Selecting our top 5 sportives and cyclosportives in 2017 would always be an impossible task when there were so many high quality events to choose from. So in the absence of any selection based on criteria we’ve unashamedly chosen our favourite events!
Our 2017 season was mainly in France and Belgium so it should be no surprise that three of our choices are European events leaving two choices for the UK and both of those were found in the south-west where the hills are plentiful and scenery fantastic!
Organised by Proximus, this iconic Belgian cyclo attracts several thousand entries but don’t let that put you off. The start window is over two hours so it doesn’t feel crowded. If you’re skilled, it pays to get into a group to help overcome the winds! It’s a relief to engage with the iconic climbs such as Mont de Chat, Kemmelberg, etc.. The terrain is generally very gently undulating as the parcours negotiates amazing towns such as Ypres and a host of World War I battlefields and cemetaries.
Held in April each year, these are a tough test in the early season and not for the feint-hearted. However, they are a great test and indicator of future form especially for hillier events. Although, we rode the 2017 event the 2016 edition was pretty epic with the added complication of severe weather.
La Bourgogne, Macon, France
A last minute change of plan to avoid poor weather at Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge saw us head further south to Macon, France. A Grand Trophée event which guarantees superb organisation, route, marshalls and some high-speed racing is always worth a trip. La Bourgogne was just another example. Riding through vineyards and enjoying the fun of some mini-mountains was a real morale boost.
Coast and Clays Sportive, St Columb, Cornwall
Organised by a very experienced team, the range of distances on offer ensures there is a route for everyone. We met people who had ridden the 23-mile route and others who had ridden the longer distances up to 100-miles. Everyone returned to the HQ at the end of their ride with a smile having completed their own challenge.
Tour du Mont Blanc
The ‘big one’! This is an amazing event – 330 kms, 8,400 m and a fantastic parcours including five yes, five HC climbs amongst other category climbs!! Six months of training completed just to stand a chance of completing the event in the 20 hour time limit – extraordinary!
Don’t forget …
Sportive Cycling Magazine is the UK’s only online magazine dedicated to your passion of riding sportives and cyclosportives. 2018 is going to be another amazing year with more events than ever to choose from ensuring a varied and exciting season for all.
Plus, next year
In the New Year we will be focussing on training offering lots of tips, training advice and access to amazing coaches, events – SCM Hub will be your resource for all things associated with sportive cycling.
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