Pin It

Moor2Sea Cycle Sportive – Devon’s answer to the Tour de France!

Moor2Sea Cycle Sportive is a cycle ride around South Devon's toughest peaks. With 3 routes & age groups, there's a chance for everyone to get a medal.
The acclaimed Tour de France may be over for another year, but cycling enthusiasts need not hang up their helmets and cleats just yet. The Moor2Sea Cycle Sportive event starts and finishes at Exeter Racecourse on the first Saturday in September and takes in some of Devon’s most challenging hills and valleys.

Challenging cycle race around Dartmoor and South Devon

Cyclists can join in this cycling event by choosing one of the three routes which are designed to challenge every rider, from the enthusiastic beginner to the weathered pro. If you have visited Exeter Racecourse on the exposed crest of Halden Hill and know the surrounding locality, you will know that no cycle route is going to be a walk in the park from there!

Haldon Forest, the Teign Valley, Dartmoor and the South Coast around Torbay are all within range of this location. Although the hills may be challenging, the views should hopefully help compensate for the pain.

Organised by Just Events Ltd in Exeter, part of the registration fees of this event are donated to two local charities: and . Those who want to consider further supporting these charities may want to be sponsored as an additional incentive to get them around this tough course.

Three cycle routes on the Moor2Sea Cycle Sportive Event

The “easy” route (and I use the term loosely here!) is the Inspire Route which is 37 miles (60km) long. The planned route runs from Kennford Services on the A38 down to the coast at Starwood, through Dawlish and Teignmouth then up the Teign Valley to Kingsteignton. From there a steady ascent begins to Chudleigh Knighton and Christow before turning east on the final ascent up Haldon Hill.

The mid-range Challenge Route is 65 miles (104 km) long and follows the Inspire route to Chudleigh Knighton before heading towards Princetown in Dartmoor National Park, returning through Mortonhampstead to Kennford with total climbs of 6,602 feet.

The Extreme Route, designed for serious endurance cyclists, is 112 miles (180 km). It includes the previous routes with an additional loop through South Brent and Ivybridge to Yelverton and Princetown with total climbs of 11,042 feet.

All routes are fully signposted and marshalled and there are plenty of well stocked feed stations and watering points.

King of the mountains on Haytor

The Challenge and Extreme routes include a King of the Mountains-style timed stage up Haytor in the middle of Dartmoor. This tough route was featured previously in several Tours of Britain and involves ascending 1,200 feet over 3.7 miles. Even if you are not the fastest time, such is the challenge of this 1200-foot climb that everyone who completes the stretch within 26 minutes will get a King of the Mountains Medal Pin to mark their achievement.

Tope of the range King of the Mountains cycle jerseys will be awarded for male and female times in each of the age categories. Full registration details can be found here. Entrants are limited to 1000, and in the previous years’ events these places were quickly taken up.

Even if you do not intend cycling, the Moor2Sea Race is a wonderful event for spectators. With 1000 riders and several classes there will be plenty of ongoing entertainment not to mention some great prizes in the charity tombola. Riders will certainly appreciate encouragement and cheers on those steep hilly ascents too!

Have you taken part in any of the cycle races around South Devon and Dartmoor? What advice would you give to anyone considering registering for the Moor2Sea Cycle sportive? Your informative comments are always appreciated in our comments box.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.


  1. Zaiva says:

    I’ve been trying to get into a little bit of cycling lately, as I have just bought myself a new bike, and well I may not be advanced enough to enter the Tour de France (yet), I would love to have a go at this challenge! I’m not sure if I’ll be fully fit enough for it, but it’s worth a try! There is nothing better than jumping on your bike and going for a ride out in the countryside taking in the amazing sights, and putting a bit of competition in there would make it even more fun! As far as I’m aware, I am familiar with the route, and for cycling enthusiasts it’s probably one of the best routes to host a cycling event.

    Hopefully soon I can give it a go. Has anyone taken part in this challenge or something similar before?

  2. Mark Holt says:

    This does sound like an attractive alternative to the Tour De France and I do enjoy a good cycle out in the countryside. I just have a few small problems with the Search and Rescue charities which I feel I need to vent out here. Some people venture out further than their limits which is fine as we all need to push ourselves in life but not if you decide not to take precautions to the risks involved. What’s worse some of these people don’t even tell anyone whereabouts they are hiking and so the Search and Rescue teams spend hours, days and nights looking for them. That’s what annoys me the most because they wouldn’t have to had the person taken those precautions such as letting their friends know where they’re going.

    In my opinion I think they should take out insurance before getting themselves into a risky situation. There’s nothing wrong with going out there but don’t waste taxpayers money because you decided not to take precautions by telling your friends and family which trail you’re taking or which way you’re likely to go.

    • Paul Croydon says:

      Mark, everybody is entitled to their own opinion that’s fine but there’s a time and a place and sometimes our opinions can offend people, especially if some of those people were involved. If you do have a problem with that then you can do things about it like create a petition or contact the charity itself but this article is just promoting an event and what’s included in the event.

      Anyway I’ve actually done the 37 mile ‘easy’ route myself and my god I wouldn’t even dream of doing the extreme one. Does anyone know if any British professional cyclists do this route? I don’t know much about their training but I’m certain they do routes in Scotland and Wales.

Comment Policy: Your words are your own, so be nice and helpful if you can. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the discussion...


CommentLuv badge