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Eroica Britannia: 'A reason to get another bike, get dressed up and have some fun'

Jack Elton-Walters
16 Jun 2017

David Millar talks about the Eroica Britannia, an event that should be on everyone's calendar

Page 1 of 2Eroica Britannia: 'A reason to get another bike, get dressed up and have some fun'

The Eroica Britannia Ride, a spin-off from the Italian original which started back in 1997, is gearing up for its fourth edition after launching in 2014.

This year the festival has moved out of Bakewell to a 100 acre site just down the road, and the organisers are expecting to welcome more than 4,500 riders to The Ride which sets off from the Festival on the third day of the event, Sunday 18th June.

As well as the three route rides on the Sunday - 25, 55 or 100 miles - there will be something going on from Friday to Sunday including a performance by 80s band ABC on the Saturday night.

Lead singer Martin Fry, who joined the preview event, will be taking on the Maserati presented Eroica Britannia Ride the morning after his headline show. He'll be tackling the middle distance sportive of 55 miles.

Grand Tour stage winner David Millar, who is now Maserati's cycling ambassador, rode the course of the 25 mile route ahead of cycling festival in June.

At a time when it sometimes feels like we've reached peak-sportive and the calendar gets overran with events all over the country, the Eroica Britannia offers riders something different and it's this that Millar feels is the most appealing aspect of the event.

'It’s just something else isn’t it?' Millar said. 'I think, it’s a lot more interesting, it’s a lot more fun than just a full carbon bike with your power meter and your purely competitive machine.'

The former pro also touched on a theme of the event, its inclusivity and family friendly nature.

'You don’t have to go fast, there’s no competition, there’s none of that sort of rivalry or threatening sort of nature which I think can come from cyclo-sportives and other cycling events,' he added, echoing anecdotal complaints sometimes heard about the behaviour of riders who think they're at a race when riding standard sportives.

The Eroica Britannia Ride offers three distances: 25 miles, which we rode on the preview, 50 miles and a tough 100 miler that could see riders out in the lanes and on the gravel tracks of Derbyshire for most of the day.

Surrounding the bicycle rides is a three day festival held in rolling fields within the Peak District National Park, and the site backs directly on to a strip of gravel that forms the start and finish of the sportives.

Gin bars, pop-up pubs, vintage emporiums and live music all make for a fantastic weekend away, with a bit of cycling thrown in.

For anyone still wondering whether the Eroica Britannia is an event they should be heading to, it's worth remembering something else Millar said: 'It’s quirky and interesting, and a reason to get another bike, get dressed up and have some fun.'

The 2017 Eroica Britannia

Dates: Friday 16th to Sunday 18th June
Location: Friden Grange, Newhaven, Nr. Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 0DY
More information and entries: eroicabritannia.co.uk

David Millar is an ambassador for Maserati GB, presenting partner of the Eroica Britannia Ride.

For more information and to discover the all-new Maserati Levante visit: www.maserati.co.uk

Photos: SWPix

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Page 1 of 2Eroica Britannia: 'A reason to get another bike, get dressed up and have some fun'