Cheshire Sportives 2019 : Guide to the Best Sportives in Cheshire

Cheshire Sportives take in some of the most beautiful countryside scenery in the North-West, here are some of the best ..

Living in the North-West, I often enter sportives in Wirral, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire. This list of Sportives in Wirral & Merseyside covers events in those areas but I also wanted a list of Cheshire sportives, so here we are.

Many of the sportives listed below are ones that I have either done or plan to do this year, so they come from personal experience. Cheshire is beautiful and with the exception of one or two hills, is predominantly flat. For cyclists like me, who are not huge fans of climbing, this makes Cheshire a great place to do longer sportives. When I say flat, a number of these sportives include routes with upto 10% gradients and one or two include the infamous 27% Mow Cop, so perhaps not strictly flat. However, more experienced cyclists will know what I mean.

Having said that, Cheshire is a good area to do your first sportive or to move from smaller distances of circa 25 miles to medium distances of 50 miles, before adventuring into the realms of longer 75 miles or even the infamous Century. If you are thinking of cycling this milestone, this article on How to Train for a Century Bike Ride may be helpful.

Cheshire Sportives

In 2018 there were 16 sportives in Cheshire but at present, there are fewer currently planned for 2019 but I suspect I may have missed a few so please feel free to add a comment in the box below and I’ll update the article.

For those sportives that I have already ridden, I will add a personal review of the ride and for those I am yet to complete, I’ll add post ride comments.

For those of you who are new to cycling events, this guide on How to Prepare for a Charity Bike Ride will help you to get ready for your event.

Cheshire Sportives 2019

Cheshire Sportives
EventDateDistanceLocation
MarCheshire CatMar 2450m, 80m, 110mCrewe, Cheshire
MayTour de MancMay 5100km, 100mMiddleton
JunLapierre Cheshire Cobbled ClassicJun 16100km, 100mStockport, Cheshire
Bike ChesterJun 2350m, 80mChester, Cheshire
JulLiverpool to ChesterJul 750m, 100mLiverpool, Merseyside
Evans Cycles Cheshire 100Jul 21100km, 100mArley Hall, Cheshire
AugCycle Retreats SportiveAug 11tbcCheshire
SepManchester 100Sep 1100km, 100mManchester
Cheshire Cycling SportiveSep 865mKnutsford, Cheshire
CW125 Cycling Weekly Sportivetbc65m, 80m, 125mTarporley, Cheshire
Seashell Trust SportiveSep 1550km, 75km, 100km, 170kmCheadle Hulme, Cheshire

Cheshire Cat Sportive :: 24th March 2019
Cheshire Cat Sportive

Name:Cheshire CatOrganiser:Velo29 Events
Location:Crewe, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:24th March 2019Price:£20.00, ££27.50, £30.00
Event:SportiveStart Times:8:00am to 9:30am
Distance:50m, 80m, 110mFeed Stations:Yes, High5 sponsored
Climbing:1,500ft, 4,100ft, 5,500ftRide Profile:Rural. Challenging.
GPS Route:link to short route, medium route, long routeMap:link to route maps

The Cheshire Cat Sportive is one of several to include the infamous Mow Cop killer mile and is pretty icon in the Cheshire cycling calendar. It was the first really challenging sportive I did and as such, I have a soft spot for it.

There are three distances to choose from and for the past couple of years, I’ve completed the middle distance (82m). However, it’s about time I did the longer 108-mile route, in part because I should be challenging myself and in part because it’ll be good practice for other Century sportives, like Velo Birmingham.

Previous rides have been blighted by cold, wet and windy conditions but this is all par for the course with early season sportives. Previous Kilo to Go Cheshire Cat events were held in February so it’ll be interesting to see the weather in March. Kilo to Go were good organisers and the event is one that should be at the heart of all Cheshire cyclists’ sportive calendar. Organisers KTG have unfortunately ceased trading but the nice chaps at Velo29 have picked up the mantle to ensure this famous sportive lasts. Past events attracted around 3,000 cyclists so it’s one to target.

