5 of the Best European Sportives

Summer in Europe is every cyclist’s dream. We’ve picked out 5 of the best sportives that Europe has to offer.

Whether you are looking for a challenge or just some holiday inspiration, then we’re here to help. Classic climbs, breath-taking routes and amazing hospitality and culture, these sportives tick all the boxes.

How to get your bike abroad

There are many options for getting on a bike when you’re abroad. At Banbury Bike Box Hire we think why rent a bike when you can take your own? Hire a bike box and take your own bike with you. It doesn’t have to be costly and some airlines offer an extra baggage allowance free of charge. Check out our Airline Bike Information for more details.



Route: 205km

Entry fee: €75

The Gran Fondo Quebrantahuesos is Spain’s most popular sportive. The route is 205km long with 3500m of climbing on closed roads through the Spanish and French Pyrenees. The route passes through breath-taking areas of natural beauty and tackles some tasty climbs featured in La Vuelta and the Tour de France.

Highlights include the Col du Somport (1,640mt), france’s Col du Marie Blanque (Cat 1) and the Col du Portalet (Cat 1, 1,795mt) before finishing back in Sabiñánigo.

It’s tough to get yourself a place, but definitely worth the effort if you can get one. We recommend researching sports tour companies for signing up to this race, as some of them offer guaranteed entry.


2. La Marmotte

La Marmotte 2

Routes: 174km

Entry fee: €90

Sportive royalty, La Marmotte is one of the biggest events of the year. It’s the oldest and toughest European sportives at 174km in length and climbs a lung busting 5,000m. This route features a host of classic Tour de France climbs including the Col du Glandon, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier and finally a summit finish on Alpe d’Huez. What more could you ask for?


3. Etape du Tour

Etape du Tour

Route: 178km

Entry fee: €100

Ever wanted to ride in the Tour de France? Here’s your chance. The Etape du Tour is held annually and mirrors the exact route of the pro’s. You will be among 15,000 other cyclists making it one of the biggest European sportives of the year.

The 2020 Etape du Tour will take place on Sunday 5 July, 2020 in the beautiful setting of the Cote d’Azur and surrounding mountains. The Tour de France stage that has been chosen to be the 2020 Etape du Tour is stage 2. The stage will see the riders of the 2020 Tour de France battle it out on a loop around Nice on Sunday 28 June.



Gran Fondo Stelvio

Route: 150km

Entry fee: €60

The Gran Fondo Stelvio Santini of the Italian Alps starts in the town of Bormio and finishes at the summit of the Passo Stelvio.

The route takes in the legendary climbs of Mortirolo and Stelvio allowing you to follow in the footsteps of some true cycling greats such as Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani.

There are three routes on offer – short (60km), medium (137.9 km) and long (151.3 km). Its serious event for serious cyclists, but the reward is huge.


5. Mallorca 312

Mallorca 312

Route: 312km

Entry fee: €55

This event sells out fast! – a great sign that this is definitely one for your bucket list.

Originally conceived in 2010 when 199 intrepid riders set off for a single 312-kilometre lap of the island, Mallorca 312 has rapidly grown. In 2016 it attracted 4,500 riders – with approximately 1,300 Britons on the start line. It features one of the most unique mountain roads in Europe.

There are three routes; the full route with 4,547 metres of elevation. The route loops out and back to Playa de Muro taking you through the main climbs in the Tramuntana Mountains, then an 80km loop to Arte and back. The 232km route is just the first loop and packs in 3,813metres of climbing. The shortest route is 167km.


If you’re keen to get yourself involved, get your bike to your destination safe and sound by hiring out one of our Bike Box Alans. We offer easy collection and provide free packaging accessories to keep your bike safe and secure on it’s travels via air.

Send us a message, or email us for a quote today.


07927 490070


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