Bike legs: 6 of the world’s most scenic

Beyond high speeds and the adrenaline rush, you can’t beat triathlon for enjoying the best of Mother Nature. Here are 6 of the world's most stunning, must-do, bike legs that you need to add to your bucket list…

Challenge Wanaka. Credit: Hannah Peters


Wanaka, New Zealand,  February 2016
3.8km swim | 180km bike | 42.2km run
Takes place: February


Over 1,500 professional and age-group athletes head to New Zealand for one of the toughest and most beautiful triathlons around. A crystal-clear lake swim and run around the water’s edge are linked by a stunning 180km bike against the memorable backdrop of the Southern Alps and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. We also voted it 11th toughest Ironman-distance race in the world

Challenge Wanaka 2015 – gallery


Roth, Germany
3.8km swim | 180km bike | 42.2km run
Takes place: July

Roth is regarded as the fastest long-course event in the world, the men’s and women’s records coming in at 7:41:33 (Andreas Raelert) and 8:18:13 (Chrissie Wellington), respectively. The bike is relatively flat aside from the notorious Solar Berg Hill. Thankfully, huge crowds that resemble the Tour de France’s Dutch Corner ease the pain. In the 2016 race Jan Frodeno broke the Iron-distance world record here 

Challenge Roth 2015: Frommhold and van Vlerken win in Bavaria

Immortal Half Wimbleball 

Wimbleball Lake, Somerset
1.9km swim | 90km bike | 21.1km run
Takes place: June

Exmoor National Park is home to a race that’ll stretch the fittest and strongest triathlete – and core to your ‘debilitating day out’ is the bike. The organiser’s description of ‘rolling terrain’ is an understatement with nearly 5,000ft of climbing only slightly comforted by the picturesque Somerset countryside.

Ironman 70.3 UK – in pics


Wester Ross, Scotland
3.8km swim | 202km bike | 42km run
Takes place: June

Though only in its fifth year, many triathletes have pencilled in the Celtman on their bucket list. You’ll soon warm up from the cold swim in Loch Shielgag with a bike that boasts 2,000m of climbing along beautiful coastal roads. It’s a brute with the last third of the bike often greeted by stiff headwinds. A 42km run over two munros completes this memorable test. We named Celtman as the 2nd toughest Ironman-distance race in the world

Celtman Triathlon 2015 – in pics


Lake Padarn, Snowdonia
Various distances
Takes place: May

There are three distances available – 400m swim/20km bike/6km run; 1km swim/51km bike/11km run; 1.4km swim/71km bike/17km run – and for each it’s the bike leg that steals the limelight. Hit the famous Llanberis Pass, along the Ogwen Valley, and you’ll be confronted with views that’ll render you speechless. (That and the breathlessness of the climbing metres, of course.) Sign up fast as this sells out every year.

Slateman Triathlon 2015 – in pics

Slateman Triathlon 2015 race report


Ullswater, Cumbria
1.9km swim | 92km bike | 20km run
Takes place: June


Complete your first challenge – taming the glorious Ullswater Lake – and you’ll head out onto the 92km bike that’ll push you and your contemporaries to your limits. Not only is there the long ascent to Shap Fell, but also the stiff Kirkstone Pass, which reaches a vertigo-inducing 25% gradient in places. The run is mostly off-road with the last three miles on tarmac. The route has slightly changed for 2016 because of the extreme flooding over Christmas, which badly damaged several bridges,  but will be just as scenic! See the race website for more details

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