Great sportives for women in 2017

Thomas Turner

This year Breeze has again teamed up with nine sportives in a bid to encourage more women to take part in challenge rides.

The events offer multiple route lengths and great facilities, making them a great option for novices and seasoned riders alike. 

A Breeze Champion will be taking part in each ride, and we’ll be sharing their progress and experiences throughout the year.

If you’re on the lookout for a new challenge in 2017 too, here’s a whistle-stop tour of the chosen nine.

Mersea May

Organised by local cycling club Velo Club Oyster, the Mersea May sportive returns to the Essex coast for the third year this May. Starting and ending on Mersea Island, be prepared for two hard slogs up North Hill in Little Baddow if you opt for the longest route.

Date: Sunday 21st May
Distances: 60km, 100km, 160km

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“It was a really good shorter route, and the organisation, route markers and feed stations were excellent. They even booked good weather!”

Belles of Belvoir

Another women-only event, the Belles of Belvoir sportive promises quiet roads, great views and even better homemade cakes! Starting and ending in the quaint Leicestershire village of Hose, keep an eye out for the imposing Belvoir Castle en route.

Date: Sunday 4th June
Distances: 24 miles, 50 miles and 70 miles

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“Brilliant event for ladies, which was really friendly and well organised. Everything was thought of; including massages, food and a brilliant goodie bag. A stand out event!”

Haydon Hundred

With Hadrian’s Wall, the Alston cobbled climb and five of England’s six highest roads along the route, it’s fair to say there’s plenty to see at the Haydon Hundred. The 141km Skyrider will test the most seasoned of cyclists, but the stunning panoramic views of the Pennines should make all of that climbing worthwhile. 

Date: Saturday 10th June
Distances: 60km, 102km and 141km

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Riders say...

“Brutal – but in a nice way – and the best flapjacks of any sportive.”

White Rose Classic

Taking you into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales this sportive encompasses many of the infamous climbs which have made the White Rose County the en vogue destination for cyclists of late. Compared to the toughest Etape du Tour route, the 114 mile ride isn’t for the faint hearted – though the prospect of a hot meal and pint of finest Yorkshire ale at the finish should be enough to get you over the line.

Sunday 25th June
Distances: 50 miles, 83 miles and 114 miles

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“An epic sportive taking in some of the greatest hills in the Dales, and it starts in Ilkley which is only 30 minutes from Leeds.”

Tour d’Arts Alive

This fun-filled day out in the scenic Shropshire hills caters for cyclists of all abilities. Fundraising for the Arts Alive charity, all participants will receive a unique artist-designed medal for their efforts, and fancy dress is encouraged on the shortest route.

Date: Sunday 25th June
Distances: 44km, 72km and 111km

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“It was a very friendly day, from both riders and organisers, riding through beautiful countryside.”

Daisy Chain

Part of the Llandrindod Cycle-fest, the Daisy Chain sportive was nominated in the Best Mass Participation Event category at last year’s Total Women’s Cycling awards. The stunning route will take you into the Elan Valley and along the River Wye, and you can even change your distance while out on the ride if you suddenly start feeling brave!

Date: Sunday 16th July
Distances: 24 miles, 39 miles and 65 miles.

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“This was my first sportive and I really enjoyed it. Great fruit cake at the half-way point and lush brownie at the finish!”

Yorkshire Lass

With a choice between the ‘Cuppa tea an a piece a cake’, ‘Rite gud ride’ and ‘By eck that wa ard’ routes, you won’t be surprised to hear that this next sportive takes us back north to Yorkshire. Yorkshire Lass aims to cater for riders of all abilities, with the largely flat 48km route specifically designed for first-time sportive riders.

Date: Sunday 20th August
Distances: 48km, 97km and 166km

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“My longest ever clipped in ride – 60 miles! Absolutely brilliant event; so well organised and everyone was lovely. Tha's done it ladies!”

Nelson's Tour de Test Valley

The rolling country lanes of the Test Valley make this next sportive a must for south coast cyclists. Running since 2013 in memory of professional snowboarder and keen cyclist Nelson Pratt, the sportive is famed for its culinary prowess, with a free hot meal for every rider at the finish.

Date: Saturday 16th September
Distances: 40km, 80km and 160km

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“In terms of scenery, route and atmosphere, Nelson’s Tour de Test Valley was one of the best events we’ve ridden for a long time.”

Seashell Sportive

With fabulous views of Cheshire and Derbyshire and a selection of the Peak District’s finest climbs, the Seashell Sportive is another great recent addition to the North West sportive scene. While the event isn’t until the latter end of the summer, you might want to consider starting your training sooner rather than later if you’re attempting the 170km leg buster!

Date: Sunday 17th September
Distances: 70km, 100km and 170km

Click here for more information.

Riders say...

“The most stunning route – one not to be missed! The three routes cater for all abilities and each one showcases the gorgeous countryside and views. ”

Find more sportives taking place this year through the British Cycling Events Finder.