Cycling event round-up - the latest announcements

Jaguar Team Sky-themed rides + competition, Belgian cobbled classic in Cheshire and London Bikeathon for charity

by Elliot Johnston   July 30, 2014  

Last year's Jaguar Ride Like a Pro winner (image via Fusion Media)

Minus the occasional thunderstorm, the last few weeks have brought with them some of the most glorious weather for cycling.

Fortunatley, in this weather there's no shortage of great cycling events for you to take part in, though there may be a shortage of sunshine.

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.

 

The Brekland Devil - August 3

Based in Thetford in East Anglia, The Brekland Devil offers three sportive routes for riders of a range of abilities, all within easy reach of London, the South East and the Midlands.

Red Kit Events will run the show, but unlike their events in Wales, the Norfolk sportive does not offer the same diverse terrain to its Welsh counterparts.

The 195 km route, which is the longest available, may not match the severity or the number of climbing kilometers found in the Fred Whitton Challenge or The Monster sportive but, in arguably the flattest part of the country, it does manage to wring out 1160 metres of climbing.

The slightly kinder 130km route has 724 meters of climbing on offer, while the shortest 92km route climbs a total of 448 meters. The shortest route has one feed station to keep riders fueled up, while the middle-distance ride has two, and the longest three feed stations.

Standard sportive amenities are available. A goody bag with bits and bobs from event sponsors like as Muc-Off and Continental tyres will  be available, electronic timing and downloadable gpx files will also be provided, riders in need will recieve mechanical assistance and once you've finished the challenge you'll be rewarded with a sportive medal.

If you book before July 6, via the Red Kite Event website, entry will only cost you £25, any time after that you'll have to shell out £30. Entry on the day is not available.

 

Wiggle Haywards Heath Howler - August 3

The West Sussex Wiggle Haywards Heath Howler sportive is coming into its fifth year, and as a special offer, those who sign up for the event before June 8 will recieve a free High 5 nutrition pack worth £12.

The Howler features three seperate routes for riders to take, depending on their ability. The Epic route features 164km of beautiful Sussex scenery and an elevation gain of 2400m while the slightly kinder Standard route covers 114km with an elevation gain of 1782m. Both of these rides cost £30 per entry.

If your legs aren't quite up to the challenge, there's an easier Short option, which will only set you back £20, and covers 74km and rises 1102m over the course.

Entry can be made via the Wiggle Haywards Heath Howler website.

 

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 info@vultd.co.uk.

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.

18 user comments

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Brilliant, I'll just hop in the time machine and ride the old cx sportive...

posted by geargrinderbeard [32 posts]
11th March 2014 - 13:43

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Great to see so many events coming to Norfolk. Spoiled for choice this year with Wiggle and Evans events also on the calendar late in the season.

posted by grahamdenny [58 posts]
18th March 2014 - 14:42

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Quick plug for an event local to me...
http://chilterncyclingfestival.com/
Sunday 13th July

posted by andym999 [16 posts]
28th March 2014 - 12:32

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Given our efforts to reassure the public (and the legislators) that sportives aren't competitive, I nearly choked on my gel.

"sportive stage race complete with GC and KOM jerseys"
"competitive series of sportives"
"for those of you who have dreamed of winning"
"General Classification and the King of the Mountains"
"genuine, professional stage-race feel"
"compete for race jerseys"

Ok, I know it's exciting and popular and all that, but if sportive organisers openly encourage riders to "compete", on public roads, you can be sure that tighter regulation will ultimately follow, possibly leading to a reduction in all sorts group cycling activity, and certainly making proper races (and charity rides) more difficult and expensive to promote. It's all getting a bit silly.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

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posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
28th March 2014 - 16:20

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Neil753 wrote:
Given our efforts to reassure the public (and the legislators) that sportives aren't competitive, I nearly choked on my gel.

"sportive stage race complete with GC and KOM jerseys"
"competitive series of sportives"
"for those of you who have dreamed of winning"
"General Classification and the King of the Mountains"
"genuine, professional stage-race feel"
"compete for race jerseys"

Ok, I know it's exciting and popular and all that, but if sportive organisers openly encourage riders to "compete", on public roads, you can be sure that tighter regulation will ultimately follow, possibly leading to a reduction in all sorts group cycling activity, and certainly making proper races (and charity rides) more difficult and expensive to promote. It's all getting a bit silly.

+1

We all ride to set as fast a time as possible on some section or other, but this does move it onto another notch. It's either a competition with a prize at the end, i.e. a jersey or a sportive with a finishing gift.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [284 posts]
28th March 2014 - 16:28

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Neil753 wrote:
Given our efforts to reassure the public (and the legislators) that sportives aren't competitive, I nearly choked on my gel.

"sportive stage race complete with GC and KOM jerseys"
"competitive series of sportives"
"for those of you who have dreamed of winning"
"General Classification and the King of the Mountains"
"genuine, professional stage-race feel"
"compete for race jerseys"

Ok, I know it's exciting and popular and all that, but if sportive organisers openly encourage riders to "compete", on public roads, you can be sure that tighter regulation will ultimately follow, possibly leading to a reduction in all sorts group cycling activity, and certainly making proper races (and charity rides) more difficult and expensive to promote. It's all getting a bit silly.

