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Best Gran Fondos in the UK 2024

Best Gran Fondos in the UK 2024

Large group of riders in the English countryside

If you are a cycling enthusiast and planning to explore the UK on two wheels or looking for an event to build a trip around,  there are plenty of events to choose from that cater to riders of all abilities.  Strambecco does not rate or cover every possible event, only those considered the best of the best.  Our ratings of the Best Gran Fondos in the UK 2024 are based on a variety of factors, including reputation, route quality, location, rider feedback, and the event’s or race’s overall uniqueness. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best gran fondos in the UK 2024.

Offering the widest range of ride options for all abilities, along with the novel opportunity to ride the streets of London (car-free) and the surrounding countryside, is the RideLondon-Essex 100. This annual event, which takes place in August, attracts thousands of cyclists of all stripes.  The signature 100-mile route takes you past many famous streets and sites of London and the Essex countryside. The ride includes some challenging climbs, such as the infamous Box Hill, but the stunning views and enthusiastic crowds make it all worth it. Plus, the event attracts cyclists from all over the world, making it a great opportunity to meet new people and experience different cultures.

Another popular event in the UK is the Etape Caledonia. This one-day sportive takes place in the Scottish Highlands and offers riders the chance to cycle through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK. The 81-mile route includes some challenging climbs and descents, but the beautiful views of lochs, mountains, and forests make it all worthwhile. The event also includes a festival atmosphere with live music and food stalls, making it a great way to spend a weekend in Scotland.

If you’re looking for a more challenging ride, Dragon Ride Wales offers a range of routes through the stunning Welsh countryside. The event takes place in June and offers riders the chance to tackle some of the toughest climbs in the UK, including the Devil’s Staircase and the Rhigos climb. With routes ranging from 100km to 300km, there’s a challenge for every level of cyclist. Plus, the event includes a festival atmosphere with food stalls and live music, making it a great way to spend a weekend in Wales.

If you are looking for more competitive options, The Tour of Cambridgeshire and the Gran Fondo Isle of Man are fantastic events and part of the  UCI Gran Fondo World Series.  The UCI Gran Fondo World Series is a series of long-distance cycling events for amateur riders organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The events are held across different countries and continents, with participants competing in various age categories and distances. The top riders in each age group and distance category from each event qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, where they can compete for the title of world champion.  This year’s UCI Gran Fondo World Championship also happens to take place in Scotland!

Overall, the UK is home to some of the most exciting and challenging cycling events in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an enthusiast, there’s something for everyone. So if you’re planning a trip to the UK and want to experience the country from a unique perspective, consider adding one of these cycling events to your itinerary. You won’t regret it!

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