Sportives calendar

Cyclosportive and cycling events calendar 2019 and 2020

Our pick of 2019 & 2020 cycling sportives and other cycling events around the UK and beyond

Welcome to Cycling Weekly‘s listing of cycling sportives and events calendar.

Having a goal in the calendar can provide motivation to get you out and riding, so we’ve rounded up a range of events to help you plan your calendar for the year ahead.

With organisers announcing their 2020 dates, we’ve listed the details that we have available, including those from our sister company UKCE. Their early bird deals mean if you book now you can save up to 25 per cent on your ticket.

If you’re new to cycling sportives, we’ve also explained what exactly they are – with information to help you train and prepare for your first mass participation cycling event.

Events are arranged in chronological order. Click on the event headline or ‘View’ to go to that event’s website and online entry.

Jump to:  March 2020 | April 2020 | May 2020 | June 2020July 2020 | August 2020September 2020 | October 2020 | November 2020 | Sportives explained


https://po.st/EARLY20-CW-editorial


March 2020

UKCE Cambridgeshire Classic

Date: Sunday, March 1 2020
Distance: 34, 52, 70 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: East
Enter now

It’s early season, and a relatively flat sportive is an ideal proposition for those wanting to ease into the season.

The 70 mile ride could be an ideal marker en route to your first 100, if that’s your goal for the summer.


Eden Valley Epic Sportive

Date: Sunday March 1, 2020
Distance: 60 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: England
View


UKCE Wiltshire Wildcat

Date: Sunday, March 8 2020
Distance: 43, 73 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: South West
Enter now

Join our sister company UKCE for a sportive which traverses the Medieval drovers’ trails, passing through Saxon villages and offering views over the Dorset Downs.

The ride starts at Salisbury Racecourse, covering rolling roads with occasional climbs to break up the miles.


Eden Valley Epic Sportive

Date: Sunday March 1, 2020
Distance: 60 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: England
View

Live Borders pre-season training camp 2020

Dates: 13 & 14 March / 21 & 22 March, 2020
Distance: N/A
Discipline: Training
Region: Scottish Borders
Visit

British Heart Foundation London to Reading Bike Ride

Date: Saturday March 21, 2020
Distance: 40 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: London
View


UKCE Suffolk Spring Classic

Date: Sunday, March 22 2020
Distance: 43, 73 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: East
Enter now

In keeping with the gentle early season theme, this is a great ‘all ability’ ride, exploring the rolling hills of three counties: Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.


UKCE Ridgeway Rouleur Sportive

Date: Sunday, March 29 2020
Distance: 43, 73 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: East
Enter now

This sportive takes its name from the Ridgeway – Britain’s oldest road, which slices through the region.

>> Why ride the North Wessex Downs?

With two routes to choose from, riders will explore both the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the North Wessex Downs.


The Burgess Hill Springtime Classic Cyclosportive

Date: Sunday March 29, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: England
View



Triathlon Show: London

Date: 27-29 March, 2020
Discipline: Cycle Shows
Region: London
View


The London Bike Show

Date: 27-29 March, 2020
Discipline: Cycle Shows
Region: London
View


April 2020

Quest Glendalough Adventure Race

Date: Saturday April 4, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Adventure
Region: N.Ireland
View

RideStaffs Spring Forward

Date: April 5, 2020
Distance: 53 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: England
View

Haldon Heroic CX Sportive

Date: Saturday April 18, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South West
View


UKCE New Forest Spring Sportive & Cycling Festival

Date: Saturday, April 18 and Sunday April 19 2020
Distance: 30, 66, 80 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: South East
Enter now (Saturday), Enter now (Sunday)

A festival of cycling in one of the country’s flatter areas – this is an ideal way combine a ride with family fun.

>>> Reasons to ride in the New Forest

The ‘hero’ sportive is a longstanding event for UKCE, and they’ve had a decade to finesse the route – so you know you’re in for a treat.