Oh dear.

For once I agree with Neil753. Surprise

It still amazes me that people pay money to ride on roads that they can use very day of the year for free. If all the profit were to go to charity then I could see the sense but these are mainly commercial ventures.

Now I'm beginning to sound like a socialist, must go and lie down in a darkened room.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [589 posts]
28th March 2014 - 16:32

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Neil753 is right.

Sportives are not races, and the rules concerning racing on the public highway and sportives are different.

At a time where police in some areas will not allow sportives if there will be a published result in order by time this is likely to run into difficulty.

To be honest I don't really care if it damages the sportive industry but it would be a disaster if it damaged road racing.

And before anyone jumps in and says how good sportives are for the racing scene I'd just point out that our current crop of race winners on the international scene (Swift, Cavendish, Thomas, Kennaugh, Wiggins and Stannard) didn't get where they are by riding sportives.

Shay

posted by shay cycles [211 posts]
28th March 2014 - 18:55

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Just to add to what I have already said earlier in this thread, I think it's worth looking at what "British Cycling" says about events that come under their auspices:

"Organisers (of sportives) are not permitted to introduce any competitive element. That includes not being allowed to rank finishers in time order, who instead can be listed alphabetically, nor can prizes be awarded to those completing the course in the quickest times".

So promoting a series of sportives as a "stage race", with a "professional stage-race feel", and with prizes for GC and KOM seems to be raising two fingers at British Cycling, frankly. There's nothing wrong with the challenge of a sportive, and comparing your time with your mates', but we absolutely must maintain the distinction between a sportive and a race.

Why?

Because we're already struggling to keep races on UK roads, and it's a concession that could so easily be revoked if backed by sufficient numbers of drivers and residents who don't share our love of cycling. I'm not saying this because I'm against sportives, I'm saying it because I think this alarming creep towards sportives becoming "races" is in danger of causing real, long term harm to organised cycling and, ultimately, our efforts to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
28th March 2014 - 19:36

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Quick Plug for an event starting at the end of my road in Stafford: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/104306/St-Leonards-Cycl... all the profit goes to the local School, where the ride starts.

posted by Bokonon [20 posts]
4th June 2014 - 21:24

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''It still amazes me that people pay money to ride on roads that they can use very day of the year for free. If all the profit were to go to charity then I could see the sense but these are mainly commercial ventures''

do you understand why people go to the cinema when they could watch a dvd at home, or go to a restaurant when they could get a takeaway, or go for a walk or jog in the park when they could do laps of their own garden, or run marathons - it's a shared experience, being with others, lots of others even - is there nothing you prefer to do with other people instead of on your own sometimes?

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posted by Northernbike [121 posts]
4th June 2014 - 22:38

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Shameless plug for a local event to me...
http://www.nationalroadchamps.co.uk/the-sportive/
Children under 16 can ride the one sportive free. Also the National TT and Road Champs, the Welsh National Crit and the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling all in the space of one week - 23-29 July!

Nice touch Drive!

dickydrink72's picture

posted by dickydrink72 [37 posts]
4th June 2014 - 23:53

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Northernbike wrote:
is there nothing you prefer to do with other people instead of on your own sometimes?

They will be queuing up for suggestions to that one Laughing

posted by stuartp [53 posts]
5th June 2014 - 13:09

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Shameless plug for a rider-friendly site: http://www.pedalplanner.co.uk/event-finder/ is a great place for searching cx, mountain biking and other events including off road orienteering...

BillyV

posted by bumsonbikes [19 posts]
9th June 2014 - 16:06

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Neil753 wrote:
Given our efforts to reassure the public (and the legislators) that sportives aren't competitive, I nearly choked on my gel.

Neil, you said you were leaving this forum and never posting again. But you have surfaced again from underneath your bridge two months later. Your hypocrisy was inevitable. Welcome back.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1191 posts]
17th June 2014 - 23:35

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The post of his you're replying to is more than two months old...

posted by David Portland [88 posts]
18th June 2014 - 13:19

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David Portland wrote:
The post of his you're replying to is more than two months old...

Ha, I see what happened there. I should feel foolish, but if it means that that obnoxious victim-blaming troll has really gone, it was worth it.

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1191 posts]
18th June 2014 - 22:49

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If the Cheshire cobbled classic is anything like the tour of the black country V Sprint put on it'll be awesome!

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posted by glynr36 [285 posts]
30th July 2014 - 15:48

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As usual the Northeastern events go unmentioned.

Wiggle Hell of Hexham 9th August, 100 miles 10000 ft of Pennine and unlike the shorter, less steep, more expensive estate Pennines you can turn up on the day. The closed roads don't make much difference in the North Pennines.

I'll be doing Bike for Bobby, on the 3rd, 125 miles from St James aka Sports Direct Stadium up past Keilder to the Scottish Border.

posted by Initialised [107 posts]
30th July 2014 - 20:48

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