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Rapha’s Festive 500 returns – and for 2020, virtual rides count

Outdoors or indoors, whatever the platform, all rides loggged on Strava count towards total in this year's edition of seasonal challenge...

Rapha’s Festive 500, which challenges cyclists around the world to ride 500 kilometres in the eight days between Christmas and New Year, is returning for its 11th edition – and with this being 2020 and restrictions on movement in place in many countries around the world, virtual rides will count.

> Winter survival: riding in the the ice and snow

While Rapha is partnering with Zwift for Festive 500 training rides as well as rides during the challenge itself, the North London-based business told road.cc that virtual rides can be done on any platform, as long as they are uploaded to the dedicated Strava group to enable them to be counted towards the total mileage.

Launching the forthcoming edition, Rapha said: “In a year that has tested the resolve of every one of us, it’s tempting to hunker down for the festive period. But resist that temptation, and there’s a far more satisfying way to see out the year. All that’s required is one last display of determination and defiance.

“Now in its eleventh year, the Festive 500 is a riding rite of passage. And just like any worthwhile undertaking, going the distance in December is tough no matter where you ride. But the sense of satisfaction you’ll feel upon finishing is sweeter than any festive treat, so all in favour of a holiday season you’ll never forget, sign up now.”

Rapha Festive 500 images 2020 -  Explore range
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As in previous years, Rapha has launched a dedicated and limited edition Festive 500 range of accessories – this year inspired by rain radars – including men’s and women’s technical t-shirts (£55 each), a beanie hat (£35), cap (£20), snood (£15), socks (£15), bidon (£12) and musette (£20) and you can find out more here.

Rapha added: “From poetry to patisserie, computer games to cartography, the variety of riding on the Festive 500 is matched only by the array of entries to our annual awards. For a little added motivation before the challenge, take a look at this selection of the most memorable entries ever to the Spirit of the Festive 500 Awards.”

You can find full information for the Festive 500 here.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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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