Cycling events

The scenery and quiet but challenging roads of the Yorkshire Dales means that it hosts a wide range of cycling events each year. Many of these provide participants with the chance to take on a real challenge, and often take place to raise money for different charities.


Cyclosportives often feature a number of different length loops as challenge rides. They are organised events which follow way-marked routes, and have a number of refreshment stops along the way. You are normally timed although they are not a race, and so you can always come back the next year to try and improve your time. They can be really good social occasions with hundreds of riders out on course.

You can get a full list of this years events from the Cyclosport website, but below you will find the best known in the region which take place between April and October:

Etape du Dales

The Etape du Dales regularly features in the Top 10 of UK rides. Taking in some classic Dales climbs this is 176km and 3,450m of climbing that you will not forget. The events are normally held in early May, starting and finishing in Grassington - a quiet and delightful town centred around a pretty cobbled square. Early booking is essential – it is normally fully booked within hours. You can find a copy of Etape du Dales route in the Day Rides section of the website if you want to come and ride it at other times.

Richmond Cycling Club Sportives

The Richmond Cycling Club Sportives take place towards the end of May and have 50 mile, 80 mile and 100 mile versions. These are challenging rides with plenty of hills.

Le Petit Depart

Le Petit Depart starting from Skipton, Le Petit Depart offers two fantastic routes to cater for all abilities; an 80 mile Sportive Ride which follows much of the Tour de France stage 1 taking you over 3 climbs and along 6 dales, and a 38 mile Recreational Ride.

Escape to the Dales

The Escape to the Dales sportive is part of the Ingleton Overground Underground festival organised by a local bike shop. Two different routed of 45 miles and 60 miles.

Sedbergh Sportive

The Sedbergh Sportive is taking place on 19 June 2016 and will feature two great routes through the Yorkshire Dales; 30 miles and 70 miles.

Ripon Revolution

June sees the Ripon Revolution with a choice of three distances - 65 miles, 77 miles or 102 miles. The short route in particular is a good first sportive as it has no major climbs whilst still taking you through superb countryside.

The Struggle

Joining the May sportives in 2016 is the Struggle which will start and finish at the Harrogate. This is a 110 mile route taking in some of the key climbs in the Dales including Greenhow Hill, Malham Cove, Trapping Hill and the steepest ascents of Two Stoops and Park Rash.

White Rose Classic

A long standing sportive starting from Ilkley, the White Rose Classic takes you on a challenging ride through the Dales. Three routes to choose from: 50, 84 and 114 miles. Takes place on 26 June 2016.

Challenge Rides

One Saturday each month from May to September Yorkshire Velo Tours  host a fully supported classic day ride. The routes are incredibly varied with each one having its own very distinct character to show off the wide variety of terrain and scenery in the Yorkshire Dales. What you get over and above a typical sportive is a pre-ride bike check, a support vehicle and team mechanic, the benefit of riding in a small group with your own dedicated ride leader and a top cafĂ© stop.

Audax long distance cycling events

Audax rides are organised events but you need to be more self contained, organising your own food and often doing the navigation.

Etape du Dales video