If like me, January is the month that you start to set your goals for the year ahead, then you might be considering entering your first cycling event. Sportives have become very popular over the last few years. The challenge of riding a long distance, over challenging terrain appeals to a lot of cyclists. Read on to discover 7 Sportives that you should try this year.
1. Evans RideIt! Gatwick
Date : 10th February – Entry Link
Route Options: Fun Route 12 miles, Short Route 30 miles, Medium Route 50 miles, Long Route 70 miles.
An early season ride through the towns and villages of West Sussex including a ride through Ashdown Forest. Excellent organisation, a fully signed route, and well stocked feed stations are highlights of all of the Evans RideIt! series of events.
2. Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive
Date : 13th/14th April – Entry Link
Route Options: Standard 59 miles, Epic 87 miles
Run over 2 days, this is one of the biggest early season Sportives. This event has been voted one of the UK’s top 10 Sportives and takes place in the outstanding New Forest National Park. You benefit from quiet roads, stunning scenery and a relatively flat route. Excellent feed stations and a fully signed route await participants on this event.
3. Somerset Hills Grand Fondo
Date : 5th May – Entry link
Route Options: Picollo Fondo 86k, Medio Fondo 134k, Grand Fondo 192k
A real challenge taking in the epic Cheddar Gorge, the Mendip Hills and the Quantocks. The routes are full of testing climbs – 7500ft on the Grand Fondo – as well as many sharp descents.
[See also: 35 of the Best London Cycle Routes]
4. The MITE London Revolution
Date : May 18th/19th – Entry Link
Route Options : Day One 101 miles, Day Two 84 miles, or complete both
Fancy something a little more adventurous? This event takes in a 185 mile circuit of London over 2 days starting from the Excel Centre. Day One takes riders north through Epping Forest and west in to the stunning Chilterns. After an overnight camp at Windsor racecourse, where entertainment and food will be laid on, day 2 sees riders attempt parts of the Olympic road race course including the iconic Box Hill. A crossing of Tower Bridge and return to the start point close the loop.
5. Wiggle Surrey/Sussex Scramble
Date: 2nd June – Entry Link
Route Options: Standard 75 miles, Epic 100 miles
Attempt a century (imperial or metric) on the best roads and climbs the North and South Downs have to offer. A lumpy rather than hilly circuit ensures a fast and flowing ride. The June date should give the best chance of decent weather too!
6. Cycling Weekly Box Hill Original
Date: 13th October – Entry Link
Route Options : Short 44 miles, Standard 90 miles, Epic 103 miles
A sportive taking in 3 of the UK’s top 100 climbs including the Olympic road race climb of Box Hill. The event starts from Epsom race course and takes you on a circuit through the varied landscape of the Surrey Hills and the North Downs. This is a great late season event to cap off your year. This event is is very popular, exceedingly well organised and certainly presents a substantial challenge of fitness.
7. Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive
Date: 1st December Entry Link
Route Options : Standard 43 miles, Epic 63 miles
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should hang up your helmet. This sportive provides a great bit of motivation to keep going and allows you to explore the enchanting Isle of Wight. Ferry travel is included and the route takes in the best hills that the island has to offer – often allowing sea views in both directions from the top. Mince pies and hot drinks await you at the well stocked feed stations on the route. Traffic is typically light and the route options are shorter to reflect the limited hours of daylight at the time of year.
Read on: How to ride your first Sportive
Leave a comment below – Have you ever ridden a Sportive?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.