UK Cycling Events For 2018

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Eden Valley Epic Cycle Sportive (4th March)

This early-season sportive is perfect for those desperate to get back on their road bikes. The route is just shy of 100km and set in the picturesque Eden Valley, which sits in between the Lake District and the Pennines in Cumbria. £25, epicevents.co.uk

Ride The Reservoir (18th March)

The reservoir in question is in Bartley Green and it supplies the water for Birmingham. It’s also an especially pretty reservoir, with sailboats a common sight, plenty of birdlife and great views of Birmingham. The 75km ride is hilly but not too demanding, which is good for an early-season sportive, although there is a 4km hill climb at the 5km mark. Think of that as a good way to warm up. Early bird £18, standard £20, late booking £25, birminghamhospice.org.uk

Yeovil Sportive (8th April)

Another relaxed road ride to ease you into the season. The Yeovil Sportive has three distance options – 63km, 90km and 169km – all of which are enjoyably flat, aside from the climb through Cheddar Gorge on the longest route. £20-£35, beyondevents.org.uk

New Forest Spring Sportive (14th-15th April)

There are three rides available on both days of this weekend event in the New Forest. The Epic ride challenges riders to complete 133.5km, the Standard route is 106km and the Short ride is 46.5km. None of the three is brutally hilly, making this a great early-season sportive that eases you back into form without completely wrecking your legs. £31-£40, ukcyclingevents.co.uk/events/wiggle-new-forest-spring-sportive

Isle Of Man Cyclefest (21st-22nd April)

Three events make up the Isle of Man Cyclefest Championship: a savage 2.4km hill climb and a cross-country MTB race on the Saturday, and a 132km Gran Fondo road race on the Sunday. You can enter all three and compete for the overall championship, or take your pick of the races. Or, if none appeal, there are also 35.5km and 63km road rides available. £20-£80, iomcyclefest.com

Tour De Yorkshire Ride (6th May)

The amateur ride at the Tour de Yorkshire takes place on the same day as the third stage of the pro event, with each of the three sportives (short 45km, medium 80km, long 102km) following similar routes to the four-day elite race. Amateurs also get the chance to sprint down the same finishing straight as the pros, and can stick around to watch the elites afterwards. Charity entry £25 plus £300 fundraising or £200 donation plus fundraising, general entry opens 9th January, letour.yorkshire.com/maserati-tour-de-yorkshire-ride

Fred Whitton Challenge (13th May)

This 180km sportive in the Lake District is not one for the faint-hearted, with 11-hour finish times not uncommon for the average rider. The route seems to cram in every hill in the Lake District, with a particularly nasty 30% gradient awaiting riders at the 158km mark. £60, entry ballot open until 15th January, fredwhittonchallenge.co.uk

Etape Caledonia (20th May)

Riders at this spectacular Scottish sportive are treated to 130km of closed roads in the Highlands. There are naturally some dastardly climbs to conquer, but the stunning views undoubtedly make them worthwhile. £75-£125 early bird entry, etapecaledonia.co.uk

Flat n Fast 100 (2nd June)

If your sole aim for the 2018 cycling season is setting a new PB over 100km or 100 miles, this is one of your best shots. You can even set out on the 100km route and carry on to do 100 miles if you’re feeling strong along the way. If neither of those routes appeal, there is also a 25-mile (40km) ride available. All of the rides start and finish in Thorne in South Yorkshire, and although there are a couple of climbs in the second half of the 100-mile event, the routes are mostly pancake-flat. From £15, sportivehq.com

Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales (10th June)

It doesn’t matter which of the four distances you pick at this sportive in south Wales, you should be prepared for some brutal climbs. With that said, do pick your route carefully, because they range from 100km to the truly epic 305km Dragon Devil. If merely completing the event isn’t enough of a target for you, there are also timed King/Queen of the Mountains segments along the way. £47.50-£92.50, letapeuk.co.uk/wales

Wiggle MagnifiCat (16th June)

All cyclists will be able to fund a suitable challenge at this sportive in the Berkshire countryside, with 48km, 106km, 160km and 201km routes available. The longest route involves almost 2,400m of uphill work, with nine major climbs to complete in total. £31-£45, ukcyclingevents.co.uk/events/wiggle-magnificat-sportive

CX Century: The South Downs Way (7th July)

For most off-road cycling events the technical challenge at least matches the physical, but that’s not the case here, because both the 100-mile and 100km slogs along the South Downs Way are gruelling to say the least (but rewarding, of course). The route is fully supported, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to refuel along the way from Winchester to Beachy Head on the coast near Eastbourne. 100km £37, 100 mile £47, cxsportive.com

Velothon Wales (8th July)

This closed-road sportive starts and finishes in the centre of Cardiff, with a whole load of cycling uphill in between, including the famous Tumble climb and a trip up Caerphilly Mountain. There are 60km, 125km and 140km routes to pick between. £45-£69, velothon.com/events/velothon-wales

Staffordshire Cycling Festival (22nd July)

You hit the highest point of the 100km route here after just 21km, so from there on in you know there will be more downs than ups. That’s just one of the joys of the Staffs Cycling Festival, which starts and finishes in Stafford town centre. It also offers a shorter 63km route, which you can switch to on the day at two points along the longer route if you’re struggling. Early bird entry £17.99 until 1st May, then £27.99 until 1st July and £35.99 thereafter, ridestaffs.co.uk

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 (28th-29th July)

The ballot for places in the 2018 RideLondon-Surrey 100 has closed, so your only chance to participate in this year’s 100-mile (161km) ride through London and the Surrey Hills is to bag a charity place. Otherwise, if you still fancy tooling around the closed roads of London, put your name down to cruise around the FreeCycle eight-mile circuit. prudentialridelondon.co.uk