Eleven of the best sportives to ride in June - Road Cycling UK

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Eleven of the best sportives to ride in June

Britain's toughest sportives, European-style Gran Fondos, vintage rides, cobbles and more

Has the upturn in the weather encouraged you to get out on your bike and sign up for a sportive?

If so, you’re in luck – there’s loads to choose from in June as summer heats up, with a huge variety of events to sign up for.

Some of the UK’s toughest and most iconic sportives take place in June (Pic: Human Race)

There really is something for everyone, from some of Britain’s toughest sportives to European-style Gran Fondos, to vintage sportives on gravel to Classics-inspired cobbles

So where will you be riding in June? We’ve picked out 11 of the best June sportives below. Don’t miss out!

Sunday June 4 – The Smuggler Sportive

The Smuggler Sportive is inspired by the legends of the South West’s smugglers, and the pirate-themed sportive includes Booty Climbs – the chance to win drinks and prizes by taking on some extra climbs.

There are four routes available – from the family-friendly 20-mile route to the 80-mile thigh burner, with 8,881ft of climbing, and ascents including the Porlock toll road and Lee Bay toll road.

The ride is preceded by a ‘hearty breakfast’, and alongside the climbing includes some incredible descents to tackle too, all following roads originally used by the region’s smugglers.

Route: 20 miles, 40 miles, 50 miles, 80 miles
Entry fee: 
Website: The Smuggler Sportive

Saturday June 3 to Sunday June 4 – Tour of Cambridgeshire

Returning for 2017, the Tour of Cambridgeshire has brought the European gran fondo scene to the UK and there’s a whole lot more to it besides that too.

The events cover the whole weekend, but the main gran fondo takes place on the Sunday, with places at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships up for grabs too.

Cambridgeshire’s terrain lends itself to a naturally flat profile, but with the winds to contend with and prizes up for grabs in each UCI classification, it’s not an event that should be taken lightly either.

The Tour of Cambridgeshire brings the closed-road Gran Fondo experience to England (pic – Golazo Cycling-Sportograf)

Still unconvinced? Find out more about the Tour of Cambridgeshire and the Gran Fondo scene here.

Route: 85km, 130km
Entry fee: 
Website: Golazo Cycling

Sunday June 4 – Peak Epic 2017

Fast earning a reputation as one of Britain’s toughest sportives, on a par with the Dragon Ride and Fred Whitton Challenge, the Peak Epic is now in its fifth year.

Though the 2017 event has sold out, we thought it deserved a mention here simply because it boasts a route which really lives up to its name.

Packing 13,000ft of climbing into just 105 miles, the long ride takes in Hope Valley, Edale, Chapel-en-le-Firth, Cat & Fiddle, Macclesfield Forest, Axe Edge, Longnor and Lathkill Dale.

Fancy it? Make sure you keep an eye out for next year’s event.

Route: 101km, 165km
Entry fee: 
£28/£33 [SOLD OUT]
Dark White Cycling

Sunday June 11 – Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France

The epic Dragon Ride gets better year on year, and for the last couple of years has become part of ASO’s stable of UK sportives.

With route options from 100km to the 300km Dragon Devil – and even a Dragon Tour if you want to turn it into a multi-day sportive, the Dragon Ride is one of the biggest, toughest, and longest-standing sportives on the calendar.

The Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France is one of the toughest and longest-standing sportives on the calendar (pic: Human Race)

With demanding climbs, set against the beautiful backdrop of the Brecon Beacons, highlights include Bwlch, Rhigos, and a timed ascent of Devil’s Elbow on the 223km Gran Fondo route.

The Dragon’s Devil throws in Devil’s Staircase and Black Mountain for good measure too – with the whole event now bringing ASO’s promise of a pro-like experience to the ride.

Route: 100km, 100km women only, 153km, 223km, 300km
Entry fee: 
L’Etape UK

Sunday June 11 – Lapierre Cheshire Cobbled Classic

While the Spring Classics may have been and gone, one of the UK’s best Classics-inspired sportives takes place in June, with the Lapierre Cheshire Cobbled Classic bringing the Tour of Flanders to Cheshire.

