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What is a cycling sportive?


A sportive, more formally known as a cyclosportive, is a cycling event becoming increasingly popular, not just in the UK, but internationally in the US, Australia and Europe. The race is also known in some places as a Gran Fondo, and is generally a none competitive, mass participation event where cyclists come together to tackle a course that could be anything from 50 to 150 miles.

Who can take part in a cycling sportive?

You don’t need to be a seasoned cyclist or professional athlete to take part in a cycling sportive! Cyclists of all experiences and abilities come together to take part. As it is usually a non-competitive event, cyclists tend to sign up as a personal challenge, only racing themselves or the clock, and gaining valuable experience before entering more traditional road races. Bear in mind though, that sportive routes still tend to be varied and challenging, featuring many long steep climbs and descents.

How to prepare for a cycling sportive

How you prepare for a sportive will depend on your current cycling abilities and fitness, and also any realistic goals you have in mind. To start with you should take a look at the course you are signed up to, how long is it? Are there a lot of climbs and difficult bends? Use this information to influence your training plan, if your race has a lot of hills, make sure to include these in training. You should also aim to be able to cycle as close to the total distance of the race as possible by race day.

Where can I find a cycling sportive near me?

We have loads of cycling events, including sportives, to sign up to all over the UK. Use our search to find a local cycling sportive here.