Cheshire Cat Sportive Route Elevation – Long Route (108m)

Cheshire Cat Route Elevation

As you can see from this elevation, the challenge is very much in the first 65km (40m) and whilst there are some steeper climbs, they are manageable. The first ascent is definitely the hardest, Mow Cop is a mile-long hill, which ramps up to 25% gradient, right at the very end. Not sure what the weather will be like in March but the views are pretty special.

The second climb (Biddulph Moor) is gentle and you’ll be at the top before you realise it. Climbs three and four are quite short (Meerbrook and Wincle) but you will see 10% gradients for some aspects of the climb. Once you pass the 65km mark, it’s all straight forward cycling from there.

Cheshire Cat Sportive Route Map – Long Route (110m)

Cheshire Cat Route Map Long

Cyclists leave Queens Park in Crewe and after a few miles of town centre traffic, you head towards Shavington and then East to Alsager and onto Mow Cop for the first climb at 35km.

The next 30km is the hardest as this section contains the four climbs at Biddulph Moor and Rudyard. After Wincle, you’re pretty much riding on the flat.

From this point, cyclists head West towards Northwich, cycling through Sutton, Lower Withington and Goostrey on lovely cheshire country lanes. Traffic builds a little as you circumnavigate Northwich but it gets better by the time you reach Mouldsworth.

The ride back to Crewe passes near Tarporley, Little Budworth and Wetterhall, all of which will be familar to regular Cheshire cyclists. The ride into Crewe is on busier A-roads but organisers try to keep you on the quieter roads where possible.

Cheshire Cat Sportive Route Map – Medium Route (80m)

Cheshire Cat Route Map Medium

Cheshire Cat Sportive Route Map – Short Route (50m)

Cheshire Cat Route Map Short

Tour de Manc Sportive :: 5th May 2019

Name:Tour de Manc SportiveOrganiser:Tour de Manc Ltd
Location:Middleton, Greater ManchesterEvent Website:link to website
Date:5th May 2019Price:£30
Event:SportiveStart Time:7:00am
Distance:100km, 100mFeed Stations:Yes
Climbing:tbcRide Profile:Suburban
GPS Route:link to StravaMap:link to Maps

The Tour de Manc Sportive began life just a few years ago when Danny Franks came up with the idea of a tough sportive that took in all ten of the Greater Manchester boroughs.

In this first year (2015), Danny rode an 80m route on his own to raise money for charity. The following year he was joined by friend Tony Rubins and together, Tour de Manc Limited was formed, with the aim of raising money for charity whilst setting a challenging sportive for local cyclists.

One of the things I admire about this Sportive, is that the vast majority of the money raised, goes to charity with just the necessary costs (such as event insurance, essential printing and materials manufacture) being deducted.

Tour de Manc has two routes, the Full Manc is 100-miles, whilst the Half Manc is 100km. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that these are easy routes just because they are in and around the Manchester area. The 100km route covers over 5,000ft of climbing and the longer 100m route has a whopping 9,000ft elevation gain.

I rode the 100km route in 2018 and found it remarkably tough, especially on the East side of Manchester as the route brushes the Peak District. The hot weather also played a major part but all things considered, it was very well organised and supported, and will definitely be on the list for this year.

Organisation seems to be well managed and takes a professional approach. Support includes 4 free feed stations, free nutrition and a whole host of other freebies at the finish; tea and cakes, free sportive photos, a medal for all finishers, post ride massage and a freebie bag.

Tour de Manc Route Map

Tour de Manc Route Map

Tour de Manc Route Elevation

Tour de Manc Route Elevation

Lapierre Cheshire Cobbled Classic Sportive :: 16th June 2019

Name:Cheshire Cobbled ClassicOrganiser:Cycle Classics
Location:Stockport, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:16th June 2019Price:£30
Event:SportiveStart Time:8.30am
Distance:100km, 100mFeed Stations:unknown
Climbing:5,250 ft (100km)Ride Profile:Rural
GPS Route:link to GPX fileMap:link to route map

This Cheshire Cobbled Classic sportive is a tough one. It’s not particularly long at 100 km (62m) but it has over 5,200 ft of climbing and includes 12 cobbled sections, five of which are over 20% gradient. Like I said, tough. For those that like things really tough, the organisers are adding a 100-mile option from this year. Details are pretty limited at present but it’s safe to say that this is only for the hardy cyclist, or nutters.

