Back in the Saddle: Where to Ride in 2021

Well, 2020 was a bit of a write off for cycling holidays. Apart from some early spring trips and anyone who got lucky on timing a break to Italy / France, most of us were stuck in the UK this year. We checked in with our guides to get the lowdown on where they are most excited to head to in 2021:

Phil – The Stelvio

Passo Stelvio

There is nowhere like Bormio & the Stelvio region for shear concentration of amazing climbs. Within a short ride you can be on the Stelvio, Gavia, Mortirolo, Cancano & many more stunning mountain passes. The most famous is the Stelvio which has two completely differing routes up (plus a third from the Swiss side). The Mortirolo is one of the toughest climbs in pro cycling and the Gavia is wild and beautiful, Our base is in stunning Bormio, a spa town at the bottom of the Stelvio and the perfect place for a post ride pint. The local food speciality is Pizzoccheri, a buckwheat pasta which the locals love. We are in Bormio all summer from late May to mid Sept and we cannot wait to be back! Check out our Four Night Stelvio Weekender, from £625.

Adam – Riding the Marmotte & Etape

In recent years the Etape & Marmotte have been on either the same weekend or spread apart by a few weeks. In 2021, the Marmotte is the week before the Etape so it’s possible to take a week’s holiday in the Alps and Alpes Maritime and ride both. The Marmotte is the classic mountain sportive and this year sees a slight route change going over the Croix de Fer and cutting out some valley miles & offering an Ultra Marmotte for the 0 people that thought the original event was too easy! Then ride down to Nice for a brilliant route in one of my favourite cycling regions. The climbs north of Nice are spectacular and this year’s Etape should be unforgettable. Check out our 2021 Marmotte packages in Alpe d’Huez & 2021 Etape du Tour in Nice.

Rob – Ventoux & Provence

A few people got to ride in France this year in July and early August but the best time to ride in Provence is either June or September when the temperatures aren’t too hot and the roads are nice and quiet. The riding in Provence has to be some of the best on the planet. There are some great climbs apart from Ventoux but there are miles of quiet lanes connecting pretty French villages where the air is warm and fragrant. We are based in the small but lively village of Bedoin at the base of Ventoux. After rides we play petanque outside the hotel and refuel on local wine and great food. It’s the cycling version of the good life. Check out our Ventoux & Provence weekends from £649.

John – The Dolomites

This is one of the most unique regions in Europe. In North East Italy (Venice is the closest airport), parts of the Dolomites speak German, parts speak Italian and where we are based they speak Ladin. The hotels are almost all locally owned & run with staff wearing traditional clothing and serving hearty local dishes. Apart from the warmth of the hospitality, this region is world beating for its scenery & the quality of the cycling climbs. There is very little flat but the mountain passes come in all shapes & sizes, from gentle short 5% o the Passo Campolongo to the very steep gradients of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The thing that unites them – unforgettable views all the way up. We can’t wait to finish each day and watch the sun set over the peaks with a couple of beers at our hotel. Check out our Four Night Dolomites Weekend or Six Night Dolomites Raid.

Chris – Montenegro

Montenegro has been one of Europe’s under the radar hotspots for the last few years since James Bond put it on the map in Casino Royale. But it is still miles off the beaten path for cyclists. That will change quickly as more people discover this amazing country. With a coastline on the Adriatic & an inland mountain range, there is plenty of variety. The riding is mostly quite gentle with a few rolling days. The highlight is probably the 100km Ring of Durmitor, full of empty roads, glaciers & amazing views and a rival of the Sella Ronda for title of the best one day cycling loop in the world. We spend nights on the coast, in the mountains and small local villages to soak up this new cycling paradise. Check our our Six Night Montenegro Raid from £875.

Matt – Raid Pyrenean

The Raid Pyrenean is one of the oldest and most famous cycling challenge. The premise is simple, follow a legendary route from the Atlantic to the Med in under 100hrs. Each day brings classic climbs from the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde and many many more. The Pyrenees is very special, not only is it the birthplace of mountain stages in the Tour de France but it also has a slower pace than the Alps with small farming & market villages in place instead of ski stations. Each evening on the Raid is spent in a different mountain town where we share war stories over a couple of beers and look at the route elevation of the next stage with a mix of excitement & fear! In just one week our groups form a bond and share in an experience that will live long in the memory! Ride the Raid Pyrenees with us in 2021.

Steph – Spring Riding in Mallorca

I was in Mallorca in March when the island shut down. It is normally my base all spring but last year I just got one week of riding. In 2021, I can’t wait to get back and see Sa Calobra, Puig Randa, Formentor, Puig Major and all my favourite places again. In March, April & May, there is nowhere better to ride than Mallorca. If you haven’t been, it lives up to the hype. The roads are pristine and unlike most places, there is a wide range of flat or mountainous routes to tackle. The Tramuntana Mountains are home to some classic climbs whereas the middle of the island is flat / rolling. Despite Mallorca being a very international island, the middle is very traditional where Mallorquin is spoken. I love grabbing a coffee in Pina or Algaida with a delicious ensaïmada before riding back to Pollensa in a chain gang on the quick, straight roads. Check out our 6 night Mallorca spring trips from £649.

Tom – Morocco & The Atlas Mountains

Morocco is an absolutely stunning country full of warmth, great food & a unique culture. The best way to experience the country is by bike where we get off the beaten path and get under the skin of the country. The roads through the mountains are mostly great featuring two climbs over 2,000m (Tizi n Test & Tizi n Tichka). Most of the riding is flat or rolling and often our peloton is the only thing on the road for miles around. Evenings are spent eating tagines, drinking mint tea & the beer we bring with us from the city. Our local guides that we work with our great hosts to show us this beautiful place. Check out our Marrakesh & Atlas Raid from £649.

After all the difficulties of this year, how great does it sound to plan a trip somewhere new! We can’t wait to see you on the road and celebrate getting back one of the things we love so much. And just in case Covid rears it’s ugly head, all our bookings come with a Covid guarantee that if you trip is cancelled or your destination is subject to a two week quarantine, you will get a full refund.