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Rapha Festive 500 returns for 12th year – are you up for the challenge?

Annual challenge to ride 500km from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve is back – 65,000 riders completed it last year

It’s December, and besides the usual seasonal shenanigans, for thousands of cyclists around the world – including many readers – that means one thing, the Rapha Festive 500 is coming.

Now in its 12th year, the challenge is simply to ride 500 kilometres (311 miles in old money) over eight days from 24-31 December, although you can do it in less time if you want – Matt Page, for example, knocked it off in just 19 hours on Christmas Eve last year.

> Matt Page smashes the Rapha Festive 500... in one day, on Christmas Eve

More than 65,000 cyclists globally completed the challenge, which is hosted on Strava, during 2020 – and for those who finish, you’ll get the prized Festive 500 finisher’s roundel for your trophy cabinet.

You can sign up for the challenge here, and as ever entrants are encouraged to share their adventures on Instagram using the hashtag #RaphaFestive500.

There are also prizes for the most inventive submissions from the likes of Wahoo, POC and Whoop, and all finishers are eligible to enter a draw to win a Cannondale bike, provided they complete the appropriate form and their entries are in by 9 January.

As with last year, if the elements, or the situation with the pandemic, means you can’t venture outside, you can also take part virtually via Zwift.

And as in previous editions, Rapha has also launched its Festive 500 collection of clothing and accessories, with this year’s theme being calendar chaos – full details of the range can be found here.


Finally, whether you’re a first-time participant or a returning rider, be sure to check out our tips on how to best prepare for the challenge and ensure you complete it.

> 15 tips to complete the Rapha Festive 500 and knock off the kilometres with ease

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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