Richardsons Rumble “Come and Try Sportive”

Date: Sunday April 19, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: East
View



Etape Loch Ness

Date: Subday April 26, 2020
Distance: 66 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Scotland
View

Hammer Sportive! Salcombe, Devon

Date: Sunday April 26, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South West
View

Colne Valley Charity Cycle Ride

Date: TBC
Distance: 80 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South East
View


May 2020


London Wales London

Date: Saturday May 2, 2020
Distance: 407 kilometres
Discipline: Audax
Region: South East
View

Taunton Flyer Sportive

Date: Saturday May 2, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South West
View


UKCE Surrey Cyclone Sportive

Date: Sunday, May 3 2020
Distance: 43, 74 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: South East
Enter now

Explore the lanes of Surrey in this aptly named ‘Surrey Cyclone’ sportive.

This is a great day out on its own, and also an ideal warm up for anyone planning to take on the RideLondon 100 later in the year.


Pedal for The J’s

Date: Sunday May 3, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Leisure
Region: South East
View

Forest of Dean Classic

Date: Sunday May 3, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Wales
View

Tour de Manc Sportive

Date: Sunday May 3, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: North West
View

Tour de Yorkshire Ride

Date: Sunday May 3, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Road
Region: Yorkshire & Humber
View

Fat Lad At The Back Up North Sportive

Date: Saturday May 9, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Yorkshire & Humber
View

Pedal for Scotland – Wee Jaunt Falkirk

Date: Sunday May 10, 2020
Distance: 7.5 miles
Discipline: Off Road
Region: Scotland
View

Spring Classic Sportive

Date: Sunday May 10, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: England
View

May Flyer

Date: Sunday May 10, 2020
Distance: 95.1 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South East
View


UKCE Jurassic Beast Sportive

Date: Saturday May 16, 2020
Distance: 43, 70 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: South East
Enter now

This ride has it all: testing climbs, stunning views and historical interest to take your mind off the leg sapping miles.

>>> Eight reasons why riding in Dorset is the best 

Both routes head out from the National Tank Museum in Bovingdon.


Hertfordshire 100 Bike Ride

Date: Sunday May 17, 2020
Distance: 25, 50, 100 miles
Discipline: Sportive / Leisure Ride
Region: East
View

Little Lumpy

Date: Sunday May 17, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South East
View

The Lincoln Grand Prix Sportive

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: East Midlands
View

Struggle Dales

Date: Sunday May 24, 2020
Distance: 108 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Yorkshire & Humber
View


UKCE Ride Cotswold Sportive

Date: Saturday May 30, 2020
Distance: 41, 80, 103 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: Midlands
Enter now

There’s three routes on offer and even the 100 miler barely leaves the Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty.

After all, why would you need to with so much choice terrain within the confines?

>>> The best rides in the Cotswolds


Norwich 100

Date: Sunday May 31, 2020
Distance: 30, 60, 100 miles
Discipline: Sportive / Leisure Ride
Region: East
View

Dartmoor Cycling Camp

Date: 27-31 May 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Training camp
Region: South West
View


June 2020

Tour of Cambridgeshire Festival

Date: Sunday June, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Gran Fondo, Time Trial, family events
Region: East
View

The Smuggler Sportive

Date: Sunday June 2, 2020
Distance: 40, 50 & 80 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South West
View


UKCE Vale Velo Sportive

Date: Saturday June 13, 2020
Distance: 49, 77 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: Yorkshire
Enter now

Another opportunity to ride the roads of Yorkshire, which thanks to events like the 2019 UCI Road World Championships and annual Tour de Yorkshire are becoming renowned worldwide.


Circuito Del Caffe

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South West
View

Haute Route Mavic Rockies

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: Multi-day
Region: Rest Of World
View

White Rose Classic

Date: Sunday June 21
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Yorkshire & Humber
View

Iron Mountain Sportif

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: Road
Region: Wales
View

Le Loop (previously Tour de Force)

Date: Saturday June 20, 2020
Distance: Entire Tour de France route
Discipline: Mutli-day
Region: France
View

Round Norfolk Epic 200 miles

Date: Sun, June 14 2020
Distance: 200 miles
Discipline: Road Race
Region: East
View

Samaritans Cycle

Date: Saturday June 27, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: London
View

Ryedale Rumble

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Yorkshire & Humber
View

UKCE Peaks Tour Sportive

Date: Sunday June 28, 2020
Distance: 44, 74, 100 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: Yorkshire
Enter now

See the best of the Peaks, with three different rides to suit all abilities.

