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The UK is home to some of the most stunning, challenging rides to date. Whether you prefer the cobbled classics, iconic climbs or tough sportives, there is surely an event for you just waiting around the corner.

Being spoilt for choice does make it difficult to choose which events to train for, so it’s important to note the absolute ‘musts’ you simply can’t afford to miss.

We’ve compiled a list of the greatest cycling events in the UK, widely recognised by the biggest and best names in the industry. Even if you aren’t able to complete these every year, you should definitely tick these off your bucket list.

Fred Whitton Challenge

Location: Grasmere, Cumbria

When: May


If you haven’t already completed this ride, it’s an absolute must. Arguably the most popular event in the UK, the Fred Whitton Challenge is named fittingly. Even the most skilled of riders have compared this challenge to the European Marmotte in terms of difficulty, with only 3 riders completing under 6 hours and some requiring more than 11 hours.

Etape Caledonia

Location:Perthshire, Scottish Highlands

When: May

Distances: 130km

This event attracts more than 35,000 people since its inception in 2007, and if you take one look at the course it’s easy to see why. The winding roads, mountains, and beautiful tree-lined avenues makes this event beautifully picturesque.

Isle of Wight Randonnee

Location: Isle of Wight

When: May

Distances: 55km, 100km

If quiet and peaceful surroundings is right down your alley, the Isle of Mull Sportive event is for you. After being in operation for over 30 years, the IoW Randonnee is one of the more traditional rides. You’ll even be treated to a hot meal upon completing your tough trek!

Dragon Ride L'etape Wales

Location: Port Talbot, South Wales

When: June

Distances:100km, 153km, 223km, 300km

One of the more established races, the Dragon Ride has been adopted by Tour de France organisers. It’s easy to see why they were drawn to the event, with the sweeping climbs including Devil’s Elbow, Rhigos, Black Mountain and Devil’s Staircase. The wide variety of race distances makes it all the more lovable, with something for all fitness levels and preferences.

Ride London

Location: London

When: August

Distances: 74km, 160km

This is an incredibly popular course, particularly among amateur riders (25,000 to be specific). Riders are able to ride in the same tracks as those taking part in the London 2012 Olympians. As the popularity of the course far out ways positions available, entry into the event is based on a ballot system.

Bealach mor

Location: Applecross Peninsula, Northern Scotland

When: August

Distances: 145km

UK’s (arguably) biggest road climb awaits at this north-Scotland event. Ascend the infamous Bealach-na-Ba mountain road and you’ll have achieved something not everyone is capable of. The September event is often enjoyed as part of a complete weekend away in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Cornwall Coast and Clay

Location: St Column Major, Cornwall

When: September

Distances: 37km, 71km, 109km, 161km

This sportive takes full advantage of the beautiful Cornwall coast, where riders can breathe in the fresh ocean air while pushing their fitness to the limits. Although only in its 4th year, the event is gaining fast momentum with riders often enjoying a complete weekend away in the beautiful county.

As addicitve as cycling is, we know it does not come without risks. If you have experienced a cycling accident which resulted in an injury, contact the Cycle Accident Claims team on 0800 093 6313.

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