Cycling event round-up - the latest announcements
Jaguar Team Sky-themed rides + competition, Belgian cobbled classic in Cheshire and London Bikeathon for charity
Minus the occasional thunderstorm, the last few weeks have brought with them some of the most glorious weather for cycling.
You'll be pleased to know, then, that there's no shortage of great cycling events for you to take part in while the sunshine lasts.
One of the new aditions to the round-up is Jaguar's Team Sky-themed series of support car-accompanied rides which are currently rolling out from 33 dealerships all over the country. You'll even be in with a chance of attending the British team's winter training camp in Majorca, if you tag along.
We've also got a Belgium-themed cobbled sportive in Cheshire, and the London Bikeathon which is being run in aid of Leukemia and Lymphoma Research.
We'll add more events as we hear about them, but in the meantime you can check out our full events list here.
Blenheim Palace Sportive - August 17
The Blenheim Palace Sportive returns this summer, in partnership with aid and development charity, Oxfam, following a two-year financial hiatus.
The event, which rolls out from one of the UK’s most iconic stately homes, was scrapped in 2012 after it was decided that the event wasn’t financially viable.
The 2014 return of the event, which is now under the stewardship of Eiger Events - the sporting event promotion branch of music promotion company Kilimanjaro - will take in the Cotswold countryside with a 60 or 100 mile route on Sunday 17 August.
Participants in the sportive will have access to electronic timing, mechanical support, and feed stations while riding on the marked and marshalled course. An official event photographer will also be present to record the event.
A 10 km Family Fun Ride, within the Blenheim Palace grounds, will be on offer to friends and family who have come to support riders in the sportive. Those who decide to ride in the Fun Ride will also have access to the Blenheim Palace park and gardens.
Admission to the Family Fun Ride will cost less than standard admission to the Palace grounds, with prices starting at £6.00 for children over five, £9.00 for concessions and £11.00 for adults.
You can register for the sportive here. Standard entry is priced at £35, but there is an early-bird option of £30 entry if you book sharpish.
Alternatively, there is a £100 VIP option which includes, breakfast, lunch, a post-race massage, a goody bag and guaranteed first-wave departure so that you can enjoy the clear roads. The early-bird offer applies for the VIP entry too, which reduces the price to £90.
Follow the Blenheim Palace Sportive on Twitter for regular updates.
London Bikeathon 2014 - August 31
Claiming to be the UK’s largest charity bike ride, the London Bikeathon is due to take place on August 31.
This year, the ride is being run to support blood cancer charity, Leukemia and Lymphoma Research, and riders are asked to raise money to donate to the charity regardless which of the three routes they decide to take.
The routes range from the 26 mile and 52 mile routes which tour London’s most iconic landmarks to the 100 mile route which takes participants out the the Surrey Hills.
Food, music and family-friendly activities will be put on throughout the day, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole family along, even if they don’t want to join you on their bikes.
Hoy 100 - September 7
Join six-time Olympic gold medal winner Sir Chris Hoy on the Hoy 100 sportive this September.
The 100-mile, Pennine-crossing sportive will see cyclists, riding alongside Sir Chris, cover 3,350 meters of climbing which includes some of July’s Tour de France hills - such as Park Rash and Fleet Moss.
For those that don’t fancy the 100-mile route, there’s also a slightly kinder half-route available.
Both rides come with your standard sportive amenities, such as: pre and post-ride meals, a broom wagon for stragglers, electronic timing as well as downloadable GPS route-maps.
Participants will roll out of Skipton at 7.30am on September 7, with registration opening half an hour before.
Entry to the ride itself is priced at £35 per-adult, with children entries £7 a-head.
If you’d rather make a weekend of the event there’s the option to sign up for the Hoy Experience which will cost adults £70 and children £15. The experience will feature early-bird registration, overnight camping, a post-ride pasta party and a Q&A with Sir Chris.
The sportive is set to support the charity of Hoy’s choice: SAMH, Scotland's leading mental health charity. £7 of each entry will go to the charity to help them continue to do the work they’re doing.
Sign up is open now on the Evans Cycles website, here, and you can check out the 100-mile route below.
Tour de Broads - September 7
The Tour de Broads is going into its second year after a very successful 2013 edition which saw over 700 riders roll through the Norfolk countryside.
The 2014 edition is set to feature a brand new route as well as a celebrity special-appearance from Barry Hoban - the former holder of the British record for Tour de France stage victories (before Mark Cavendish came along) - who will join participants on the ride.
The event will roll-out from Weston Longville Village Hall, in the small village of Weston Longville just outside Norwich, and will feature three different routes for the varying abilities of riders expected to take part.
The actual routes are yet to be announced, but organisers Revolution Events say that information is due on the event website imminently. The Epic Ride is aimed at experienced and adventurous cyclists, covering 100 km and priced at £20, the Challenge Ride covers a more comfortable 50km and will cost participants £10 per entry.
For families that want to come along, but don’t feel up to a 50 km or 100 km ride, there is a free Family Ride available. Others who want to hang around, nearby camping pitches are £8 per tent or small motorhome.
You can book online through the British Cycling page for the event. If there are places available on the day, riders will be able to register on the door. This method of booking will incur a £3 surcharge however.
Cyclothon UK - September 11
Teams of cyclists are gearing up to tackle the 12 hour Cyclothon UK cycle challenge at Brands Hatch race circuit on September 11.
The event which is going into its fourth year will feature teams of amatuer riders and solo entrants taking on the gruelling 12 hour challenge alongside three teams of current and former professional athletes fighting for the Home Nations Trophy.