Featuring 12 cobbled sectors – including five super-steep ascents, such as the fabled Corkscrew with its 45 per cent maximum gradient, and Swiss Hill, with a 25 per cent average gradient.

The brutal cobbled climb of the Corkscrew is the highlight of the Cheshire Cobbled Classic (Pic: Cycle Classics)

The original 100km route remains, and there is also a 100-mile route for the first time too – adding in Gun Hill and the Roaches for an even tougher challenge than the thigh-numbing original.

Route: 100km, 100miles
Entry fee: 
Cycle Classics

Friday June 16 to Sunday June 18 – Eroica Britannia

Eroica Britannia is more than just a vintage sportive – it’s a whole festival, which is well worth visiting even before you think about the riding.

With a new Friden Grange location, the festival includes live music, shopping, a “Sundown Cinema”, “The Settlement” and the “Britannia Arms Tavern”.

Eroica Britannia is more than just a vintage bike ride (pic – Eroica)

Of course, the ride – on pre-1987 bikes through some of the Peak District’s best gravel roads – is the showpiece event, however.

Route options cover 25 miles, 55 miles and 100 miles

Route: 70km, 150km
Entry fee: 
Various festival and ride passes available
Website: Eroica Britannia

Saturday June 17 – Cyclone Challenge Rides

Another of the UK’s longest-standing sportives, the Cyclone Challenge Rides are part of the North East’s Cyclone Festival of Cycling – which culminates in the UCI Europe Tour pro men’s race, the Beaumont Trophy.

Riding into rural Northumberland, the roads are quiet, beautiful and very challenging – with the Ryals the stand-out feature.

The undulating Northumberland countryside hosts the Cyclone Challenge

There are four rides available – the 34-mile family-oriented ride, the 64-mile route with 3,711ft of climbing, the 90-mile route with 5,866ft of ascent and then the 106-mile showpiece.

The latter tackles the Cheviot Hills, including the climb to Troughend Common, and packs in 7,789ft of ascending in all.

Route: 34 miles, 64 miles, 90 miles, 106 miles
Entry fee: 
Cyclone Cycling

Saturday June 24 – The Monster

The Monster lives up to its name in every way – there are two route options available and neither is for the faint-hearted.

The Ultimate Monster is 300km in length, with 6,500m of climbing, while the Original Monster packs in 4,000m of climbing in 200km.

The Ultimate Monster climbs Devil’s Staircase and Dylife, alongside taking in the scenic surrounds of the Llyn Brianne reservoir and Nant-y-Moch.

Both routes roll out of Llandovery and tackle some of Mid Wales’ toughest and most picturesque climbs.

Route: 200km, 300km
Entry fee: 

Sunday June 25 – Evans Cycles North Downs Road Sportive

As ever, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to Evans Cycles’ Ride It series of sportives, including the North Downs Road Sportive in late June.

Leith Hill and White Down are among the climbs on the menu, with the route rolling out from inside the grounds of Polesden Lacey House.

Evans Cycles’ North Downs sportive includes Leith Hill and White Down (pic – sarflondondunc, via Flickr Creative Commons)

As ever, there are a range of routes to suit all abilities, with free entry for kids with a fully-paying adult.

The Short (48km), Medium (80km) and Long (112km) routes all pack in enough climbing for the event to be graded four out of five on Evans’ difficulty scale.

Route: 48k, 80km, 112km
Entry fee: 
Evans Cycles

Sunday June 25 – Tour of the Potteries

Highlights of the Tour of the Potteries include Gun Hill – a climb used by the Tour of Britain – and Flash, the highest village in England.

The Peak District ride has two routes – 27 miles and 64 miles – but don’t let those short distances fool you: these are some tough rides.

The Tour of the Potteries sportive features Gun Hill and England’s highest village, Flash (pic – Wheels in Wheels)

The climbing is packed in, including 2,000m of ascent and the longer route, alongside the typically beautiful Peak District scenery.

Route: 27 miles, 64 miles
Entry fee: 
Wheels in Wheels


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