Best cycling sportives in Yorkshire

So many to choose from

yorkshire hills sportive riding
Cycling has grown in popularity in Yorkshire since the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014
(Image credit: Chris Catchpole)

The 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ showed the world what everyone from Yorkshire knew all along: that God's Own Country is an incredible place to ride your bike.

The good news is that there are more cycling sportives in Yorkshire than ever taking place, so we've rounded up some of the best.

>>> What is a cycling sportive?

Vale Velo Sportive

When: Saturday, June 13 2020

Where: York Auction Centre, North Yorkshire

More information

The Vale Vélo sportive offers a stereotypical Yorkshire ride with hard roads and steep hills. The standard and short routes taking in some of the best roads around the Yorkshire Wolds and the Vale of York with just over 900m of climbing on the standard route, it is a speedy course that will not only test the legs, but also bring you some great views.

Ride Yorkshire Sportive

When: Sunday, August 9 2020

Where: Thisk Racecourse, Yorkshire

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Starting out north and heading through the Vale of Mowbray, the Ride Yorkshire Sportive covers some easy miles on the gently rolling terrain before reaching the mid point around Northallerton where you start some serious climbing - Yorkshire cycling at its best!

If you want to avoid that, the short route cuts them out for you. Epic, standard and short routes of 102 miles, 81 miles and 39 miles are available.

>>> Nine things only Yorkshire cyclists know

>>> What to pack for every sportive

Selby Three Swans Sportive

When: Sunday, September 6 2020

Where: Selby

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A fundraiser for Yorkshire Cancer Research (but with no minimum fundraising target), the Selby Three Swans Sportive offers distances of 48, 101, and 160km, meaning there should be a route for everyone no matter what their ability. Starting and finishing in Selby, the all three routes are generally flat, so this might be a nice relaxing way to finish the season, with a nice boost to morale thanks to a high average speed.

Ronde Van Calderdale

When: Sunday, April 5 2020

Where: Roberttown, near Dewsbury

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Held on the same day as the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, this fundraiser for the Kirklees Cycling Academy takes in four less cobbled climbs than its Flandrien cousin, but as many locals will argue, the cobbles in the area are harder than the ones found in Flanders. Starting in Roberttown it takes in monsters like Shibden Wall and the final climb, Trooper Lane, which has sections over 30%. Medium and long routes of 58 and 74 miles. Limited to 350 riders as the sportive is on open roads.

>> The 14 best cobbled climbs in the UK

The Etape du Dales

When: Sunday, May 17 2020

Where: Grassington, North Yorkshire

More information

May is a big month for the county with the Tour de Yorkshire. The Etape du Tour sponsored by the Dave Rayner Fund, which also is sponsoring our very own CW5000 challenge, is a continuation of this Yorkshire festival of cycling with a 110km long route with shorter routes available. Starting in Grassington and finishing in Threshfield, this sportive takes in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and goes as far north as just below Kirkby Stephen. If the weather is good, this would be a gorgeous but challenging ride.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.