Organisers VU Ltd, former England rugby international Victor Ubogu’s hospitality company, introduced the Home Nations Trophy competition last year. The teams competing for that crown mostly consist of former rugby players, which should lead to a spicy competition.
For amateur entrants there is the choice of tackling the 12 hour challenge, or taking on the slightly easier 8 hour option - there will be prizes for the fastest solo riders and teams in each distance category.
Teams sizes range from 4-8 riders with prices starting at £1,000 rising to 2,000 for a full team of eight. But, if you’re interested in taking on the challenge on your own, it’ll only set you back £150.
Signing up is easy, and can be done online through the VU Ltd website.
Spectators will be welcomed free-of-charge, and are encouraged to make as much noise as possible to encourage the riders. Tickets for spectators can be secured by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’ll be all-day refreshments for riders, as well as a sit-down meal and awards ceremony at the end of the day. Pit lanes will be available for any on-the-fly repairs that may be required, too.
The 12-hour challenge is due to roll out at 7.30am, with the 8-hour ride heading out at 11.30am. Further details on the event can be found on the Cyclothon UK website, here.
Jaguar Ride Like a Pro - July 26 - September 14
Jaguar, the British car brand of Team Sky sponsorship fame, are offering one lucky rider the chance to fly out to Majorca with the British cycling team to take part in their winter training camp and ride with some famous faces.
To get involved in the Ride Like a Pro event you must attend one of 33 non competitive rides which are rolling out of Jaguar dealerships, from Inverness to Truro, between July 26 and September 14. The full list of dealerships and dates can be found, here.
You can sign up for a dealership ride-out via individual Jaguar dealership websites, the list of which you can find above. You’ll also be prompted to join each ride’s Strava group to confirm your registration.
The rides are non-competitive and you’ll be supported by a Jag in full Team Sky livery, just like those you see supporting the team on race days.
Once you’ve attended one of these events you’ll be entered into a draw for the chance to compete in the Grand Final, for which a date is yet to be announced.
At the Grand Final, cyclists from each of the 33 dealership rides will compete in a time trial and Jaguar XF Sportbrake driving challenge, for the chance to win the trip to Majorca.
Upon registration, cyclists will be given the non-compulsory opportunity to donate to the UK-based road safety charity, Brake, who are the events’ chosen charity.
65 Roses Holme Moss Classic - September 14
While the Tour de Yorkshire samples stage one of the Tour de France, two months down the line the 65 Roses Holme Moss Classic gives fans the chance to take two routes which feature much of the second British stage in this year’s Tour.
Star of the show for the 105-km route is Holme Moss climb which rises to a peak of more than 1,000 feet over a three-miles, averaging a 7 percent gradient. The 74-km ride avoids the Holme Moss climb altogether, though both routes start and end in Rotherham.
Online entry can be made through the 65 Roses Holme Moss Classic page on the British Cycling website, and costs £25 per rider for either route. The ride has been organised in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Sponsorship forms are available, but fundraising is not obligatory for the ride.
Velo29 Altura Sportive Series 2014 - September 27
The final event of the Velo29 Altura Cycling Events Sportive Series in North Yorkshire remains open to applicants.
White Horse Sportive – 27th September
The final race of the series will feature three routes from 43km to 110km in length. Tackling the White Horse of Kilburn summit, which maxes out at a brutal 25% gradient, will be the biggest challenge of the day for those taking on the toughest 'Long' route option.
More information for these events can be found here. Entry for the shorter two Endeavour sportives and the shortest White Horse Sportive course will cost £15. The prices of the more difficult three Endeavour sportives, including Le Tour de Moor, are set at £25 per person, while the Medium and Long White Horse Sportive course prices are set at £20 a-head.
Wiggle Yorkshire Tour - September 27
The Wiggle Yorkshire Tour offers cyclists a late-season chance to experience what Yorkshire has had to offer during this summer of cycling in the county.
The sportive is set to start at Thirsk Racecourse to then go on to link sections of the Grand Départ route with other quiet Yorkshire roads on three separate routes.
The event is set up for riders of all abilities, featuring 60 km, 127 km and 163 km route options. The shorter 60km route will cost entrants £20, while the longer two routes carry a £30 entry fee.
The event is one of many set to take place this year from event organisers UK Cycling Events. You can sign up and register for the Wiggle Yorkshire Tour online, via the UK Cycling Events website.
V-Sprint Cheshire Cobbled Classic - October 5
The North West of England is nominally the furthest point in the country from the hallowed cobbles of Belgium and their famous one-day Classics.
That hasn’t stopped V-Sprint, a cycling club based in Worcestershire, from organising their very own take on the cobbled Belgian races in Cheshire.
The Cheshire Cobbled Classic is pegged to be a rough 105km sportive, featuring 12 cobbled sectors, including two flat sections and five 20% gradient cobbled climbs - even visiting a climb called the Corkscrew which maxes out at an astonishing 45% gradient.
The route, which pops into the Peak District National Park, takes in the Goyt Valley and the Fernilee and Errwood reservoirs and features roughly 1800m worth of climbing in total.
The cobbles are just the start of the Belgian themed sportive, as Belgian foods, chocolates, and a glass of Belgian beer will be waiting for every finisher. Other sportive standards, such as feed stations, a broom wagon and medical support will also be provided.
For those who don’t fancy all 1.8km of climbing, there’s a shorter route on offer, of 65 km. This route is the same as the longer 105km ride, but skips sectors 5, 6 and 7, as you can see from the route’s profile, as well as the Goyt Valley.
Entry opens at the beginning of August, through the British Cycling website, and is priced at £25. So keep an eye here, or on the V-Sprint website for updates.