Words: Joe Hall | Date:
Rapha’s Manchester to London Challenge is a unique one-day event travelling through the heart of the UK. Setting off at dawn from Manchester Velodrome, each rider will attempt to complete the 220 mile parcours before midnight, arriving at the Olympic Velodrome in London. A tough day out for even the most seasoned sportive riders, this will be a celebration of British cycling and culture.
Held on Sunday the 7th September, the route will travel along quiet roads through the Peak District, the Midlands, the Chiltern Hills and across to east London. There will be four feed stops along the route, positioned in quintessentially British villages serving local fare. There will also be roaming mechanical support, but self-sufficiency will be key.
Continuing on from last year’s incredible Bordeaux-Paris, the aim is to raise money for Ambitious about Autism. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects 1 in 100 people and the charity is one close to Rapha CEO and founder Simon Mottram, who’s son Oscar has autism.
Entry costs £150 and places are limited. We’re asking each rider to raise £750 to support the great things Ambitious about Autism do.
The £150 entry fee includes:
- 220 miles of hard British riding
- Full support from fundraising tips and ideas to roadside mechanics on the day
- Fully signed and mapped route
- Four feed stations
- Training rides in the north and south based out of our Cycle Clubs
- Limited edition North and South Cap
- Pre-ride party at the Cycle Club in Manchester*
- Exclusive access to the London Olympic Park
*Cycle Club planned for early summer.
North v South
The distance and terrain will provide a real challenge travelling through some of Britain’s most beautiful and lesser-known landscapes. Each rider on entry is allocated a team, either North or South (unless you’re from Birmingham, in which case you must choose a team). The quickest average time will then be declared the winning region, and will host the finish of the following year’s event.
Riding down the spine of the country, the route heads through the Peak District, rising above Snakes Pass. Out of the tough terrain of the Peaks it’s into the rolling roads of the Midlands. On the approach to London it’s into Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns, known for short and steep topography with head-high hedgerows and twisty lanes. The final leg skirts across the northern side of the capital and down into the east side of London, to finish at the Olympic Park in Stratford.