hill, looking at the signs was distracting and the bends were difficult to judge due to the road passing in and out of shady woodland.

Amid mounting concerns and other cyclists crashing on the hill, a publicity campaign was launched to inform cyclists of its dangers, while the council, police and cycling groups undertook to monitor the route.

Witnesses to the crash and the woman who stopped at the scene should call police on 101 or email MCIT@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk