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Cycling event round-up - winter sportives and looking ahead to 2015

Sign up to ride up some German Alps in June, a run-down of the Ordnance Survey Spin Series + Bike Bath, Oxford

New to our rolling winter-and-2015 event round-up are: a big German alpine tour in the shape of the Schwalbe TOUR Transalp, the Ordnance Survey Spin Series, Bike Bath, Bike Oxford, the Tour of Pembrokshire Prologue Ride and the Brian Robinson Challenge Ride.

In amongst our highlight reel of new events we've got some updated annual favorites, like the Virgin Money Cyclone, for you. But remember, the event round-up isn't exhaustive, so if you’re looking for a full list, you should take also look at the events page.

Returning for another year is the RIDE100 series, which we ran a story on earlier in November. Due to the large number of events Action Medical Research are putting on their rides won't feature in our round-up, but have a look to see if any of them are set to come your way.

Also not featuring in our round-up, due to the sheer number of events that are set to be put on, are British Cycling's Breeze Rides - which has been going since 2011 and seen 10,000 women-only rides take place. 

Wales is hosting its first Breeze event this month and others are set to take place all over the country througout the winter and on into 2015. Head over to the Breeze website to find your nearest ride.

If you can't find an event you're looking for on the events page, or if you're organising your own cycling event, you can add it to the events page yourself via the handy button at the top.

December 6, January 31, February 28 - Barn Cross

If you haven't heard about it yet, you certainly should have. This phenomenon made it onto earlier in November, where we also published a video created by event organisers DC Cycles.

The premise is fairly simple: what you've got is a cross race, inside a barn. You're safe from the harsh winter weather, and the whole event has the added benefit of palpable atmosphere.

The events are taking place in Southampton at Quob Stables Equestrian Centre, and entry costs £15. There are 20 places available in each age category, including an interesting extra category named 'drunks'. Apply here

December 7 and 14, January 25, February 15 - Evans Sportive Cross

Evans Cycles are offering a new event format for autumn and winter – Sportive Cross. These are essentially a series of mass participation cross rides taking in all types of terrain from tarmac roads to gravel to dirt paths. They’re ideal for cyclocross bikes but can also be completed on a mountain bike.

There will be four Sportive Cross events in coming months and while each has both a short and long route, all will be between 23 and 52 miles. Start towns are Basingstoke, Thetford, Newbury and Crawley.

Entry starts at just £7.50 (with free rides for kids) and you can expect marked routes, mechanical support, electronic chip timing, professional event photography and High5 sponsored feed stations (and if you sign up eight weeks or more in advance, you’ll get a free box of High5 goodies worth £10). On the day, riders are able to ‘test drive’ a wide range of Garmin GPS units and Louis Garneau clothing with exclusive offers for anyone buying at the event.

Further details are available on the Evans Cycles website here

January 10 - Ordnance Survey Spin Series Newmarket Nutcracker Sportive

UK Cycling Events has teamed up with national mapping agency Ordnance Survey to bring you their Spin Series, a range of sportives in and around the South East of England.

These won’t be the most challenging sportives you’ve ever ridden, but with the majority of these rides taking place deep in the winter months, maybe that’s for the best.

Starting in Newmarket on January 10, the series starts off gently, giving you the opportunity to get some early-season miles in your legs before launching yourself at bigger hills. The Nutcracker Sportive has an epic and a standard course, lying at 82 km and 56 km respectively, both of which set off from Newmarket racecourse.

Later on in January - the 24th to be precise - Ordnance Survey and UK Cycling Events bring you the January Insanity Sportive from Spearshot in Hampshire featuring an epic 91 km ride and a standard 64 km course over the South Downs and through some spectacular chalk valleys.

On February 8, the Equalizer Sportive rolls out from Colchester Football Club. As the weather picks up, and your legs are getting used to riding again properly the slightly hillier routes of  64 km or 96 km rides on offer take a rolling tour of Constable Country.

The final road sportive of the Spin Series takes place on March 22 in Northamptonshire, and is called the Cobbler Classic Sportive. There are three routes for this number, coming in at 63 km, 96 km, and 122 km,

There’ sone final sportive in the series if you fancy abandoning your treasured road bike for a mountain bike. On April 16 there’s the Devils MTB in Plumpton.

Entries for all the rides mentioned here are open and waiting for you to apply. Just head over to UK Cycling Events’ website and take a look.

April 25 - Dunkerque - Roubaix

Entries are open now to ride some of France's most famous roads with Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas, thanks to event organisers HotChillee.

Take 11km of the same pavé that Thomas rode on his way to the junior Paris-Roubaix title in 2004 in this 165km classic route from Dunkerque to Roubaix.

Entrance to the ride will set you back £495, but for your money you get a whole lot.

Not only will you be supported the whole way by a professional team, you'll also have access to the famed Roubaix Velodrome at the finish of the event, which follows the final 40km of the Paris-Roubaix route.

There'll be Champagne as you cross the line, transport back to Roubaix for you and your bike, and accommodation for the night of Saturday 25.

On top of all that there'll even be a celebrity dinner in the evening.

Places are limited, so if you're really keen, apply here, now.

April 25 - Tour of Pembrokeshire Prologue Ride

Three loops of Pembrokeshire in South Wales, starting and finishing in the town of St. David are again on the cards for 2015.

The Tour of Pembrokeshire Prolgue Ride is back, with the three routes of 80 km, 120 km, and 160 km across some of the most stunning roads in rural Wales.

Not only will standard sportive amenities of clear and abundant signage and support systems be available, you’ll also have the opportunity to get a full sport massage upon completion of the event - a small donation is requested.

Entries are now open, and before the January 1 2015, you’ll get £5 off the standard £35 entry fee.

You can sign up here, via the SiEntries website.

April 26 - Brian Robinson Challenge Ride

Entries are open for the 2015 Brian Robinson Challenge Ride in Huddersfield. The event that has seen quiet support from locals since its inception in 2007 is hoping for a big boost after the Tour passed through their neck of the woods in 2014.

The 114 km ride is being put on to support a range of charities including Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Dave Rayner Fund.

You can sign up now by visiting the British Cycling page for the ride, here.

May 10 - London Cycle Sportive

Entries are open for the London Cycle Sportive, part of the Human Race Sportive Series. A sell-out event for the past two years, it suits cyclists of all abilities with routes ranging from 50km to 100 miles that run through some of the capital’s most iconic sporting landmarks.

Starting in Dulwich Park, the route heads into the Surrey hills including Box Hill before returning towards South London. Riders will then complete the sportive with a memorable lap around the Herne Hill Velodrome, the only remaining infrastructure from the 1948 London Olympic Games. There is a short route of 50km, a medium route of 100km and a long route of 100 miles.

More details can be found here.

June 19-21 - Virgin Money Cyclone

The Virgin Money Cyclone sees an update to its schedule this year, reducing its duration from four days down to three.

However, fewer days does not mean less cycling, just a more condensed weekend which the organisers say will lead to a "greater family festival feel."

On Friday the 19th, families and cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in the Tyne 6 Bridges Leisure rides which come in at 17km and 25km. Entrance to these rides can be made here, and will cost £8 per head.

The Saturday will see the more serious riding take place, with the option of three rides as part of the Cyclone Challenge. Ride A, or the Green Route, comes in at 55km and will take riders out into the Northumberland countryside only climbing 390 meters in the process.

The Blue Route, also known as Ride B, covers 103km and sees a fair amount more climbing, while the most difficult Black Route climbs 2374 meters while also covering 170km of North East tarmac.  Entrance for adults will cost £28, while for youths it'll only be £14.

The final day of festivities sees professionals take part in the Curlew Cup and the Beaumont Trophy, which everyone is welcome to come and watch.

May 16-17 - The Mitie London Revolution

Registration is now open for the UK’s largest two-day sportive with the 2015 route designed to celebrate the best cycling landcapes London has to offer.

2,000 riders will take on the 185-mile route with the two days separated by an overnight stay at Ascot racecourse, where a festival atmosphere is promised in addition to drinks, food, massage and physiotherapy.

Day one is 100 miles with 1,315m of climbing while day two is 85 miles with 1,028m of climbing.

For more details, you can visit the website here.

May 24, July 10-12 - Sportive Lakes

After this year’s success, Sportive Lakes has announced its May and July events for 2015, both of which will set off from Ulverston in the Lake District, where they will sit alongside existing festivals.

May 24 brings Lo Scorpione (The Scorpion), which is so-called because ‘it’s small but it stings’. The relatively short 100km route nevertheless packs in over 2,000m of climbing thanks to some of the wild and remote mountain passes of the Western Lakes, including Hardknott Pass.

Billed as a ‘hard ride for mere mortals’ Lo Scorpione also sits alongside the Taste Cumbria Food Festival.

A L’Ancienne (in the old way) is an old-style summer fete of which cycling is just one part. The new and improved routes include castles and lakeside trails and there are medals for finishers. There is an ‘easy’ ride at 22km and then a 60km core ride which can be extended up to 83km by riding additional sections. These include ‘Le Sting’ very close to the end – a high point delivering coastal views (among other things).

The festival will include live music, a vintage fair, cycle sales, cycle jumble, food outlets and camping. There will also be the opportunity to try the specially made L’Ancienne beer.

For more information, see the Sportive Lakes website here.

May 31 - Chiltern 100 Sportive

Entries have now opened for the Chiltern 100 2015, an event which bills itself as 'the most challenging sportive close to the capital'. Following a sell-out event in 2014, places are once again expected to be in high demand.

Two routes are available. The Gran Fondo covers 177km of stunning Chilterns scenery as riders challenge themselves with almost 2,700 metres of climbing – a route that will not only test the riders’ physical strength but also their mental resilience with 22 hills across the course. The slightly shorter Medio Fondo covers 122km with 1,897 metres of testing climbs.

Facilities will include ample parking at the venue, an increased number of motorcycle marshals o ensure a safe and enjoyable event, feed stations manned by experienced cyclists, mechanical support and medals handed out at the finish line.

For more information, visit the website here.

May 31 - Plymouth Gran Fondo

From stunning coastal landscapes to magnificent historic houses, the Plymouth Gran Fondo is set to showcase the best late spring cycling spots in Plymouth, West Devon, Dartmoor and East Cornwall.

If you fancy a cycling jaunt on the south west coast in the spring, this one could be for you. Two rides are on offer: the hefty 160km Gran Fondo - which features 3,500m of climbing - and the somewhat kinder 60km Piccolo ride.

Entries are open now for the event that starts and finishes in Plymouth on May 31. If you’re feeling strong, or you’re planning on a winter of training, taking part in the longer Gran Fondo ride will cost you £30, while the shorter Piccolo ride will only set you back £20.

If you don’t fancy riding, there’s still plenty going on over that weekend, including a road race in Plymouth city centre on the Friday night.

You can book via organisers Spike Sports’ website, here.

June 5-7 - Wiggle Dragon Tour

The Wiggle Dragon Ride is evolving in 2015. The cycling retailer’s flagship sportive, which will remain intact as a standalone event, will now also be the crown jewel in a series of rides that make up the Wiggle Dragon Tour.

The event is set to take place on Sunday June 7 next year - but riders will now be able to add the Friday and Saturday to an already very hilly weekend of riding.

The initial round of 500 places are on sale now. Entry prices for the event begin at the £199 Ride Only option, which incorporates entry to all three days of riding, including your choice of Corto, Medio Fondo, or Gran Fondo ride on the Sunday’s Dragon Ride. If you think your legs will be up for Sunday’s 302km Devil ride, on top of the 101km Friday ride and the 96km jaunt on the Saturday, your ticket will set you back £234.

Your money gets you three days of cycling on well-signed routes, complete with feed stations, motorcycle marshals, support of both medical and technical nature, timing facilities for the major climbs, a fully-staffed start/finish venue and a Dragon Tour momento.

Further add-ons can be bought, including accommodation packages with the event’s partnering hotels, a £45 dinner on the Sunday night with guest speaker and Tour de France winner, Stephen Roche, and a range of Dragon Tour-themed dhb kit.

The ride on Friday June 5 is set to take participants zig-zagging through the Gower Peninsula, starting and finishing in Swansea. The following day, riders will head north towards the Breacon Beacons national park and onto Betws Mountain.

