2023 Cycling events you need to put in your calendar

There are 100s of cycling events in the UK to put on your bucket list this year for all abilities and disciplines. If you like to set goals and challenge yourself, there is no better time than now to sign up for some. 

You will find a long list of options for cycling events for all abilities if you search for cycling events in your local area or city. However, if you’re setting your sights high for something challenging and further afield, we’ve collated a list of some of the biggest and most popular cycling events in the UK for you to put in your 2023 calendar.

Table of contents

Tour de France

Tour de France

The Tour de France is the ultimate event to complete in a lifetime, as it is considered the most prestigious grand cycling tour worldwide. Starting on the 1st of July 2023, it’s a 21-stage tour of France’s most scenic routes, occasionally dipping into neighbouring countries. The tour spans 23 days, covering 3,500 km (2,200 m). Even though the cycle route changes yearly, the format remains the same. It passes through mountain chains such as the Pyrenees and the Alps and finishes on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. 

However, due to the epic nature of the Tour de France, you can’t simply sign up for the race. You can only enter if you are in a UCI WorldTeams cycling team, with the exception of the cycling teams that the organisers invite. UCI stands for the Union Cyclist International and is the name for a cycling team in the highest category in professional road cycling. To find out how to enjoy the 2023 event, go to the official Tour de France website.
For more information about the Tour de France, explore our guide on everything you need to know about the Tour de France.

Popular cycling events in the UK

If you’re looking to tackle some excellent sportives in the UK that you can sign up for today, here is our list of the most popular cycling events in the UK for 2023.

Popular cycling events in the UK

London/ East England

RideLondon-Essex 100

Unfortunately, the ballot for the RideLondon sportives is now closed, but this is an excellent one to keep on your radar and your calendar for years to come. This year it takes place on a Sunday, the 28th of May, 2023 and is ideal for a keen cyclist seeking a tricky but achievable challenge. The event sees cyclists from all ability backgrounds tackling the 100 miles on traffic-free roads through the heart of London and into neighbouring Essex. 
The route starts and finishes in central London and loops the picturesque Essex countryside. For more information about the race, visit the Ride London official website.

The South West

Dartmoor Legend

The Dartmoor Legend 200 is an epic ULTRA sportive that takes place on the 8th of July, 2023. It covers 200 miles around the Dartmoor National Park in Devon. The race is against a pace clock. You will pass through Princeton three times, but if you fall behind the minimum pace necessary to finish by midnight, you must retire from completing the event. 
The circular route takes you through Okehampton, Bovey Tracy, Ivybridge and Travistock with 18000 ft of ascent and some roads with gradients of 25%. This stunning route will showcase the best roads and scenery that Dartmoor has to offer. For more information about the Dartmoor Legend, visit the official Dartmoor Legend website and sign up here on the Sportiva Events website, but be quick as there are only 200 spaces!

The Midlands

Tour of the Peak

The Tour of the Peak is a 113.6-mile tour of the peak district occurring on the 21st of May, 2023. Tour of the Peak is not an easy challenge and, therefore, not for the faint-hearted. With over 10000 ft of accent over three killer climbs at Winnates Pass, Holme Moss and the Cat and Fiddle, you can be sure it will live up to its name.
You start and finish in the small market town of Bakewell and circle around the stunning scenery of the Peak District. The Winnats Pass is the ‘killer mile challenge’, a timed section on a fully closed road. Only the brave should choose this long route! For more information and details on how to sign up, visit the Velo 29 cycling events website.

The North

Etape du Dales

The Etape du Dales is a stunning ride through some of the North’s most remote and scenic countryside, happening on the 21st of May, 2023. The route is 110 miles and covers some of the Yorkshire Dales’ most significant climbs, including Wharfedale, Littondale, Wensleydale, Swaledale, Arkengarthdale, Birkdale, Garsdale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale. 
The Etape du Dales is an extremely challenging ride that requires an excellent level of fitness. Visit the Etape du Dales official website for more information and entry details.


Etape Loch Ness

What could be a more iconic cycling event for your 2023 cycling event calendar? The Etape Loch Ness is a 66-mile race around Loch Ness with 900m of ascent on the 23rd of April, 2023. The route includes the formidable King of the Mountain stage, which is a 4.8-mile climb, gaining 380m in height and reaching a gradient of 12%. This route is not for the faint-hearted. 
Note that the general entry for 2023 has sold out. However, you can still enter via a Team Macmillan charity place. Visit the Etape Loch Ness official website for more information about the route and how to enter.


Dragon ride

The Dragon ride is a very popular event that takes place in the stunning Welsh Brecon Beacons. The 2023 event falls on the 18th of June, 2023. There are four routes to choose from; each added to the last to increase the distance. 

The shortest route is the Macmillan 100. With a 98km circuit and 1,314m of climbing, this “short” route is still no mean feat. 

Don’t let the name “Medio” Fondo fool you. This route is considerably tougher than most other “long” sportives. With 157km and 2,396m of climbing, you’ll take on some of the most famous climbs on the Dragon ride, like the timed Devil’s Elbow. 

The most popular route to cycle is the Gran Fondo, a circular route around the Black Mountains, including the 5.3 km Black Mountain ascent. It’s a tough day’s cycle, coming in at 213km with just under 3,500m of ascent. The Gran Fondo is a major challenge and an amazing achievement requiring a high fitness level, strength and fortitude. 

Lastly, if you are brave enough, you can take on all four routes in the ultimate challenge, but only the best will slay the Dragon Devil in the Dragon ride. The infamous Devil includes 4,614m of elevation gain in the monstrous 296km route. The extra section includes climbs like Sugar Loaf Hill and the Devil’s staircase. 
For more information on how to enter this epic event, go to the Dragon Ride official website.

N. Ireland

Carlingford Loop Sportive

The Carlingford Loop is a 62km circular route around the scenic shores of the Carlingford Lough that welcomes all abilities and ages. The event takes place on the 26th of March, 2023, so hurry before time runs out. The route follows the coastline from Newry to Greenore through picturesque villages and a ferry crossing! 
For more information about the route and how to enter, visit the Time Outdoors website.

Discover the best cycling events to put in your calendars and get ready for them with Swinnerton Cycles.

There you have it, our top cycling events of 2023 that you need to put in your calendar. If you’re training for a cycling event this year, ensure you have all the best gear and bike to maximise your performance. At Swinnerton Cycles, we can provide all the cycling attire you’ll need to train and compete in a cycling event. We can also help you find the best bike for the job, browse our road bike range to find the best bike for road bike events.

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