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Cycle the best Sportive routes in the South West with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of 20 Classic Sportive Rides in South West England
5 May 2015
17.2 x 11.6 x 0.8cm
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20 Classic Sportive Rides in South West England

by Colin Dennis
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook offers 20 sportive routes in the most challenging and scenic cycling areas of south west England and south Wales. Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Avon, Dorset, Brecon, Glamorgan and the Welsh Borders all have miles of cycle-friendly roads suitable for sportive training. Graded routes on quiet country roads can be mixed and matched.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 0.8cm
Weight: 150g

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Buy individual routes

Buy your choice of routes or chapters to read online, on your mobile device or to download as a PDF to print or read. Browse Routes


20 sportive cycling routes in the best cycling areas of south west England are uncovered in this guidebook. Ideal for training, or simply spending some great days on the bike, the rides range between 59 and 119km (36 to 74 miles) in length, and offer a full range of challenges; from long, fast flat routes; perfect for pacing, to tough hill climbs on the Downs and Moors throughout the south west. 

The 20 sportive routes are found in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, as for north and east as the Wye Valley and Swindon. The range ensures that there is plenty of riding to be found, throughout the region, not to mention the companion Sportives guidebook to routes in England's south east.

From the Cotswolds, to Dartmoor, Exmoor, Bodmin Moor, into Wales and the south coast, there are miles of of cycle-friendly roads suitable for sportive training. All 20 routes are graded for difficulty and include timings, ascent, food-stops and access information, as well as annotated route maps and clear route descriptions.

Sportive cycling is a growing sport, and this guide provides routes for experienced riders and those new to this sport. Useful information on bike maintenance and equipment, to travelling around the areas with your bike and advice on accommodation is also included. The result is a sportive guidebook that will prepare you for the challenges ahead, and allow you to explore the best cycling the south-east has to offer.

  • Seasons
    With its mild climate and great sunshine record, the south west is the perfect playground for year-round sportive training regimes.
  • Centres
    Plymouth, Exeter, Honiton, Wellington, Taunton, Wells, Glastonbury, Weston-Super-Mare, Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Chepstow, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Salisbury, Dorchester, Shaftesbury, Bournemouth, Poole, Frome, Cirencester
  • Difficulty
    The south west plays host to many well-known mountainous and hilly regions, and this book takes full advantage of these quality training grounds. Some of the toughest climbs in the UK are to be found here, but there's more to the south west than just climbing. This guide features 20 challenging yet achievable training rides for all sportive enthusiasts to enjoy.
  • Must See
    The moody backdrops of Dartmoor and Exmoor to the flat open going of the Somerset Levels and the rolling countryside of Dorset's Jurassic coastline, Sportive riders will enjoy testing themselves against some of the toughest and most scenic terrain that the UK has to offer.
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We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).


About sportives
The south west of England
Getting there and getting around
When to go
On the road
Bike maintenance
The rules of the road
Feed stations
Using this guide
The Routes
Route 1 Atlantic Roller: Bodmin (Cornwall)
Route 2 Tor de Moor: Ivybridge (Dartmoor)
Route 3 King of the Castle: Haldon Forest Park, Exeter (Dartmoor)
Route 4 Exe-Factor: Tiverton (Exmoor)
Route 5 Slam Dunk: Dunster (Exmoor)
Route 6 Blackdown Hills: Taunton (Somerset and Devon)
Route 7 A Ridge too Far: Wellington (Somerset)
Route 8 Weston-super-Nightmare: Weston-super-Mare (Somerset)
Route 9 Mid-Somer Murder: Wells (Somerset)
Route 10 Mendip Madness: Bristol (Somerset)
Route 11 Over the Edge: Yate (Gloucestershire)
Route 12 Forest of Dean: Chepstow (Gloucestershire)
Route 13 Cotswold Caper: Cirencester (Cotswolds)
Route 14 Fool Hardy: Dorchester (Dorset)
Route 15 Jurassic Classic: Poole (Dorset)
Route 16 Thrill of the Chase: Wimborne Minster (Dorset)
Route 17 Zig Zag: Salisbury (Wiltshire and Dorset)
Route 18 Plain Sailing: Salisbury (Wiltshire)
Route 19 Cheval Blanc: Royal Wootton Bassett (Wiltshire)
Route 20 Clyffe Hanger: Royal Wootton Bassett (Wiltshire)
Appendix A Bike shops and cycle repair outfits
Appendix B Useful contacts
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