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Sportive cycling has fast become the biggest growing part of non-competitive road cycling in recent years, attractive to both dedicated competitors and leisure cyclists alike.
The variation in sportive distances provides cyclists the opportunity to test themselves on race-proven routes such as The Tour of Britain Sportives, The Tour Rides. These sportives take the stage routes of the Tour of Britain and arrange sportive’s along each to provide cyclists the opportunity to experience that of the professional cyclists.
These events allow cyclists of varying abilities to take part in a mass participation cycle events which can be run over numerous distances and challenging terrain.
These events are not races. Depending upon the organisers, a riders time can be recorded which enables individuals to set personal challenges year on year to finish within a certain time. A great way to establish personal yearly goals.
The first sportive was established in France called La Marmotte in 1982, this event has since grown to become one of the worlds most popular with close to 10,000 people tackling some of the highest peaks in the Alps. Currently there are sportives organised globally taking in variations of distance, terrain, climbing, etc.
These events are now some of the biggest mass participant sporting events in the world with it’s popularity spreading to the UK, America and Australia were it is now helping cycling become a main stream sport within these countries. In Italy these events are known as Grand Fondos, this name has also become popular with events in the US in recent years also.
In many of the bigger events they have static food/drink stops that allow the riders to ‘re-fuel’ and get a few minutes rest before continuing on. These food stops can vary between different events but are now a common sight at most events.
Sportives will continue to grow and has been a major player in bringing a new generation to cycling which has developed in many countries world wide.
Be sure to check out our own organised sportive, Cody’s Challenge.