With the weather hotting up and the evenings growing ever longer, the open road calls to many a fan of two wheels. A huge number of cycling races take place across Europe during the summer and early autumn months, so if you’re gearing up for the finale of the Tour de France you should definitely check out these other events in the calendar. Whether you’re a keen cyclist looking for a place to race, or a fan who simply wants to witness these world class athletes in training, these lesser-known cycling events provide stunning views, exciting terrain and a buzzing atmosphere for spectators.
That coveted yellow jersey is close enough to touch.
The Tour de France is the greatest bike race on earth, and the 104th edition is already proving one of the most thrilling in recent memory. Christian Prudhomme, the director of the race, has stated that the 2017 route has been specifically designed to encourage riders to attack each other from early on, right through to the Champs Elysees finale on 23 July.
Though it has just three summit finishes and fewer categorised climbs than previous years, the Tour will visit every one of France’s five mountain regions: the Alps, the Pyrénées, the Massif Central, the Jura and the Vosges. With up to nine potential sprint stages, spectators can expect aggressive racing from the get go. In honour of this sporting spectacular, we’ve put together the ultimate guide of the Tour de France 2017. Allez! Allez!
Tradition lies at the heart of Wallonia, from its Renaissance-style architecture right down to its rich local produce. The French-speaking region of Belgium may not be a well-known holiday destination, but with a range of activities on offer, it’s a true hidden gem that oozes old world charm. With multiple museums, historic sites and more than 1,500 castles to explore, you’ll find plenty to pack in, and all in a picturesque countryside setting.
The following post comes from Starley Pro Cycling rider Gaby Leveridge, who also blogs at Go Faster Gaby. Here she reveals everything you need to know before tackling the Paris-Roubaix route.
While you shake and rattle your way around the course, you can rest assured that this is a brilliantly organised sportive designed to host thousands of classics enthusiasts. There are plenty of feed stations and mechanical help along the route, so if your bike struggles a bit with the terrain or you need more fuel to get you through, there will be a helping hand available.
The following post comes from Starley Pro Cycling rider Gaby Leveridge, owner of Go Faster Gaby.
Over the past few years I have raced for both British and Australian professional teams. I specialise in the longer road races and find that tough conditions suit me. I fell in love with road cycling whilst living out in the French Alps, where I rode a lot of the well-known mountain sportives before going on to compete in ultra-distance events before signing for a race team.
Quick enough to see the sights, and leisurely enough to not miss anything, there’s nothing quite like exploring a new place on two wheels. Whatever your cycling ability, there’s a fantastic destination just waiting to welcome you. Try casually coasting down city streets, getting your heart thumping on off-road routes or even packing up and taking a long tour right across the continent. So grab your bicycle and get ready for an adventure you won’t forget – here are some top cycling destinations in Europe.
While the Tour de France may be the household name, many of cycling’s true greats are made on the stony streets of northern Europe. Belgium and France’s cobbled classics are some of the oldest events in professional road cycling, and among the most revered races of the season. The arduous routes see the world’s finest athletes on two wheels straining to break away from the pack in a breathless, thigh-burning struggle to glorious victory.
Starting with the Omloop, the series of one-day events progresses into two of the most highly-regarded events in cycling – the Tour of Flanders (or De Ronde) and the iconic Paris-Roubaix. Here’s how to catch the best of the classics in person this year.
Northern Ireland’s southernmost county of Fermanagh hides a paradise of endless meadows and peaceful forests. The star attraction in this scenic part of Northern Ireland is the island-dotted Lough Erne, which attracts plenty of fishermen and sports enthusiasts – no surprise given that the waterways are some of the quietest and least congested in Europe. With so many activities at your fingertips, check out exactly what’s on offer for an active escape in the Fermanagh Lakelands.
The Netherlands is easy to explore by car, but the best way to experience it like a local is by hopping on a bicycle. As well as being one of the most convenient ways to get about the country, the extensive cycle network gives you a chance to see plenty of scenic sights along the way. If you’ve already biked around Amsterdam‘s famous Vondelpark and pedalled past the waterfront, check out these awesome cycle routes near the Dutch capital and start your own two-wheeled adventure.
Comfortably the most famous cycling race in the world, the Tour de France is a gruelling challenge for the sport’s greatest athletes across some of Europe’s most difficult mountain terrains. For cycling fans, there really is nothing like watching the peloton battle up a steep incline or zoom by during sprint stages. To help you soak up all of the atmosphere throughout, check out our practical Tour de France guide to get up to speed on this iconic race.