The most beautiful road bike marathons covering 300 kilometres and more
Just a few years ago, 200 kilometres was considered the magic number, meanwhile it has risen to 300. Whether in the form of a bike marathon, a casual ride with cycling buddies or a solo tour: rides covering this distance are becoming increasingly popular – because the journey is the reward. Alpecin Cycling presents the most beautiful competitions in Europe. These cycling marathons covering (at least) 300 kilometres are worth participating in:
Date: 30 April 2022
Start-finish: Playa de Muro/Mallorca
Distance: 312 km/4300 vertical metres (vm)
Other distances: 225 km/3970 vm, 167 km/2600 vm
The course of the Mallorcan ultra cycling marathon leads participants around the entire island. Those who dare to tackle the distance of 312 kilometres have 14 hours to do so. Shorter, but just as scenic, are the 167 and 225-kilometre laps. Just like the big tour, they lead over the highest pass on the island, the Puig Major at almost 900 metres, through the Tramuntana mountains and along the southwest coast. As a little extra treat all cycling routes are closed to motor traffic.
Date: 27 & 28 May 2022
Start-finish: Neubrandenburg/Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Distance: 300 km
Other distances: 90 km
The tour through Mecklenburg’s lake district, which has been taking place since 2014, is modelled on the Swedish Vätternrundan. But the 300-kilometre circuit through Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is by no means just a copy. It offers a unique course along many lakes with some quite tough sections on cobblestone as well as some short and steep climbs. Organiser Detlef Köpke and his team have set standards with the event, which also shows in the fact that many participants travel to the 300-kilometre ride from abroad.
Rhön Cycling Marathon
Date: 5 June 2022
Distance: 302 km/5500 vm
Other distances: 256 km/4700 vm, 221 km/3500 vm, 182 km/2800 vm
“… on Pentecost you ride in Bimbach …” – this slogan has become well known to many marathoners, as the Röhn region offers a large selection of routes for fans of longer distances during the holidays. Back in 2022: a 302-kilometre ride. One of the highlights besides Vogelsberg and Hoherodskopf is the “Große Nickus”: a climb that is one of the steepest in the entire Rhön area. After 200 kilometres, it not only heralds the last third of the course, but with its steep climbs of up to 20 percent gradient, it also soaks up a lot of energy…
Date: 17 & 18 June 2022
Distance: 315 km
Other distances: 150 km, 100 km
Midsummer cycling with around 20,000 like-minded people from more than 70 nations around Sweden’s second largest lake, the Vättern, is on the bucket list of many road bike enthusiasts. The 315-kilometre tour runs along the lakeshore – and those who start early are rewarded with a sunset and a sunrise over the lake during their ride. Even though the long tour with many like-minded people is considered epic: blueberry soup and honey water are not for everyone.
Date: 25 June 2022
Distance: 330 km/3000 vm
Other distances: 210 km/approx. 600 vm
The Roman commander Varus send his legions to slaughter in the world-famous battles that took place in this region. If you do not want to experience some sporty carnage on the 330-kilometre ride through the Teutoburg Forest of the Osnabrücker Land, Wiehengebirge and Tecklenburger Land, it is recommendable to arrive well-trained at the start line of this extraordinary event.
The organisers promise an all day-long state of exception and the ultimate endurance test. Those who nevertheless hit a low during the ride can still switch to the shorter 210-kilometre course. Burning Roads will be run as a brevet without timekeeping. It is advised to ride in groups that are guided by experienced long-distance riders. There will be plenty of food and drink along the way: pasta will be served at lunchtime at the roadside.
Tour du Mont Blanc
Date: 16 July 2022
Start-finish: Les Saisies/France
Distance: 338 km/8500 vm
If you just can’t get enough of alpine scenery, the Tour du Mont Blanc is just right for you. As the name suggests, Europe’s highest mountain is the centrepiece of this exceptionally demanding cycling marathon. On 338 kilometres 8500 vertical metres need to be climbed.
But the course, which leads through France, Switzerland and Italy, is not only spectacular because of the mere numbers. With Col de la Forclaz, Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard, Petit-Saint-Bernard and Cormet de Roselend famous Tour de France mountains are on the menu, which enthuses fans of the race and passionate hobby mountain riders alike.
Große Weserrunde (Great Weser Circuit)
Date: 27 August 2021
Start-finish: Rinteln in Weserbergland/Lower Saxony
Distances: 350 km/2500 vm, 300 km/2500 vm
Other distances: 250 km/2050 vm, 200 km/1500 vm, 150 km/1200 vm, 80 km/400 vm
The Große Weserrunde will more than live up to its name in 2022. A 350-kilometre loop will be added to the already beautiful and long course. The new option is called MEGA and extends the ride along the Weser to Porta Westfalica before turning around and leading back to the start in Rinteln in the Weserbergland region.
Time is not ticking at this marathon: for riders with lighting the finish is kept open until midnight. In general, the organiser aims to convey the fun of long-distance cycling and therefore has participants start in groups of 15. The decisive factor is that the riders have fun on the course and that this day becomes a real experience for them.
Date: 8 October 2022
Distance: 300 km/5300 vm
Other distances: 235 km/3800 vm, 152 km/2200 vm
Istria 300 is predestined for riders who are (still) in good form at the end of the season and itch to prove it in autumn at perfect conditions. This new cycling marathon in Croatia, which successfully premiered in autumn 2021 leads from Porec on the coast of Istria anti-clockwise to the other side of the peninsula. Then the course leads into the mountains and through small and lovely villages, e.g., up to beautiful Motovun.
From there the course heads back towards the Adriatic coast past olive groves and truffle forests. All finishers will then have completed 300 kilometres and 5300 vertical metres. The latter are not collected by riding a few long climbs, but by a constant up and down, which makes the tour very varied on the one hand, but quite challenging on the other.
Pictures: Istria300, Rhön Radmarathon