>>> Six reasons to ride in the Peaks

With the ride starting and finishing in Bakewell, sweat treats should never be too far away.


July 2020

Dragon Ride Étape Wales

Date: Sunday July 5, 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Wales
View

Manchester to Blackpool

Date: Sunday July 5, 2020
Distance: 25, 50, 75 miles
Discipline: Sportive / Leisure Ride
Region: Midlands
View


UKCE Mendips Sportive

Date: Sunday July 12, 2020
Distance: 36, 74 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: South West
Enter now

The Mendips is repeatedly voted a destination ride spot in the UK, and with stunning climbs like the Cheddar Gorge it’s easy to see why. The area hosted a stage of the Tour of Britain in 2018, so expect Strava times to be hard to beat.

>>> Five reasons to ride the Mendips

The ride kicks off from Somerset and explores some of the best the area has to offer.


Great Weston Ride

Date: Sunday July 19, 2020
Distance: 57 miles
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South West
View


UKCE Malvern Mad Hatter Sportive

Date: Saturday July 25, 2020
Distance: 38, 63, 100 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: West Midlands
Enter now

Riders will explore three counties: Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, enjoying some tough parcours across the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains of Wales and more.

>>> Five bucket list rides in Wales


August 2020


UKCE Ride Yorkshire Sportive

Date: Sunday August 9, 2020
Distance: 38, 81, 101 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: Yorkshire
Enter now

Explore Yorkshire, most recently home to the UCI Road World Championships of 2019 and also the annual host of Tour de Yorkshire. Be prepared for tough climbs but rewarding views!


Quest 12/24 long distance adventure race

Date: TBC
Distance: TBC
Discipline: On Road
Region: N.Ireland
View




September 2020

UKCE Sussex Downs Classic

Date: Saturday September 05 2020
Distance: 40, 76 miles
Discipline: Road
View

>>> Seven South Downs climbs you have to ride

Explore the Sussex countryside, dipping into Ashdown Forest, with a climb up the iconic Ditchling Beacon to make sure everyone feels they’ve been thoroughly tested.

Deloitte Ride Across Britain

Date: Sat, 05 to Sun 17 Sep 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Road
View

Revolve24 | Endurance Cycling Challenges

Date: Saturday 14-Sunday 15 September 2020
Distance: Various
Discipline: Road Race
Region: South East
View

Land’s End 100 Sportive

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: South West
View

Isle of Man CC (Cycle Challenge)

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: On Road
Region: North West
View

Poppyscotland Sportive

Date: TBC
Distance: Various
Discipline: Sportives
Region: Scotland
View


UKCE New Forest 100

Date: Saturday September 19, 2020
Distance: 30, 60, 100 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: South East
Enter now

Relatively flat terrain makes this a great option if you’re looking to tick of a century ride in good company.

>>> Five reasons to ride in the New Forest

There are shorter ride options, too – and everyone will be able to enjoy the unique scenery of the New Forest.

 


October 2020

UKCE Box Hill Original Sportive

Date: Sunday October 4, 2020
Distance: 31, 76, 100 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: South East
Enter now

Visit the climb which Strava users have voted the most popular in the world.

Despite it’s reputation, Box Hill isn’t much of a beast – we’ve written a guide on how to conquer it here. 

UKCE Cobbler Classic

Date: Saturday October 17, 2020
Distance: 26, 60 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region: Northamptonshire
Enter now


November 2020

ARUK Cycling Down Dementia Norfolk Sportive

Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2020
Distance: 53 or 78 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region:  East of England
Enter Now

ARUK Cycling Down Dementia South East Sportive

Date: Sat, 07 Nov 2020
Distance: 22, 44 or 70 miles
Discipline: Sportive
Region:  South East
Enter Now


What is a sportive?

A cycling sportive is a mass participation, organised cycling event.

Distances and climbing profiles vary dramatically between rides – meaning there is a sportive out there to suit every rider, from the complete beginner to the competitive racer looking for a challenge.

Traditionally, sportives take place on the road – but there are off-road options including gravel and ‘adventure’ rides and mountain bike events too.

Where can I find sportives in 2020?

There are many calendar resources that can help you find events either in your area, or covering the sort of distance you’re looking at.

If you want suggestions as to the best ones to ride, we’ve got info on sportives we’d recommend in the UK, abroad, and those in the immediate future:

For a collection of sportives organised by UK Cycling Events, just click on the banner below.

What’s the difference between a sportive and a gran fondo?

Cycling sportives in the UK are not races.

In fact, organisers are often barred from listing finish times in order, in an attempt to reduce the chances of riders adopting a ‘heads down’ mentality.

>>> Sportive listings: check out UK sportives 

Some do provide ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ (or similar) time standards, giving those with a goal in mind something to work towards – but any achievements are based on personal accomplishment, not competitive spirit.

sportive gran fondo

Gran Fondo’s are much more race focused

Sportives are designed to bring groups of riders together, creating a feeling of camaraderie as everyone completes the route in friendly conditions.

Closely related to sportives, but not quite the same, are gran fondos. With their roots in Europe, gran fondos are races – and they recently arrived in the UK.

The Tour of Cambridgeshire, as an example, is an annual UK gran fondo. You can enter to ride in the competitive Gran Fondo wave, or just ride it as a sportive. The event forms part of the UCI Gran Fondo series – riders can use the ride to gain a place at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships typically taking place in August.

What can you expect at a sportive?

Sportive entry costs vary between events – and as a result so do the facilities and services provided.

Events run by UK Cycling Events, for example, cost between £31 and £40 (or £3 for under 16s).

Facilities at these event include mechanical and medical support, full route marking, public liability insurance, food and drink at feed stations, a finisher gift and medal and a ‘pick up wagon’ in case you run out of steam.

sportive

Expect feed stations at a sportive

Key provisions you can expect at all sportives are route marking, and feed stations – these are pretty fundamental to ensuring everyone has a good day out.

Many organisers will also email out GPX files for the route in advance, so riders can follow turn-by-turn navigation.

How long is a sportive?

There really is a sportive out there for everybody.

Most organisers promote one day of rides, with several routes on offer.

>>> 20 of the best sportives to ride in the UK

Shorter options are usually in the region of 25-30 miles, whilst the classic long route option is frequently 100 miles – though there are some super sportives which are much longer.

The organiser will usually list the elevation information alongside the event, too, and it’s worth checking this and comparing it to the rides you’re used to completing to give you an idea what to expect.

Closed road sportives

There are several closed road sportives taking place in the UK – the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 (and its 46 mile younger sibling) – is probably the most famous.

The RideLondon event enjoys entirely closed roads – in 2017 around 24,000 riders took on the 100 mile ride and over 100,000 people took part in events over the weekend.

Riders in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 pass through Richmond Park. Photo by Jed Leicester for Prudential RideLondon

Closed road sportives are generally more expensive – RideLondon, for example, comes with a price tag of £69. However, in return riders enjoy the almost indescribable feeling of a group of cyclists truly owning the road for a day and these rides often attract masses of cheering spectators that can make even the shyest heart swell.

What sort of bike do you need for a sportive?

You can complete a sportive on any road worthy bike – it’s not uncommon to see people completing the road miles on mountain bikes and hybrid bikes are very common.

The most dominant bike choice at the average sportive is the road bike – the drop handlebars provide varied hand positions for climbing, descending and flat road full gas efforts (should you feel inclined). Lightweight frames and speedy 23-25mm road tyres help the miles float by easily, too.

