Toughest UK sportive The Monster set to accept entries

Entry opens on Sunday 1 June for 50 brave riders to tackle 4,200m of climbing over a 190km course

by Elliot Johnston   May 30, 2014  

The Monster, tipped to be the hardest sportive in the UK, is set start accepting entries this Sunday for 50 brave riders.

The circular course, which covers 190km and 4,200m of Welsh-heartland climbing, will roll out from Llangadog in the county of Carmarthenshire on Saturday August 30.

Willing participants can stake their claim to one of the limited places from 7pm on Sunday through cycling events company and The Monster organiser, A Cycling’s, website.

The organisers are advertising the event under the tag-line ‘something to rip your legs off’, and have declared their ride the toughest sportive in the UK, even claiming prominence over the Fred Whitton Challenge, in the Lake District, which put two participants in hospital earlier this month.

The numbers appear to stack up. The Monster trumps the Fred Whitton Challenge’s 180km and 3300m of climbing in both distance and height, also giving the 300km Wiggle Dragon Devil sportive’s 3,437m of climbing a run for its money.

If that’s not enough to convince you of the brutality of this sportive, the ride’s profile can be seen here.

Entrance to the event will set you back £26, but with that you should expect the standard sportive amenities such as route marking, a supplementary GPX navigation file and individual rider timing.

Upon completion of the event under the 10.5 hour time limit you will also receive a novelty t-shirt to celebrate your achievement.

If you can’t make it to the finish line, there’s no shame in it, A Cycling are expecting retirees and are running a broom wagon to follow the ride and sweep up any stragglers.

But, if you managed to tame The Monster and fancied more, or you’re just a stickler for punishment, your participation will grant you free entry to the following day’s Grimpée Mynydd Ddu.

So, are you brave enough? Enter on Sunday at www.acycling.com/tours/the-monster

17 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Any details of the route?

There are none on the website (that I can see).

posted by offshore_dave [38 posts]
30th May 2014 - 13:06

7 Likes

Well at £26 for 50 people, you can't accuse them of being in it for the big bucks.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3117 posts]
30th May 2014 - 13:18

15 Likes

Some of the tougher audax rides - for ascent. I don't think that raw ascent figures tell the whole story

Hard Boiled 300km - starts at 2am, 4400m ascent, uses horrible lanes. Here's my blog post on it from last year

Merse and Moors 300km - 4200m ascent

Porkers 400km - 5900m ascent

Kernow and SW 600 - 8200m ascent. Here's some photos of it from a couple of years ago

Swan with Two Necks 600 - 8000m ascent

Mae Mr Pickwick...600km - 9500m ascent

There's also a 1300km ride in Scotland with nearly 18000m of ascent but that's more like a multiday tour

You can find details of all these at http://www.aukweb.net/events/

vorsprung's picture

posted by vorsprung [291 posts]
30th May 2014 - 14:22

10 Likes

Coast to coast in a day (http://www.opencycling.com/) is 150mi/240km and ~4500m ascent.

Really well organized too

posted by 3cylinder [61 posts]
30th May 2014 - 14:29

5 Likes

Do they measure climbs differently in the UK or something?! In Italy a 200k ride with 4000m climbing include 2-3 proper mountains and a big hill.... quite how they can amass the same in the uk in the same distance I don't get...

posted by sethpistol [29 posts]
30th May 2014 - 19:12

6 Likes

Blimey, all people do is whinge on here. How about some positive reaction to a guy trying to do something a little different. The offer of the 2nd event on day two for example or the delivering your personal refuel packs to drink stops for you...

Makes a change not to see the likes of wiggle cashing in on 2000+ riders for twice the price in it for the bottom line profit.

posted by Cliffg [4 posts]
30th May 2014 - 19:53

18 Likes

If the size of the food drop box wasn't limited, I'd be up for it Smile

posted by Metjas [283 posts]
30th May 2014 - 21:11

6 Likes

Those pics look very much like the Abergwesyn mountain road to Tregaron (including the Devils Staircase). i.e. the middle 150km of the 300km 4950m Yr Elynedd Audax, which returns via the mountain road to Rhayader. And as that is held annually in the usually foul weather of early April, I'd have to think about which would be tougher... Confused

andybwhite's picture

posted by andybwhite [188 posts]
30th May 2014 - 23:33

3 Likes

The Ace 250 in the Australian southern highlands is 6700 metres over 250 km.

http://app.strava.com/activities/109000864

posted by jim sheedy [2 posts]
30th May 2014 - 23:42

3 Likes

Not quite the Bowland Badass is it?

posted by CheshireCat [4 posts]
30th May 2014 - 23:50

4 Likes

This Lake District sportive on 29th June has to be in the running too. 4000m in 91 miles including all the iconic Lakeland climbs. It also accepts more than 50 entries! http://www.seismic-events.co.uk/tourofthehighpasses.html

posted by Oakesy [2 posts]
30th May 2014 - 23:54

6 Likes

You don't need an organised ride to do huge distance and vertical ascent, just motivation and a map. Don't let folk tell you where to ride, find out for yourself.

posted by Beaufort [150 posts]
31st May 2014 - 1:09

6 Likes

Beaufort wrote:
You don't need an organised ride to do huge distance and vertical ascent, just motivation and a map.
I agree. I find the big fun of organised rides over just getting out on the road is other people - riders, random people we meet along the way - not the ride itself. Props to the organisers on this one, looks fun, and more a rider's ride than a commercial thing.

posted by Argos74 [289 posts]
31st May 2014 - 6:59

4 Likes

Quote:
Do they measure climbs differently in the UK or something?! In Italy a 200k ride with 4000m climbing include 2-3 proper mountains and a big hill.... quite how they can amass the same in the uk in the same distance I don't get...

Lots and lots of hills.

posted by mattpage [5 posts]
31st May 2014 - 8:45

3 Likes

Argos74 wrote:
Beaufort wrote:
You don't need an organised ride to do huge distance and vertical ascent, just motivation and a map.
I agree. I find the big fun of organised rides over just getting out on the road is other people - riders, random people we meet along the way - not the ride itself. Props to the organisers on this one, looks fun, and more a rider's ride than a commercial thing.

Agreed - sportives can be over-rated but the social aspect is a pull factor. A better option in my opinion is to join a local cycling club and do weekend rides (with those all-important halfway cakes stops!)

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

goggy's picture

posted by goggy [92 posts]
31st May 2014 - 16:44

2 Likes

It's a shame that bike rides feel they have to market themselves on how hard you're supposed to have to be to do them rather than the beauty and tranquility of the countryside for example. It looks really lovely in those photos but look at the comments on this forum, it's like a cycling version of the four yorkshiremen sketch; 'you only climbed 3,000 metres today, you were lucky, I ride to work at the top of K2, and I come home for my lunch!' . There's more to cycling than w##king over your garmin you know.

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [127 posts]
31st May 2014 - 17:10

4 Likes

Website for it is down ? Sad

posted by fenix [14 posts]
1st August 2014 - 17:21

0 Likes