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Cyclosport's Favourite Events of 2014

by Nick Gregory

Sean Lacey

Without doubt our most prolific writer again in 2014, Sean amassed nearly 30 events this season. After much deliberation he came up with the following... 

2014 was another cracking year for me, with a multitude of events covered, and just about all of them were good which shows the market has settled and found its feet in terms of quality and what customers expect. Of all the events I did attend, the two that really stood out this year were both (mostly) on foreign soil.  

HotChillee London-Paris 

First up, the iconic London- Paris. I was lucky enough to get a place on the HotChillee event, and it was just that, an event. Every detail from the pre-ride information, to the entire village set up to greet you the day before and the epic three days itself was incredible. Everything is taken care of, with baggage transfer, hotels and food all in hand. Add to that rolling road closures in seeded pelotons and riding with pro's past and present makes it a memorable ride. To top it off there is a champagne finish in Paris, a night in a top hotel and a party going on until the early hours - this should be on everyone's bucket list. 

Tour of Flanders 

Second was the Ronde Van Vlaanderen - The Tour of Flanders. A friend and I planned this with the aid of his motor home, and booking places early was advantageous as we wound up within a kilometre or so of the finish line in Oudenarde, and a few kilometres away from the start. With 16,000 entrants, great weather for the time of year and the history and legend of those famous cobbles, it was a fantastic experience. Seeing the pro's take it on the next day was icing on a very tasty cake. 

Mission accomplished on London-Paris

Sarah Lewis

Having made the move from the Big Smoke to the Peak District last year Cyclosport's Sarah Lewis has been enjoying a few more hills this season... 

Bollington Bike Fest 

Now I'm a little bit biased seeing as my place of work is Bollington and many of my routes pass through this beautiful little village on the edge of The Peak District, but this volunteer-run trio of routes in early September did not disappoint. With a great range of distances, a local feel, great weather this year (bit wet in 2013!) and a friendly, well-stocked HQ, I'll definitely be signing up for the 75-mile Grimshaw Grueller in 2015. 

Great Manchester Cycle 

Though a little different in terms of format compared to your average sportive out in the rolling hills of the UK, the Great Manchester Cycle offered a pretty spectacular opportunity to ride the closed and traffic-free roads of central Manchester, along with around 8,000 others. While it may not have the lung-busting climbs and carb-gorging distances of some of the other events I've ridden this year, it had a fantastic atmosphere and comes highly recommended for families. 

Fun for all the family at the Great Manchester Cycle

With new events cropping up all over the place next year, including the closed road Velothon Wales in Cardiff, and the Plymouth Gran Fondo, expect to see big changes to this list come the end of 2015... 

Merry Christmas from us all here at Cyclosport! Thanks for reading, and roll on 2015! 

Think we've missed a great event? Tell us what your favourite event of 2014 was in the comments section below - we want to hear from you! 

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