How to organise a cycling road race

Five hot tips for setting up your first event

Look out, Tour de France – the sport of cycling may be booming, but it still needs more race organisers. Here’s some good advice to help you create your own race. (Maybe this will help you win one!)


Want to start up a new sportive? Or maybe you fancy organising something for your local riding club and wish to widen the field? Cycling Plus magazine spoke to British Cycling’s Lisa Graham, who explains how to get started with five invaluable tips…

1. Get online

Check in with british cycling for even more advice: check in with british cycling for even more advice
British Cycling
Head to British Cycling to officially register your event

Go to to find out how to register an event, get insurance and for links to regional events officers. Don’t be scared – your local regional event officer will talk you through the whole process of organising a race.

2. Calendar coordination

The date is all-important – liaise with british cycling to see what else is on then:
Tim de Waele
The date is all-important – liaise with British Cycling to see what else is on then

Different regions have different events at different times. National events go in the calendar first, with everything else flowing from that. Speak to your British Cycling regional competitions administrator, who decides where events sit within the calendar.

3. Classification

Which category of race are you aiming to hold? :
Tim de Waele
Which category of race are you aiming to hold?

Road races are split into national and regional classifications and these determine who can participate in an event. National A, for example, will have elite riders, and at the other end of the scale Regional B will have inexperienced riders riding a maximum of 90km.

4. Choose a good course

You’ll need to choose a good course, naturally:
Tim de Waele
Got a route in mind? Keeping it flat or making it lumpy?

British Cycling does not allow organisers to pick their route. There is a set of pre-determined courses that are approved and have been risk-assessed. Regardless of category, the same logistics and safety measures apply.

5. Find your budget

Got your budget sorted? factored in organisng the marshalls?:
Tim de Waele
Factored in organising the marshals?

Make sure you have enough money to pay your costs – for example first aid, marshals at every corner and prizes. Entry fees are part of this but don’t forget to get local sponsorship – perhaps a bike shop. Ask your regional events officer about marshals.