If you plan to make any New Years Resolutions, you’ve probably done it by now. However, as well as the exciting things you could do by bike in 2014, but there are some amazing events taking place in the UK that you could be a part of.
Here are some of the top cycling attractions coming to London and surrounding areas this year:
The Women’s Tour in Britain – 7th to 11th May
This event is arguably a victory for the growing women’s cycling scene. Though it may not live up to the hopes of those requesting the revival of a women’s Tour de France, it’s a step in the right direction.
The five day event will feature stages from Oundle to Northampton, Hickley (near Leicester) to Bedford, whilst stage three will begin in Essex, the fourth stage will go from Cheshunt (Laura Trott’s home town) to Welwyn Garden City and stage 5 will go from Harwich Bury to St Edmonds in Suffolk.
Ranked by the UCI as a 2.1 event, this series is comparable to the Tour of Britain, which will take place in September, and is organised by the same company, SweetSpot.
Exact details of routes will be announced early this year, and it looks like Londoners wanting to get close to the action are best placed looking to get to Cheshunt of Welwyn for Saturday, 10th May to see exactly how exciting and aggressive women’s racing can be.
London Nocturne – 7th June, 2014
This event is held at the Smithfield Market, and it has something for everybody, however cliché that might sound.
Elite criterium races attract riders such Hannah Barnes, Laura Trott, and Movistar’s Alex Dowsett who last year came second to Tom Scully of Team Raleigh.
However, if pro racing isn’t your scene, there are also domestic races – and aside from that the event also hosts the infamous folding bike race, a penny farthing race, and longest fixie skid challenge.
Whilst the competitors, be they handlebar moustached farthing riders or pro racers, get busy – visitors can enjoy the of food and drink stands, a bike expo full of usually kwirky looking contraptions, and the general atmosphere created around seeing a huge variety of riders sharing one event.
To find out more, visit: http://www.londonnocturne.com
Tour de France Grand Depart – 5th to 7th July 2014
Admittedly, the first two stages are quite a trek from the capital – but though the tour last visited London in 2007, it has never been to the North of England – so the crowds gathered there will be celebrating a moment in history..
On Saturday 5th, stage 1 will start in Leeds, navigating a 190km loop back round to Harrogate where the first stage winner will take the yellow jersey. The following day, the peloton will start a new journey in York, to ride 200km through Skipton (hilly – I’ve ridden there!),Cragg Vale, and back to Sheffield.
Most excitingly for Londoners, is stage 3 – which starts in Cambridge, heads down to Chelmsford, and finishes at The Mall, in London. All the info you need on this stage is here: http://www.letour.2014stage3.com/
Tour of Britain – 7th to 14th September 2014
This year will see this week long event take on its eleventh year. The tour series team win went to Sky Pro Cycling last year, with Sir Bradley Wiggins pulling a general classification win out the bag towards the end of not-his-best-season-ever.
Graded as a 2.1 event by the UCI, the Tour of Britain pulls in the big pro teams, such as Sky, as well as UCI classified ‘continental teams’, where riders can be professional or amateur, such as IG Sigma Sport and Rapha Condor JLT.
Last year the tour visited Scotland, Cumbria, Knowsley, Stoke-on-Trent, Wales, Devon and Surrey, before finishing in London. Stages for this year and yet to be announced, but will appear here when they are revealed.
Are there any other events you plan to go and see? If you’re looking for an event where you can get involved and ride yourself, check out our post on London’s Best Cycling Events.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.