As you may have expected, this event is inspired by the Tour of Flanders – the Belgian one-day Classic. Perhaps one of the most challenging parts of the course is the 45% maximum gradient (yes, forty-five), Corkscrew. This is a steep, twisting, cobbled road whose 45% maximum gradient makes it the steepest climb in the country.

Cheshire Cobbled Classic Sportive

The eastern part of the Cheshire Cobbled Classic is located within the Peak District National Park and takes in the spectacular Goyt Valley and the Fernilee and Errwood reservoirs, before heading south and west via a further five reservoirs and Macclesfield Forest.

The event website has a good description of the beauty of this route, along with some pictures of the numerous cobbled section. It certainly isn’t a sportive for a novice and even some more experienced cyclists may wince at parts of this ride but this is certainly going to give you a challenge.

Bike Chester Sportive :: 23rd June 2019

Name:Bike ChesterOrganiser:Iconic Cycle Events
Location:Chester, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:23rd June 2019Price:£36
Event:CharityStart Time:7:30am (80m), 8:30am (50m)
Distance:50m, 80mFeed Stations:Yes, with local produce
Climbing:2,000 ft (50m), 2,700 ft (80m)Ride Profile:Rural, flat
GPS Route:N/AMap:Bike Chester Sportive Route Maps

The Bike Chester Sportive is organised by Iconic Cycle Events, which are the same people behind Cheshire Pedalthon. As for Bike Chester, there are two marked rides of 50m and 80m, which take in the best scenery of Chester and the surrounding Cheshire countryside.

Entrants benefit from a timed record of the ride, fully signposted routes with a back up route map and GPS files. The event will have support from medical staff and finishers will receive a medal. I’ve published an in-depth article on the Bike Chester Sportive which has full details of this excellent event.

Bike Chester Sportive Route Map

bike-chester-route

Bike Chester Sportive Route Elevation

bike-chester-route-elevation

Liverpool to Chester LCL Sportive :: 7th July 2019

Name:Liverpool to Chester LCLOrganiser:Pennine Events
Location:Liverpool, MerseysideEvent Website:link to website
Date:7th July 2019Price:£30
Event:SportiveStart Time:7.30am
Distance:50m, 100mFeed Stations:25m, 75m
Climbing:4,300ft (100m route)Ride Profile:Rural
GPS Route:link to website & GPS filesMap:link to map of 100m route

One of the cool features of the LCL Liverpool to Chester event is that you get to ride through the tunnel under the Mersey. It’s quite a surreal feeling, especially if you are used to driving through either of the tunnels.

This is a well organised event and one that is well attended (over 3,000 cyclists). There are three primary distances; 25m, 50m, 100m. The mid distance is one that I have done for the past few years and it is basically a straight ride from Liverpool to Chester, riding through the minor roads of the Wirral. The halfway point is a stop off at the Countess of Chester, before returning to Liverpool, using similar secondary roads across the Wirral Peninsular.

This year, I’ve decided to do the longer route, which shares the 50m route through the Wirral but then extends a further 50m out to Delamere Forest. This is a great day out and a ride that I book as soon as entry opens, which both secures my place and gives me the early bird price.

Liverpool to Chester Sportive Route Map : 100m

Map of Liverpool to Chester Sportive Route
Evans Cycle Cheshire 100 Sportive :: 21st July 2019

Name:Evans Cycles Cheshire 100 SportiveOrganiser:Evans Cycles
Location:Arley Hall, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:21st July 2019Price:£35
Event:SportiveStart Time:8:00am
Distance:100km, 100mFeed Stations:Yes
Climbing:1,565ft / 4,580ftRide Profile:Rural. Country Lanes.
GPS Route:available on Event websiteMap:available on Event website

The clue’s in the title of the Evans Cycles Cheshire 100 Sportive. It’s organised by the national cycle chain, Evans Cycles, and covers a distance of either 100km or 100m.

This Cheshire sportive starts from the scenic grounds of Arley Hall, near Northwich, and winds its way through local country lanes, passing both Dunham Massey Deer Park and Tatton Park along the way before returning back to the finish.

