The Dorset Coast is a 200km ride, organised under the rules of Audax UK – the UK’s long distance cycling association, and is a Brevet des Randonneurs Mondiaux event meaning that completing in 2018 will allow early entry to Paris-Brest-Paris 2019.
An historic event, now in its 41st year the Dorset Coast Audax is the UK’s longest continuously running calendar audax event. The route has a bit of everything, and with over 2,800m of ascent a lot of steep hills ;-). It is considered by many long distance cyclists to be pretty much the perfect 200km course: perfectly placed controls / control towns, varied scenery, awesome views, challenging climbs, rewarding descents, and a lovely run in to the finish from the top of Eggardon Hill.
Included in the entry fee are refreshments at the start and finish, your ferry ticket, a hot drink voucher for the Criterion Café in Weymouth, and (for the 200km riders) an amazing lunch put on by the Axminster Community Primary Academy Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA), and (of course) Audax UK and BRM validation. The Top of Town café in Dorchester also kindly stays open until 8pm so that all riders can buy tea, coffee, snacks and a choice of classic café menu items before the final run into Wareham.
The Dorset Coastlet is a 100km ‘Brevet Populaire’ also organised under the rules of Audax UK and is designed as an early season leg tester, and introduction to long distance cycling.
Dorset Coast 200km
Take part in the longest continuously running annual calendar Audax event in the UK: now in its 41st year The Dorset Coast is a classic and challenging 200km event.
The Coastlet 100km
The Dorset Coastlet 100km event is also a big day out, with some big hills to test the legs this early in the season. Click below for more details.
The Dorset Coast was founded by Wessex CTC rider Keith Matthews – who still organises the ‘permanent’ version of this event, and there have been 4 organisers over the years:
- 1978 – 1999 Keith Matthews
- 2000 – 2006 Annemarie Manley
- 2007 – 2017 Peter Loakes
- 2018 Andrew Preston
1981 – The Snow Year
For the fourth event, a group of French cyclists Keith knew had decided to come over on the ferry to Dorset and ride in the event. A good group duly arrived and enjoyed a catered lunch and a slide show given by Audax UK member Neville Chanin. When they awoke the next morning there was a thick covering of snow right across Dorset. The reputation of “The Coast” was made – no longer a soft southern ride it there were hills, and the possibility of extreme weather. The French party were mortified and turned at Weymouth for the ferry and home, but 69 riders of the main field completed despite the weather.