People familiar with cycling will also know that there are many cycling events which you can watch or even take part in if you’re a professional. Surely enough, almost everyone who rode a bicycle knows of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a Espana, the 3 biggest grand tours. While those are limited to professional teams which have racers who live and breathe on their bicycles, there are other events or otherwise known as sportives which you can take part in.

Prepare your passport for the seasons to come, as these races are all amazing in their own way.

Maratona dles Dolomites

Italy is well-known for its love of cycling as it does host one of the biggest grand tours, Giro d’Italia. While this isn’t nearly as challenging as a grand tour, be warned that the Dolomites can break even the fittest of people, despite the races being only 55, 106 and 138 kilometers long. A steep climb awaits you, as well as the beautiful scenery of northern Italy.

Tour of Flanders

Belgium has its own famous event which attracts both amateurs and professionals alike. The notable thing about this race is that it always takes place a day before its professional counterpart. If you take part in this race, you can stay for another day and compare your own results to those of the professionals. The race has distances of 74, 141, 200 and 237 kilometers and starts in the town of Antwerp or for the long racers and it finishes in Oudernaade. The shorter races also finish here, as well as start.

Paris-Roubaix Challenge

Head on over to France, once you’re done with Belgium, to take part in another interesting race. Similarly to the Tour of Flanders, this race also takes place a day before the professional one. You can ride distances from 70, 145 to 172 kilometers. Take this tour of northern France if you feel like exploring a new and interesting region. You can also compare yourself to the professionals the day after.

L’Eroica

Italy once more, and with a good reason. Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy, hands down. But besides Tuscany, there is another very peculiar thing which makes this race stand out in the crowd. Your bicycle must be older than 1987 in order for you to participate. Vintage bicycles are the only thing that can enter, preferably vintage road bikes. It is a very popular event that has you racing from 44 kilometers to 75, 115, 135 and 209, depending on your age and preference. If you have a vintage bicycle, go for it!

Cape Town Cycle Tour

Head on over to South Africa to explore some of its breathtaking scenery. Check out Cape Town and its surroundings in an amazing 109-kilometer race. You will see parts of Cape Town, climb Chapman’s Peak, go by the Nature Reserve and the Nelson Mandela Boulevard. Plan ahead, as this is a rather popular race and has place for 35000 people.

Amstel Gold Race Tour

The Netherlands are famous for their love of cycling and bicycles, in general. Whether as a mode of transportation or a way of exercise or even a professional career, they have always been present in the world of cycling.

This race has distances from 60, 100, 125, 150, 200 and 240 kilometers. Everyone can find a distance for themselves and enjoy the Dutch countryside and mountains, too, as the longer races have climbs.

There are plenty more popular events you can visit, as an amateur and professional alike, but these ones do stand out, whether as a race or part of a tradition or just an opportunity to enjoy the scenery.