The lighter route covers a distance of 100km (62m), which in itself is a good length, especially if you are returning to fitness or perhaps looking to stretch yourself. For riders looking for a more challenging route, the 100-mile route is not only longer but heads for some more challenging terrain on the edge of the Peak District (for that read hills). There’s a chance to test your legs on the climb up through Macclesfield Forest before starting to head back past Alderley Edge and then a relatively fast and flat run in across the Cheshire Plains to the finish.

The 100km route is pretty flat at 1,565ft but the more challenging route not only sees additional distance but adds some extra pressure on the legs by climbing 4,580ft. I think this is pretty light for a Century ride but obviously it very much depends on each individual.

For me, the main decision on this sportive is the cost. Both Evans Cycles and Wiggle price their sportives at £35 to £40 which for standard sportives like these, it pretty high, but like so many things in life, it’s about choice. I’d like to do this one but the price puts me off.

Evans Cycles Cheshire 100 Route Map

Evans Cycles Cheshire 100 Sportive Route Map

Cycle Retreats Sportive :: 11th August 2019

Name:Cycle Retreats SportiveOrganiser:Cycle Retreats
Location:Knutsford, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:11th August 2019Price:£36
Event:SportiveStart Time:7:30am (80m), 8:30am (45m)
Distance:45m, 80mFeed Stations:Yes
Climbing:4,500 ft (80m)Ride Profile:Rural, flat
GPS Route:tbcMap:tbc

The Cycle Retreats Sportive is new in 2019 and at present further details aren’t available, they’re not even on their website yet.

Manchester 100 Sportive :: 1st September 2019

Name:Manchester 100 SportiveOrganiser:Bike Events
Location:Wythenshawe, ManchesterEvent Website:link to website
Date:1st September 2019Price:£20
Event:SportiveStart Time:6:45am
Distance:100km, 100mFeed Stations:Water only
Climbing:1,750ft / 3,200ftRide Profile:Rural. Country Lanes.
GPS Route:link to 100m routeMap:link to map

The Manchester 100 is another easy-to-understand sportive, it’s in Manchester, and it’s over 100-miles or 100 km. Whichever distance to ride, you can genuinely say that you’ve done a Century bike ride.

Starting in Wythenshawe Park, on the south side of Manchester, riders head south-west through Timperley, passed Altrincham and on towards Knutsford. For Cheshire cyclists, these will be familiar roads as they are popular with many cyclists in this area.

After Knutsford, you’ll head west, passing Northwich before heading into Delamere Forest, which is very pleasant scenery but awful roads so beware of the potholes and the moss covered roads, making riding quite slippery at times.

The full 100-mile route has just 3,200ft of climbing so there’s nothing to trouble most experienced cyclists but the few hills on the course are situated around this part of the course, ending in a short climb at Beeston Castle.

From here it’s east to Nantwich and then north to Middlewich before heading home via Mobberley and Manchester Airport.

The entry fee (£20) is very reasonable, although it doesn’t include any food at the feed stations (food can be purchased). If you’ve ridden the Cheshire roads before, it’s unlikely you’ll see anything new on this sportive and given that there are of sportive in September, I’d probably recommend doing something else.

Cheshire Cycling Sportive :: 8th September 2019

Name:Cheshire Cycling SportiveOrganiser:Cheshire Cycling Sportive
Location:Knutsford, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:8th Sept 2019Price:£22
Event:Charity SportiveStart Time:8.00am
Distance:65mFeed Stations:unknown
Climbing:5,400 ftRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:link to stravaMap:link to strava

Coming just two weeks after the Rise Above sportive, the Cheshire Cycling Sportive is another climbing challenge.

This ride covers 65 miles and includes 5,500 ft of climbing, which comes after the halfway marker. It also includes Swiss Hill and it’s rather steep cobbled sections.

The route travels through many well-known Cheshire towns and villages, including; Knutsford, Mobberley, Alderley Edge, Prestbury, Bollington, Pott Shrigley, Windgather Rocks, Goyt Valley, Cat and Fiddle, Blaze Hill, Swiss Hill and Wizard Hill.

