Sportive Report: Etape du Dales

Sportive Report: Etape du Dales


One of the classic sportives in the events calendar took place in glorious sunshine yesterday on Sunday 19 May. The Etape du dales 112 mile event has a firm place in the calendar both as a challenging ride and because being run by the Dave Rayner fund, which supports the development of talented young riders.

The event, which has become a firm classic, is capped at a limited capacity of 1,000 entrants and always sells out quickly. The usual mechanical problems curtailed some riders on the day, (just how many tubes should you carry for a long ride?), but were picked up, assisted or helped by those involved within this particularly participant friendly event.  The organisers would like to thank all the volunteers who gave their time to help on the event. Around 40 people add up to around 600 man-hours!

Riders were sent on their way from 06.30, with final safety briefings by Rayner Fund President and Tour de France veteran, Brian Robinson. Participants were also assisted by former Olympian Jonny Clay and Milk Race Winner Chris Walker, both former team mates of the late Dave Rayner.

A revised position of the finish line meant riders were not sprinting down the Rugby Club drive to the HQ, allowing the instant collection of their certificate, including split times at 4 locations, was already on the table waiting for them as they walked in to the club house. Hot and cold post event food, plus drinks, which included real ale, also awaited the riders following their 112 mile return. Event times may be viewed here.

Thanks to all on the day, who made for this thoroughly enjoyable and successful event.

Rider comments:

Julie Patmore from Birstwith, near Harrogate (Time 7:27:58 - Silver)

Wow! What a fantastic day out on the bike the Dave Rayner Etape du Dales was yesterday. I’m still buzzing from the achievement. It was an awesome day - to cycle 111 miles with over 10,000ft of climbing including some really tough gradients is one thing but to do it and achieve your time goal is another. Great scenery too! Thanks J

Peter, Farsley, Nr Leeds

The “Etape du Dales” was so-called long before Yorkshire was chosen to host the start of Le Tour 2014.  But with total climbing equivalent to a Tour mountain stage, it’s well-named.  It’s a tough day out on a bike, but everyone should do this event at least once to experience the best of the Dales.

Photos of the event are available: (