Cyclosportives – or Gran Fondos – are French and Italian terms for a single day cycling event. They combine the competitiveness of a cycling race with a the fun of a Sunday social ride. If you combined the London marathon with Sydney’s City to Surf fun run, you get a pretty good picture of what they’re about.

There are lots of great cyclosportives on the annual calendar. If you’re lucky enough to live in Europe, then you are treated to some brilliant sportives right on your doorstep that you can plan for like a long weekend. But if you live further afield, you might have to be more selective on which sportive you shoot for.

Here is a list of the sportives that are on my bucket list – if you get them done before me, hit me up with a review!


Haute Route Scenery 2012

Credit: Manu Molle/


With 21,000 vertical meters of ascent over a week, is there a better way to get from Geneva to Nice? This event also make the most of the great weather in the French Alps at the end of August – if you’ve the legs for it…



Courtesty of le coq sportif dot com

Courtesty of le coq sportif dot com


A cyclosportive for gentlemen. Get a pre-1987 bike (no carbon, gear shifters on the down tube). Pull on a dapper woollen jersey.  And spend a couple of hours riding the famed Strada Bianche in Tuscany. Very good, old chap.

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