Seven of the best multi-day sportives to ride in 2017 - Road Cycling UK

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Seven of the best multi-day sportives to ride in 2017

Fancy a new challenge? Try ticking off some of these multi-day challenges

Fancy a new challenge in 2017? A multi-day sportive can be the perfect goal to mark on the calendar and give yourself a target to build your form and fitness for.

Offering you the chance to dedicate yourself purely to cycling for a few days – or maybe even longer – while testing your ability to recover, it is little wonder multi-day sportives are proving more and more popular.

– Ten of the toughest UK sportives to ride in 2017 –

And there’s a wide variety to choose from if you fancy targeting one in 2017, all with different characteristics, from iconic roads to gruelling climbs.

We’ve picked out six to target in 2017 – or you want to stick to a single-day ride, here are ten of the toughest UK sportives to ride this year.

 

London Revolution, May 13 to May 14

The London Revolution may be the perfect introduction to multi-day sportives, blending iconic city sights with the hidden roads and tough climbs of the surrounding counties.

Rolling out from the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, the route features six stages split across two days.

The London Revolution blends iconic inner-city sights with tough climbs (pic: Threshold Sports)

Day one is all about London’s iconic landmarks and then testing the legs in the North Downs, before heading to base camp at Windsor Racecourse.

The following day takes you out through the Thames Valley to the Chilterns, before returning to the start via Epping Forest.

It all adds up to a total of 187 miles’ riding across the two days, with just shy of 9,500ft of climbing to be done.

Price: £189 (includes camping)
Website: London-Revolution

Tour of Wessex, May 27 to May 29

Somerset’s Tour of Wessex is now more than a decade old and still going strong as the UK’s biggest multi-stage sportive.

Though each stage starts and finishes in Somerton, the routes cover Somerset and Wiltshire on day one, Somerset and Dorset on day two and Somerset and Exmoor on day three.

The Tour of Wessex tackles Exmoor, pictured, alongside Cheddar Gorge, King Alfred’s Tower and the Jurassic Coast (Pic: Tour of Wessex)

And it’s not just the fact it covers multiple days that makes the Tour of Wessex stand out: Cheddar Gorge and King Alfred’s Tower will test your climbing legs on stage one, stage two heads to the Jurassic coast and stage three incorporates the Porlock Toll Road, climbing to the highest point in Exmoor.

Two routes are available in all, covering either 322 miles over three days or 224, while you can also ride individual stages if you’d prefer.

Price: £135 (322 miles), £120 (224 miles)
Website: Pendragon Sports

Dragon Tour, June 9 to June 11

Part of the iconic Dragon Ride, one of Britain’s toughest sportives and now adopted by Tour de France organisers ASO as L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France, the Dragon Tour is the ultimate Dragon Ride challenge.

While the main sportive, which is included in the Tour, does not take place until the Sunday (June 11), the Dragon Tour offers an extra two days of riding in South Wales from the Friday.

The Dragon Tour offers two days of riding, including taking on Black Mountain and Betws Mountain, before concluding with the hugely popular Dragon Ride sportive on day three (pic: Human Race)

Stage one is your chance to get the legs spinning, with a 90km route along and across the Gower peninsula and out the south Welsh coast.

Day two, however, is not one for the faint-hearted – featuring Black Mountain (in the opposite direction to the Dragon Ride) and Betws Mountain, your legs will certainly know about it.

And the climbing’s not done there – you can tailor your Tour to include whichever Dragon Ride sportive route you wish to take, but the ultimate challenge would be to conclude with the 300km Dragon Devil.

Devil’s Elbow, Devil’s Staircase, Rhigos and Black Mountain – the finest climbing on offer in the Brecon Beacons – all feature.

Price: £130
Website: Human Race

Eroica Britannia, June 16 to June 18

OK, so we’re cheating a little here – this isn’t, strictly speaking, a multi-day sportive with the main rides taking place solely on June 18.

But if you’re heading to Eroica Britannia in its new Friden Grange home in the Peak District this year, then you’ll want to block the whole weekend off.

The Eroica Britannia festival needs to be enjoyed in full (pic: L’Eroica)

Festivities start on the Friday, with the full Eroica experience including live music, vintage fairground rides, a Great British Beach, street food, “The Settlement” and the “Sundown Cinema”.

The ride – for which there are three routes (25 miles, 55 miles, 100 miles) available – is just a small part of the Eroica Britannia Festival.

Price: £65 for the ride, £30 for a three-day Festival Pass
Website: Eroica Britannia

Hot Chillee London to Paris, July 20 to July 22

Hot Chillee organise a number of great multi-day sportives, including the hugely popular Alpine Challenge and the three-day London to Paris.

The latter, as the name suggests, takes you from Hampton Court to the French capital – 500km in three days – in time to watch the final stage of this year’s Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees the following day.

The Hot Chillee London to Paris gets you to Paris the day before the Tour de France concludes, giving you chance to watch the action on the Champs-Elysees (pic: G.Demouveaux/ASO)

Rolling road closures and pro-level support feature, with day one taking you from London to Folkestone (161km), day two – after crossing the Channel – goes from Calais to Amiens (170km) and the final day tackles the 173.3km to Paris.

Entry fee includes all meals, three nights’ accommodation to allow you to watch the final stage of the Tour and monthly training rides from registration to the event.

Price: £1,495
Website: Hot Chillee

Haute Route Alps, August 21 to August 27

The Haute Route Series is getting bigger and better every year, though the Alps is where it all began – and this year’s route features more climbing than ever before.

The Haute Route Alps sits in the middle of the Series – sandwiched by the Haute Route Pyrenees and Haute Route Dolomites.

Alpe d’Huez features twice on the 2017 Haute Route Alps, which boasts more climbing than ever before (pic – Manu Molle)

It packs in 22,200m of climbing in total, including a summit finish on Alpe d’Huez and then an individual time trial through the iconic 21 hairpins of the Tour de France favourite.

Pra Loup, the Col d’Izoard, the giant Col du Granon (2,413m up), the Col du Glandon, Col du Madeleine and Col de Joux Plane also feature, alongside some new climbs being tackled by the Haute Route for the first time.

Stage six, meanwhile, from Megeve to Morzine is similar to that which was used for the Etape du Tour in 2016.

Price: from €1,650 (discounts available if booking more than one event)
Website: Haute Route

Ride Across Britain, September 9 to September 17

As point-to-point ventures on British shores go, there are none more famous than Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG, if you prefer), and the Deloitte Ride Across Britain is your chance to tick the ride off your bucket list.

Taking place over nine days of riding, there are 969 miles to be tackled between the UK’s most south westerly point and its most north easterly tip.

The Deloitte Ride Across Britain is the perfect chance to complete LEJOG (pic – Threshold Sports)

Covering 23 counties in all, the Ride Across Britain boasts fully signposted routes, top-notch food, mechanical and medical support, chaperone guides and overnight accommodation in either mass basecamps or in hotels.

We got a short sample of what it was all about last year, riding the first two stages – which, with Cheddar Gorge and the South West’s short, steep hills packed in, happens to be the hardest.

It’s not a ride to ease you in, and with the Lake District, Lowther Hills and Glen Coe to come the tough climbs – set against some stunning landscapes and hill-top vistas – keep on coming.

But LEJOG is a bucket list favourite for good reason, and the Ride Across Britain might just be the perfect way to complete it. Or, if you’d prefer, you can pick a shorter section of the ride to get a taste of the full Ride Across Britain experience too.

Price: £1,599 (Classic, nine-day ride)
Website: Ride Across Britain

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