Rapha and Ambitious about Autism present:
The Manchester to London Challenge
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 Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 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.
After the success of the Bordeaux-Paris Challenge in 2013, the aim again 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, whose son Oscar has autism.
Entry costs £150 and places are limited to 300 and we’re asking each rider to raise £750 for Ambitious about Autism.
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 Caps
- Pre-ride party at the Cycle Club in Manchester*
- Access to the Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth 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 Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.
- How much money do I have to raise for Ambitious about Autism and how much is it to enter?
We ask each rider to have a target of £750. There are many ways this can be achieved and it's easier than you think. To register for the event it costs £150 with those proceeds going to the organisation. Any remaining money will be passed to Ambitious about Autism.
- Does the registration fee go towards the sponsorship target?
No. The registration fee covers the event organisation. Any remaining money will be donated to Ambitious about Autism. This a non-profit event.
- When do I need to raise the £750 by?
We ask that you raise 80% of the target (£600) by the 1st September, and the final 20% (£150) by the 1stOctober.
- Where does North start?
North starts from Birmingham up. If you live or hail from Birmingham, you must pick a team…
- How should I train for this ride?
We will be providing training tips to all participants in the build-up to the ride. Our Cycle Clubs will also become hubs for advice and inside knowledge of the route. We will also organise two training rides, one North and one South, where you can discuss training and the route with Rapha staff and the event organiser.
See our training guide »
- How will I raise £750?
There are lots of ways to raise money and Ambitious about Autism have varying ways to increase your chances of reaching the target. The charity will send information once you have signed up.
- Are Rapha creating a special edition jersey?
No. We are doing a limited edition cap, one for the northerners and one for the southerners. We will also be creating a woven badge for everyone who completes a training ride, and another for the main event.
- What if I can't complete the ride? Will there be a broom wagon?
There will be roadside support and no rider will be left on the road.
See the detailed FAQ »
By registering for Manchester to London you agree to:
- To raising £750 for Ambitious about Autism, with further details of when and support to reach the target.
- Your name and email address will be shared with the event organiser and Ambitious about Autism for event related communications.
- Please note: The £150 entry fee is non-refundable.