The Dartmoor Classic
Voted Britain’s Favourite Sportive.
“The U.K’s. best sportive experience.”
The Dartmoor Classic is a non- commercial cyclo-sportive promoted and organized by the Mid-Devon Cycling Club. The club is passionate about cycling and share a vision to deliver the best sportive experience in the U.K.
With a choice of well signed and marshalled routes, through the spectacular Dartmoor National Park, this internationally recognised event is a must-do ride for all who enjoy a challenge. It provides bountifully stocked feeding stations, mechanical back-up, paramedic support, cycle trade exhibitors, ‘Welcome Village’ and everything expected of a major promotion; plus a whole lot more. Three routes are on offer; the 100+ mile Grande, the Medio, at approaching 70 miles and the 35mile – women only – Debutante, run in support of British Cycling Breeze Rides. All routes start and finish in the ‘Welcome Village’, situated at Newton Abbot Racecourse.
Entrants are supplied with individually named body numbers, bike numbers and disposable electronic timing chips. The chips record participants’ times through checkpoints along the route and confirm completion of the ride. Gold, silver or bronze medals are awarded to each rider, able to complete their chosen route within designated time limits for their respective age and gender categories. All finishers also receive a commemorative gift and complimentary goody bag and there is even a presentation podium, complete with welcoming hosts and hostesses; providing unique personal photo opportunities for all. In other words, the Dartmoor Classic offers the complete professional racing experience – but without the racing !!!
The Welcome Village opens at noon on the day before the ride, when riders and their supporters can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy many attractions, including retail sales opportunities, live music, on-site catering and a wide variety of activities. The village reopens on Sunday in time to welcome riders home and offers a second chance to enjoy all that is on offer.
Despite annually increasing capacity to cope with demand, the Dartmoor Classic always sells out fast. In 2013 all 3000 places were filled in less than 24 hours, while hundreds more hopefuls joined the reserve rider list.
Over the past few years The Dartmoor Classic has regularly been placed in the very top echelon of the country’s major sportives, which comes as no surprise to those who have experienced the outstanding event.
Most recently, the Mid-Devon Cycling Club promotion was a very creditable second in the 2013 Cycling Weekly Reader Poll to find Britain’s favourite sportive. Runner-up, in this prestigious annual competition, was no mean achievement, given that the winner, London’s new addition to the U.K. calendar, drew on the support of sixteen thousand participants; six times the number of those eligible to vote for the Devon fixture. Like the Dartmoor Classic, the equally well established Dragon Ride also slipped down a notch this time, to complete the podium positions.
For consistency however, the Dartmoor Classic can not be beaten; being the only sportive to finish in the top three every year since the competition’s inception; which includes running away with the top spot in 2012.
The Mid-Devon Cycling Club are justifiably proud of their record in the much prized, consumer supported contest, particularly as their voluntarily organised event was sandwiched between two profit driven promotions, staged by major commercial undertakings.
Meanwhile, in Cycling Plus magazine, the Dartmoor Classic always figures prominently in their annual feature identifying the country’s best ten sportives, while Cyclosport.org awarded the event a rating of over 95%. This was based on the reviews of nearly 300 riders; by far and away the biggest response and the highest rating for any of the major U.K. events.