Number 70 in the Hundred Greatest Climbs book, and this is a clear contender.
Starting in the middle of Macclesfield is not ideal, but, the road is a major route with a great surface. It’s never too steep. You never have to be out of the saddle on it. It even lets up with a couple of little downhill’s and a couple of “flattish” sections to let you recover and keep the push going.
It’s got bends. It’s got views.
It also has psychotic idiots on motorbikes (and I have gone over it on a motorbike, but not in a psychotic super-speed fit). This has eased since they “ruined” the road with the average speed cameras.
The biggest downside of the Cat, other than the start in Macc, is the fact it’s a 50 mile ride with some tough hills for me to get to the start 🙂