Top 7 Hardest Cycling Races in the World

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Do you love hopping on your bike for a good afternoon pedal? Have you ever thought about racing? If competing in a bike race is on your bucket list, why not shoot for the stars on this one? Check out our list of the top hardest cycling races in the world.


1.The Trans Pyr in Spain

If you’re aching for a painful race, then you’ll find it in Spain. This eight-day race begins along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and ends in San Sebastian on the other side of Spain. Racers pedal across 509 miles of the Pyrenees, which includes about 66,600 feet of climbing. Winners of The Trans Pyr race typically spend about 45 hours on their bike while other racers often double that time.


2.La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica

La Ruta de los Conquistadores is a mountain bike race designed for the world’s best endurance athletes. This three-day race takes riders from Costa Rica’s Pacific coast to the Caribbean and through 161 miles of terrain. Bikers will climb over 29,000 feet, including a 12,000-foot volcano. Though it’s not one of the longest rides, it’s world famous as one of the most epic.


3.The Tour de France in France

If you’ve only ever heard of one bike race, then it was probably the Tour de France. This grueling course takes racers through 2,100 miles of terrain and lasts three weeks. Bikers must average daily speeds of more than 25 miles per hour to make it. If the last rider doesn’t finish within a pre-determined percentage of the winner’s time, they aren’t allowed to continue. This is determined by the difficulty of the course, which changes each year. The Tour de France usually has between 20 and 22 teams with nine riders in each.


4.The Tour Divide in Canada & the U.S.

The Tour Divide is a grueling solo mountain bike race that takes you from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico for a total of 2,745 miles — all self-supported! Racers will climb 200,000 vertical feet over mountainous terrain, which is mostly off-road. Winners typically ride more than 185 miles per day. The course is unmarked, there are no entry fees, and winners don’t receive any medals. However, finishers will be put into the record book, which earns you enough bragging rights by itself.


5.The Death Ride in the U.S.

It’s not called the Death Ride for nothing. This extremely difficult race takes bikers through the California Alps and challenges them to 129 miles in a single day. Riders climb over 15,000 feet through five mountain passes. Though it’s much shorter — in length and time — than many other races held around the globe, it’s incredibly intense.


6.Yukon Arctic Ultra in Canada

The Yukon Arctic Ultra isn’t only difficult thanks to its length. The snowy terrain and freezing cold temperatures, sometimes reaching as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit or more, make this race one of the more difficult ones. Racers can choose to enter a marathon or enter races totaling 100 miles, 300 miles, or a whopping 430 miles of frozen tundra. Though bikers brave the cold for this race, some people may choose to go on foot or on cross country skis as well.


7.Simpson Desert Bike Challenge in Australia

If negative degree temperatures aren’t your thing, then perhaps you’ll be more interested in the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge. This race takes you through 360 miles of Australian terrain in blistering hot temperatures. Bikers must maintain a 12 kph (about 7.5 mph) average to stay in the race.

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