Things to do in 2022: No 11, The Tour of Cambridgeshire

Will you Tick the TOC in 2022? Fancy a chance to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Trento, Italy?

When the Tour of Cambridgeshire came along a few years ago, it broke the mould of UK mass participation cycling events. It brazenly adopted the Gran Fondo model and spurned the popular sportive approach of ‘it’s not a race’ and made it clear that it was, well sort of.

It is our belief that a combination of insurance requirements and Police permissions are what makes Sportive promoters insist on reinforcing the message that their events aren’t races. Some even stopped publishing results listings to discourage fast riding, so it made it difficult to assess one’s time against the field.

The TOC also broke ground with it’s Closed Roads approach, maybe it wasn’t the first in the UK but it was certainly one of the early ones. The TOC’s approach is brought into focus sharply when compared against the Ride London approach of being accessible to all, particularly those who wanted to dress up for charity, and whilst the Tour of Cambridgeshire certainly welcomes all, it is clear that the primary target market is fast riders.

TOC runs several events over three days, notably a Time Trial, a Charitable Sportive, a Gran Fondo and a Road Race.

Essentially, the fastest 20% of riders (by time chip) across the Road Race and Gran Fondo will be invited to race in the UCI Gran Fondo world Championships in Italy, as will the front runners in the Time Trial. You don’t have to chase a place, but you won’t know until you try.

If you are still in doubt as to exactly what a Gran Fondo is, then we should explain that a Gran Fondo is somewhere between a race and a UK style sportive, certainly the people at the front are racing and those at the back are not, the ones in the middle? Maybe. They will certainly be going for a good time. It’s a blurred concept, but think of the London Marathon, isn’t that similar? Just to muddy the waters a bit more, Gran Fondo is an Italian term, in France expect to see the word Cyclosportive, but it will probably be run like an Italian Gran Fondo and not a UK Sportive ….. clear?

The Tour of Cambridgeshire takes place from the 3rd to 5th of June 2022. Details Here

The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Trento, Italy will be held from 1 to 4 September 2022. 

UCI World Gran Fondo Championship Final Denmark 2015