The Lapierre Tour of the Black Country

tour-of-the-black-country Sportive

The Lapierre Tour of the Black Country

The Lapierre Tour of the Black Country is a 100km sportive which takes in 20 km of cobbled roads, stony farm tracks and bridleways in the West Midlands and Worcestershire, with a Roubaix-style velodrome finish.

Modelled on the epic European Classic ‘Paris-Roubaix’

The Lapierre Tour of the Black Country includes 15 unpaved sectors varying in length from 300m to 1800m, all of which are passable on a standard road bike. Each sector is rated according to difficulty; one star being the most straightforward, five stars being the most difficult. The roads are virtually traffic-free, despite being located close to Birmingham, and the majority of the unpaved sectors are closed to all traffic. The route finishes, as does Paris-Roubaix, on a large outdoor velodrome, at Aldersley Stadium on the outskirts of Wolverhampton.

The event will have a French theme, with a variety of French foods (croissants, pains aux raisins, crepes, etc.), coffee and a glass of Champagne for every finisher. In addition, everyone who completes the course will be presented with a lump of top-quality Black Country coal, mined from under the very same roads that the route follows. Feed stations, a broom wagon and medical support will be provided. There is also the option of a shorter 65 km (40-mile) route, which skips five of the fifteen unpaved sectors, but is otherwise the same as the full 100 km route.

The event is being supported by British Cycling; read the article on their website describing how the sportive came into being, and the ideas and values behind it.

tour-of-the-black-country paris-roubaix style sportive

The cobbled road at the base of the Waltonberg climb.

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Sector 10.

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Irregular and broken cobblestones.

'The best sportive of 2014'.

- Guvnors' Assembly

'As good as you'll get in Britain, I reckon.'

- Will F.

'It’s tough to stand out in the crowded British sportive market but Cycle Classics has hit the nail squarely on the head with its Tour of the Black Country: off-road segments, cobbles, a velodrome finish, even a glass of champagne on completion. The highlight of the day was the glorious sweeps of Aldersley Velodrome for the final lap and a half of the course, just like at Paris-Roubaix. Great atmosphere and sense of being part of a special event.'

- Cycling Weekly

'I only ride a few sportives each year now in this country...The ones I usually do are the Tour of the Black Country and the Tour of Britain.'

- James T.

Lapierre Bikes


Review of 2014 Tour of the Black Country by CYCLOSPORT

Photos: henryiddon.com