For the competitive cyclist there are a few prizes on offer, such as King of the Mountains, Best Sprinter, Lanterne Rouge and strangely, Best Fancy Dress.

This looks to be a challenging event, the route itself looks good and takes in some excellent parts of Cheshire. However, this is one for cyclists who like a challenge, especially those that don’t mind hills.

Cheshire Cycling Sportive Route Map

cheshire-sportive-route-map
Seashell Trust Sportive :: 15th September 2019

Name:Seashell Trust SportiveOrganiser:Seashell Trust
Location:Cheadle Hulme, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:15th Sept 2019Price:£30 (50km), £35 (75km, 100km, 170km)
Event:Charity SportiveStart Time:7.30am to 8:30am
Distance:30m, 50m, 60m, 105mFeed Stations:Yes
Climbing:1,600ft, 3,700ft, 5,500ft, 9,150ftRide Profile:Rural with Hills
GPS Route:links to routes 50km, 75km, 100km, 170kmMap:link to route maps

The Seashell Trust Sportive is a late summer ride and whilst it won’t be blazing sunshine (is it ever in Britain), the weather should still be warm.

This is a new sportive and one which I’m pleased to say sees the whole of the entry fee go towards the Seashell Trust charity. It’s a non-competitive cycle sportive with 4 routes to chose from; 50km, 75km, 100km, 170km. Entry fee is £30 for the shorter route and £35 for the other routes.

This sportive takes place in September, so ride fitness should be high, giving me no real excuse for not doing the Century, although the 9,160ft of climbing may be challenging.

The 50km & 75km routes head South and to the West of Macclesfield. Whilst it’s not a particular challenging ride for experienced sportive riders, it’s aim is to introduce cyclists to sportives and at 31-miles & 47-miles, this is a great beginners sportive.

Both of the longer routes circle Macclesfield and take in a significant portion of the West Peak District, known for it’s lumps and bumps, along with stunning scenery. This looks to be a great sportive and one that I’m looking forward to.

Seashell Sportive Route Map

seashell-sportive-route-map
CW125 Cycling Weekly Sportive 2019 :: tbc
CW125 Sportive

Name:CW125 Cycling Weekly SportiveOrganiser:Cycling Weekly
Location:Tarporley, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:tbcPrice:£40
Event:SportiveStart Time:7:15am
Distance:40m, 80m, 125mFeed Stations:Yes
Climbing:1,600ft, 3,300ft, 4,700ftRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:download GPX filesMap:see below

The CW125 Sportive was originally organised to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Cycling Weekly – I bet you didn’t know it was that old eh?

The ride starts and ends at Oulton Park Race Circuit and includes a timed lap for those competitive types. This is a late summer / early autumn sportive and most riders should have their full fitness by now so there’s no excuse for choosing the short distance, all you have to do is decide on the 80m or 125m route. For those selecting the longer distance, the route will take you into Delamere Forest, which may offer some cool cover should we get a late summer.

The Standard and Epic routes share much of the same route, which include views of North Wales, the River Dee and much of the Cheshire countryside. However, don’t get too settled as there is a sting in the tail of this ride – Mow Cop. Yes, the classic killer mile makes another appearance in a Cheshire sportive.

I’ve published a more extensive write-up of the CW125 Sportive if you’re interested in doing this event.

Last year’s event was one of my favourite of the year and I’ll certainly be looking to do it again this year.

CW125 Cycling Weekly Sportive Route Map

CW125 Cycling Weekly Sportive Map

CW125 Sportive Short Route Elevation

CW125 Cycling Weekly Sportive

CW125 Sportive Standard Route Elevation : 80m / 125 km

CW125 Cycling Weekly Sportive

CW125 Sportive Epic Route Elevation : 125 miles

CW125 Cycling Weekly Sportive
Previous Cheshire Sportives
Some Sportives come and go, for a number of reasons. Some lose the support of the organisers, whether this be commercial support or that of the numerous volunteers that go into making these cycling events a success. Some Sportives aren’t quite good enough to capture the interest of local cyclists and some are affected by adverse weather or there is a clash of dates with another event.

I’ve listed previous Cheshire Sportives below as I want to keep a record of these sportives. I also want to utilise the routes as many have good local cycle routes which can be used regardless of the sportive taking part.

