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Fancy some riding over Christmas? Rapha launches Festive 500 challenge

Patches for first 100 cyclists who complete 500km, plus one will win Deep Winter Training Bundle

Providing proof, perhaps, that there may after all be a Father Christmas, upmarket cycle clothing brand Rapha is giving away a Deep Winter Training Bundle worth £325 to one lucky cyclist, but there is a catch – you’ll need to prove you’ve put in 500 kilometres over the Festive season to stand a chance of winning it.

That may sound a lot – well, there’s no getting away from it, it is a lot – but it’s only 33km longer than the first ever stage of the Tour de France in 1903, and bringing things more up to date, it’s half the distance that Rapha’s Graeme Raeburn rode in a week this time last year, but besides the prizewinner, the first 100 cyclists to demonstrate that they’ve met the challenge will get a limited edition patch, pictured above.

Called The Rapha Festive 500 – we feel that DJ John Peel, who listed one of his recreations in Who’s Who as cycling, and whose Festive 50 was an annual highlight for many music fans of a certain age, would approve – the task is to ride 500 kilometres between 23rd and 30th December.

The challenge is open to cyclists wherever they are in the world, which will make things a bit easier for our Antipodean cousins, but just think how much more satisfying it would be to have really suffered on roads in the depths of a British winter to win that patch.

As for proving you’ve actually done it, here’s what Rapha has to say: “We want you to submit any kind of hard visual evidence, whether it be photographic, Garmin data uploads, illustrations or divorce papers.”

We reckon that anyone submitting the latter should deserve to win not just the Deep Winter Training Bundle, which includes Rapha’s new Deep Winter Tights, Winter Jersey and Winter Hat, but the brand’s entire range and have a Rapha Condor Sharp team bike thrown in for good measure.

The winner of the prize will be the cyclist who provides “The most visually engaging or inspirational submission,” so get riding and let us know how you get on.

Entries can be made on the Rapha website by posting a link in the comments on this page to where you will be logging the evidence – that could be on a blog, Flickr, Map My Ride or your Facebook page – or you can upload pictures, words and video to Rapha’s Facebook wall or Twitter.

Don’t forget, if you’re putting those kilometres in and getting into three figures on individual rides, that also qualifies you for’s own Metric Century Challenge.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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