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Race details
RegionUnited Kingdom
TypeEndurance Brevet Cycling Event
OrganiserAudax UK
First edition1989 (1989)
Final edition2017

London–Edinburgh–London (LEL) is a randonnée bicycle event of approximately 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) over an out-and-back course between the capital cities of London (England) and Edinburgh (Scotland). It has been described as a contender for hardest cycling event in the United Kingdom.[1]

The event has been held every four years since 1989, with the eighth event in 2017.

Description and history[edit]

LEL is the flagship event of Audax UK.[2] It is held every four years, two years after Paris–Brest–Paris. It is part of the brevet series and is a noncompetitive endurance bicycle event.

1989 to 2001[edit]

The first LEL was in 1989, when there were 29 starters and 26 finishers, all British. For that inaugural ride, the distance was 1,300 km (810 mi), and the route included a stretch of the A68 road. Finishers of that original event are sometimes referred to as the A68 Club. The inaugural ride did not start in London, but in Doncaster, the home town of the organiser. Riders headed first north to Edinburgh and back, then south to London and back.


For the fifth edition in 2005, there were 306 starters and 246 finishers, from the UK, mainland Europe, and other countries including Japan, Russia, Australia, the USA, and Canada. Riders set out from Cheshunt, on the northern outskirts of London, or from Thorne, close to the original Doncaster start.

The 2005 route was just over 1360km long and arrived in Edinburgh via The Granites. [3]


31 nations took part in the 2009 ride, which started and ended at Cheshunt.


The 2013 edition was held between 28 July and 2 August and 34 nations took part. In a departure from previous editions, the route took a loop through Scotland, and for the first time passed over the Humber Bridge.

805 riders finished the event in 2013.[4]


Brampton control at night, LEL 2017.

The 2017 edition took place between 30 July and 4 August 2017, attracting 1500 entrants from 55 nations. 810 of these finished in time.[5] The 2017 route was 1441km long and had 11,128m of climbing. The time allowance was 116 hours 40 minutes for the main group, and 110 hours for the elite group.

The ride started and ended at Davenant Foundation School in Loughton. The control points/accommodation stops were at:

All other controls were used in both directions.


The 2021 event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now scheduled to take place between 7 and 12 August 2022.[8] The route will be extended to 1500km, with a time allowance of 125 hours for the main group and 100 hours for the first group. The route will extend out to Dunfermline, will include a crossing of the Firth of Forth, and will pass through Edinburgh city centre.[9]


  1. ^ Tony Farrelly (22 April 2009). "London-Edinburgh-London: Britain's toughest bike ride needs your help!".
  2. ^ 2005 Route
  3. ^ Audax UK
  4. ^ Audax UK
  5. ^ Spalding Today,
  6. ^ DnG24,
  7. ^ LEL 2022
  8. ^ About LEL 2022

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]