Wiggle Along the Border Cheshire Sportive 2017

Wiggle Along the Border Cheshire Sportive

Name:Wiggle Along the BorderOrganiser:Wiggle & Pennine Events
Location:Chester, CheshireEvent Website:N/A
Date:19th March 2017Price:£33
Event:SportiveStart Time:8.00am
Distance:49m, 62m, 88mFeed Stations:21m, 42m
Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:route unavailableMap:map unavailable

The Wiggle Along the Border ride starts at the Countess of Chester Health Park in Chester and both rides set off along the same route, towards Wrexham, before splitting just north of Whitchurch.

Wiggle Along the Border 2016As the name suggests, this is a wiggle along the Cheshire & Welsh borders, with riders crossing the border six times. The route passes through Marford, Gresford and along the outskirts of Wrexham. After this it goes through Bangor-On-Dee before returning towards Chester at the 35 mile marker.

On the return, all rides join together and riders complete the ride on the same route, which passes through Oldcastle Heath, Shocklach (second feed station), Farndon, Holt and finally Lavister, after which there is a further 10 miles before returning to the Countess of Chester to finish.

I’ve uploaded the GPX file to Strava (link to Strava) and as you’ll see, the route is straightforward and whilst the 62m ride has 2,600ft of elevation, there’s nothing too difficult and nothing much uphill after the 40m mark. Insurance is not provided on this sportive.

I liked the idea of riding in and out of England & Wales and it was fun to see the border signs several times but after that, there’s nothing special about this ride or route.

At £33 it’s too expensive and isn’t worth it – we didn’t even get a goody bag at the end, which is somewhat surprising considering Wiggle must have good links to the leading nutrition suppliers.

The route was pleasant but the poor road surfaces meant riders spent more time looking down at the road rather than admiring the countryside. It’s not a ride I would do again.

Wiggle Along the Border Sportive Route Map

Wiggle Along the Border Map 2016
Wiggle Cheshire Cheetah Sportive 2017

Wiggle Cheshire Cheetah Sportive

Name:Wiggle Cheshire Cheetah SportiveOrganiser:Wiggle
Location:Crewe, CheshireEvent Website:N/A
Date:18th June 2017Price:£35
Event:SportiveStart Time:7.00am
Distance:50m, 70m, 100mFeed Stations:Yes
Climbing:2,900 ftRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:unavailableMap:unavailable

The Wiggle Cheshire Cheetah isn’t a sportive I’ve done before and there are few reviews elsewhere of others that have so it’s perhaps a new one for 2017. I have however done the Wiggle Along the Border and was unfortunately disappointed with it. That won’t put me off and as it doesn’t clash with any other sportive, I’ll probably try this one in June.

There are 3 routes to chose from; a short 50m, great choice if you are new to sportives, standard 70m and a full 100m Century. Given that this is a summer sportive, it’ll be either the 70m or 100m, depending on what else I’m doing that month.

Before you commit to a challenging 100m, you may want to bear in mind that this sportive includes one of Cheshire’s finest climbs, Mow Cop and one of the Peak District’s highest hills too, Fiddle Road. I can’t find any GPS routes and so haven’t got a handle on the amount of climbing, gradients or elevation yet.

This sportive will be a challenging one but nothing too difficult for regular cyclists. This part of Cheshire, especially in the summer, is beautiful so you can expect a great day out, on your bike, surrounded by other cyclists. Perfect.

Wiggle Cheshire Cheetah Sportive Route Map

Wiggle Cheshire Cheetah Route Map
Evans Cycles Hoy 100 Sportive 2017

Evans Cycles Hoy 100 Sportive

Name:Hoy 100 SportiveOrganiser:Evans Cycles
Location:Northwich, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:2nd July 2017Price:£35
Event:SportiveStart Time:7.00am
Distance:100km (62m), 100mFeed Stations:unknown
Climbing:1,565ft, 4,580ftRide Profile:Rural with Hills
GPS Route:download GPS filesMap:download route map

Olympic legend, Sir Chris Hoy has joined forces with Evans Cycles to create the Hoy 100 Sportive. This is a ride around the Cheshire countryside with a choice or 100km or 100 mile routes.