There are a number of options on the Sunday for the annual Wiggle Dragon Ride, now in its 12th year, ranging from the 43km Corto ride, through the Medio and Gran Fondo rides at 153km and 226km respectively, and topping out at the previously-mentioned 302km Dragon Devil.

Further details and updates to the Wiggle Dragon Tour can be found on the Human Race website, here.

June 28 - Schwalbe TOUR Transalp

If you’ve got mountain legs, they really ought to be on by June. You’ve had your early-season fun, and now its time to really push yourself.

How do 19,132 vertical meters of alp in late June sound?

The seven-stage, 884.61-kilometre Schwalbe TOUR Transalp passes through the four alp-heavy countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and on to Italy over eight days of spectacular cycling.

Starting in Germany on June 28 in the town of Sonthofen and ending in the Italian town of Arco on lake Garda, the Schwalbe TOUR Transalp is only open to 600 teams of two.

The price for each individual will be €795 (£626.81). That price includes a bunch of things you’d expect, including signposted routes, marshalls and support; it doesn’t include accommodation however. That comes at an extra cost of €150 (£118) for sleeping at the TOUR’s organised camps over the eight days.

Registration for the event is open now if you’re sure that this ride is for you. You can sign up here. But, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to undertake such a gargantuan feat of cycling, maybe this video will persuade you:

July 5 - Bike Bath

Bike Bath is back in 2015, but organisers Iconic Cycling Events are bringing it to you in a slightly different format. The event has been condensed into one fun-filled day of cycling, but with all the foodie festivities at the Bath Rugby Recreation Ground intact.

The route is currently in the planning and development stages so we’re very short on route details, but we do know that there will be a choice of three routes - a 40 km ride, an 80 km ride and hefty 128 km ride around some of the West Country’s finest roads.

You can register to ride Bike Bath thorough the British Cycling portal, here, where you’ll see that entrance to the two longer rides will set adults back £33, a place on the shorter ride is £18, and children - who must be accompanied by an adult - go for £10.

July 18 - Wales Coast to Coast

The Wales Coast to Coast returns for round two in 2015 as it looks to follow up on the success of its inaugural edition enjoyed earlier this year.

You’ll meet fellow riders in Caernarfon on July 18 next year, before heading down the country on a 332-km ride which features 9,500 feet of climbing.

The entry fee for the event is a rather hefty £250, but comes with a free cycling jersey worth £65, luggage transfer from start to finish, breakfast and hot meals along the course route, fully-equipped service vehicles, and a motorcycle escort.

Riders who wish to raise funds for Wales Air Ambulance will only be charged a registration fee of £75, as long as they pledge to raise £400 and open up a Just Giving page for the charity.

The event is limited to 150 riders, to ensure the organisers can provide you with a personal service for one of the most extreme cycle challenges in the UK. Places are set to go very quickly so an early registration is strongly recommended.

To find out more about the schedule, route, or to register for the event, visit the Merlin Sportive website, here, or like the Welsh Cycle Show on Facebook.

September 13 - Bike Oxford

Brought to you by the same bunch who run Bike Bath, Iconic Cycling Events, Bike Oxford is going into its second year, and there are only 1000 places up for grabs for a day of cycling through Oxford and its surrounding countryside.

Similarly to the Bike Bath event, the Oxford edition’s route is still under development, but we do know that there will be three rides on offer of the same length as Bike Bath: 40 km, 80 km and 128 km.

You can register to ride Bike Oxford via the British Cycling website, here.

Prices are in line with the Bike Bath event too: you’ll be granted a place on the longer rides at the price of £33, the shorter rides will set you back £18, and children can ride for £10.

Add new comment


Vili Er | 8 years ago

Nope. Still no Scottish events. As you were.

bumsonbikes | 9 years ago

Lots more cx fun to be had – checkout the choice on Pedal Planner:

STATO | 9 years ago

Disappointed the VM Cyclone has dropped the city centre crit racing on Friday night in preference for moving up the free family cycle event (which was on Thursdays). But i suppose mass participation rides have a better public-interest/organisation-cost ratio than races.

The crit used to be a good draw but the last few years they seem to have less and less trade stands or things for the public to see.

bumsonbikes | 9 years ago

For more cyclocross events, checkout the independent, easy to search off-road event listings on Pedal Planner:

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