For those looking to invest in a bike, with sportives at front of mind, there is also a genre of road bike designed specifically for rides of this kind. Sportive, or endurance, bikes feature lightweight frames, drop handlebars and fairly skinny tyres – as per the conventions of a road bike – but with a focus on comfort for long days out.

Features include a more relaxed geometry, all-weather ready disc brakes and often tyres on the wider end of the scale (28-30mm).

What happens when you arrive at a sportive?

Most sportives follow a fairly similar format.

Usually, you’ll receive specific instructions around parking, signing on and GPX files before the big day.

On arrival, you can expect to be ushered into a car park if driving. Then you’ll sign on, perhaps gain yourself a place in a seeming endless queue for the toilet – before wheeling your bike to the start line.

sportive

Lining up ready for the start of a sportive

It’s likely there will be a timing chip attached to you or your bike, and once you roll over the line you’re on your way.

Riders will often group together and share the workload, but you’re more than welcome to ride alone. You’ll just need to follow the arrows laid out along the route – and there will likely be feed stops along the way to keep your energy levels topped up.

>>> Guide to group riding 

Assuming all goes well, you’ll continue to follow the arrows until you reach the finish. In many cases, there will be a ride split, where you can opt to decrease your distance if you’ve planned on doing the longest distance and changed your mind.

Arriving at the finish, you may be presented with a medal or gift, and there’s often someone there to give you a massage for a small fee. Free for everyone is a glowing sense of achievement and likely a dose of ravenous hunger.

If you bump into any trouble, you should have an organisers number and the option of calling for help if need be.

What should you take to a sportive?

Organised sportives will feature feed stations, and there should be someone on hand to lend mechanical support if need be.

However – you do need to be self sufficient in the face of the most common eventualities: needing food and drink, and getting a puncture.

>>> Guide to nutrition during a sportive 

Whilst you can expect feed stations to be well stocked (UK Cycling Events works with Science in Sport to provide nutrition) – you cannot guarantee the food and drink on offer will agree with your stomach, and you might want nibbles between the stops.

sportive

Take basic puncture repair kit and tools, just in case

It’s also worth taking a spare tube, tyre levels and a pump or Co2, as you would on a normal ride. Though there will be someone on staff able to fix a puncture, you’d have to wait for them to get to you – so it’s a lot quicker if you take items needed to fix one yourself much quicker.

>>> The best saddlebags to keep your cycling essentials in 

Dressing well is key to having a good day too. You may be out for several hours, and it’s possible that weather conditions could change, so pack provisions to cater for this, such as a gilet, or waterproof packable jacket, providing you with the versatility required to stay comfy.


>>> What to pack for every sportive

.


As with any long ride, a pair of comfortable shorts or bib tights with a quality chamois will help to keep you comfortable. A base layer under your jersey is also a good idea, to stop sweat cooling on your skin at stops, and most events require you to wear a helmet.

How do you prepare for a sportive?

The training plan you put in place ahead of your sportive will be dictated by what your goal event is, and where you are now.

Regardless of the distance between your two goal posts, the number one rule is that you should build up an increase in distance gradually.

>>> Cycling training plans

Most riders plan their training around shorter rides during the week, and a long ride on the weekend. For a sportive rider, the long ride will often be the ‘key session’ and this can be used to build distance.

For example, if your target ride is going to be 100 miles, and your longest ride so far has been 50 miles, then you just need to gradually increase the milage of your weekly long ride – in the region of five extra miles each week.

It’s also a good idea to add a ‘milestone’ training event along the way – for example enter a sportive of 75 miles a month or so before your big day.

Expect climbs on many sportives

Many sportive place a heavy emphasis on climbing – so your short rides in the week can be used to work on this. If you need to do them indoors, try some power hour turbo sessions to increase your leg strength – and if you have the chance to train outdoors during the week, try some longer hill rep sessions to prepare you for the ascents.

>>> 10 ways to improve your climbing

Since what comes up must go down, work on your descending too, so you can be sure of enjoying the thrills on the day.

Are you training for a sportive? Tell us about your upcoming events in the comments… 

Upcoming events