Cyclists congregate in the Arley Hall Estate before setting off on one of the two routes. The 100km route follows local country lanes, taking in Dunham Massey Deer Park and Tatton Park before returning to the Estate.

Cyclists looking for a more challenging route have the option of the 100 mile route, which takes riders to the edge of the Peak District. The longer route also adds a few more climbs, including some challenges through Macclesfield Forest before starting to head back past Alderley Edge and then a relatively fast and flat section across Cheshire and back to Arley Hall Estate again.

The Evans Cycles sportives, just like those of Wiggle, are some of the more expensive. At £35, they are becoming quite expensive, especially if you are like me and do plenty of sportives each year.

Rise Above Sportive 2017

Rise Above Sportive

Rise Above Sportive 2016

Name:Rise Above SportiveOrganiser:Rise Above Sportive Ltd
Location:Chester, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:27th August 2017Price:£39
Event:SportiveStart Times:7:00am (100m), 8:00am (75m), 9:00am (50m)
Distance:50m, 75m, 100mFeed Stations:3 available (see below)
Climbing:2,100ft, 5,850ft, 8,450ftRide Profile:Rural with Hills
GPS Route:link to download pageMap:link to 50m, 75m, 100m route maps

The Rise Above Sportive is one that has been devised by Tour de France supremo, Mark Cavendish, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s tough.

As sportive distances go, the routes are standard at 50m, 75m or 100m but just take a look at the climbing; 2,100ft, 5,850ft and a whopping 8,450ft on the 100m ride.

The routes take cyclists across Cheshire, around Chester and into North Wales which takes in scenic forestry roads, breath-taking views and iconic Welsh landscapes. This sportive is certainly going to challenge most cyclists, with tough climbs and energy-sapping elevations but one that will also bring plenty of reward too. So all that’s left, is to choose which route to do.

This will be my first involvement with this event, which looks to be well planned, with plenty of on-site support and an extensive list of features, including mechanical support, full route marking, public liability insurance for cyclists, free SiS nutrition product, on-site catering, emergency support, gift bags, post event massages etc.

This year I’ll be doing the 75 mile (120km) route as the near 6,000 ft of climbing will be the most I’ll have done in a single ride. The distance will be fine but I’m certainly challenging myself on this one.

Rise Above Sportive Feed Stations

There are a number of SIS sponsored feed stations on this sportive, all of which will be clearly marked and sign-posted with 500m to-go warnings. As you can see from the table below, they are evenly spaced out and strategically placed at distances where they’ll be needed.

The feed station on the 50m route is positioned at the highest point on this route and as such, it’ll be all downhill after your rest stop.

The first feed station on the 75m and 100m routes is also at this point but as these routes are more challenging, there are three higher peaks than this, including two category 4 and one category 2 climbs.

The second stop on the 75m route can be found after all the main climbs, and whilst there is still a small category 5 to go, it’s pretty flat on this route after this second feed station. This is also the third stop on the 100m route.

The second feed station on the 100m route is located in the dip between the two main climbs, and comes after 54m, so just under halfway to go.

Feed Station by Route:Distance Marker:Location:
50m (80km)35m (56km)Minera Lead Mines, Minera, Wrexham, LL11 3DU
75m (120km)24m (38km)Minera Lead Mines, Minera, Wrexham, LL11 3DU
75m (120km)55m (89km)Kingswood Colomendy, Loggerheads Rd, Cilcain, Mold, CH7 5LB
100m (160km)24m (38km)Minera Lead Mines, Minera, Wrexham, LL11 3DU
100m (160km)54m (87km)Corwen Sports Pavilion, Corwen War Memorial Park, Green Lane, Corwen, LL21 0DN
100m (160km)78m (125km)Kingswood Colomendy, Loggerheads Rd, Cilcain, Mold, CH7 5LB

Rise Above Sportive Route Map : 100m / 165km

Map of the Rise Above Sportive 100m Route

Rise Above Sportive Route Map : 75m / 120km

Map of the Rise Above Sportive 75m Route
Wirral Wheelers Early Season Sportive 2016

Wirral Wheelers Early Season Sportive

Name:Wirral Wheelers Early SeasonOrganiser:Wirral Wheelers
Location:Waverton, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:3rd April 2016Price:£12.50
Event:SportiveStart Time:unknown
Distance:60mFeed Stations:30m (entry inc lunch)
Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:not availableMap:not available

This early-ish season challenge is organised by Wirral Wheelers and is a loop that starts and finishes at Waverton, Cheshire. The route is generally flat and stays predominantly on the Cheshire lanes and minor roads. I haven’t ridden this ride before but it looks to be a friendly event, with refreshments on offer at each control point. Full route details will be available closer to the event.

