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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 has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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