Feisty Fifty Charity Bike Ride 2016

Feisty Fifty Charity Bike Ride

Name:Feisty FiftyOrganiser:Up & Under Foundation
Location:Crewe, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:8th May 2016Price:£14
Event:CharityStart Time:9.00am
Distance:30mFeed Stations:unknown
Climbing:2,000 ftRide Profile:Rural with some hills
GPS Route:unknownMap:unknown

The Feisty Fifty is a 50km (hence part of the name) charity ride than takes in 2,000 ft of climbing (hence the other part of the name). It takes place in and around the Crewe side of Cheshire, although the route does dip into Staffordshire. The charity benefitting from this event is the Up and Under Foundation, which hopes each rider will be able to raise at least £25 for their good cause.

Foundation Ride Charity Bike Ride 2016

Foundation Ride Charity Bike Ride

Name:Foundation RideOrganiser:Up & Under Foundation
Location:Crewe, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:8th May 2016Price:£14
Event:CharityStart Time:9.00am
Distance:30mFeed Stations:unknown
Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:unknownMap:unknown

The Foundation Ride is one of several rides taking place on this day in aid of the Up and Under Foundation. It is a lovely, albeit short, 30 mile ride around the Cheshire lanes, which passes through the pretty villages of Audlem and Wrenbury. As with the Feisty Fifty, the charity hope each rider will raise at least £25.

Cheshire Pedalthon Charity Bike Ride 2016

Cheshire Pedalthon Charity Bike Ride

Name:Cheshire PedalthonOrganiser:Iconic Cycle Events
Location:Chester, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:24th June 2016Price:£100
Event:Charity Bike RideStart Time:9.00am
Distance:40m, 80mFeed Stations:Yes, with local produce
Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:unknownMap:unknown

The aim of the Cheshire Pedalthon charity cycle event to raise £10,000 for the Sale Sharks Community Trust in a single day. Whilst this is to be applauded, the entry fee is a whopping £100, which perhaps aims this event at businesses rather than cycling enthusiasts.

The event is held on a Friday and includes “A fantastic new cycling and networking experience for the Cheshire and Manchester business community.” The event is limited to 400 places, which means that if they reach the maximum, they’ll raise £40,000 – won’t they? There’s no route, GPS or map available and so it’s hard to pass further comment on this ride at present.

Wirral Ark Mow Cop Challenge 2016

Wirral Ark Mow Cop Challenge

Name:Wirral Ark Mow Cop ChallengeOrganiser:Ray Hellon
Location:Knutsford, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:16th Oct 2016Price:£35
Event:Charity SportiveStart Time:8.30am
Distance:60mFeed Stations:unknown
Climbing:2,000 ftRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:link to routeMap:link to map

The Wirral Ark Project is a registered charity that exists to provide accommodation for the homeless and the Wirral Ark Mow Cop Challenge aims to raise money for this worthy cause. I had the pleasure of riding alongside the event organiser, Ray Hellon, whilst participating in the Wirral Wanderer sportive earlier this year.

The route covers 60 miles of the previously mentioned beautiful Cheshire countryside, taking in Jodrell Bank along the way. There is a small lump in the middle of the route, namely Mow Cop but you probably saw that in the name of the sportive. However, at just over 2,000 ft across 60 miles, it’s not a ride that you would call hilly.

The event looks to be well organised event and whilst the entry fee isn’t the cheapest on this list, it’ll get you the following; hot drinks and biscuits at start, signage along the route, marshalls on Mow Cop, marshalling at key junctions, feed station, hot drinks and cake at the finish, support vehicle and apparently, smiley people!