While the modern sportive provides most creature comforts, it’s worth remembering that the HQ all are temporarily set-up is typically a temporary event village and you may be miles from anywhere. However, there are some great secrets to be discovered, including feed stations with home-made soup and cake.
It’s certainly worth researching how well supported the sportive you’re riding in actually is. Some are little more than structured social rides, while others operate rolling road closures, service course (support) vehicles, mini feed-zones and massage tents reminiscent of a grand tour.
With this in mind it’s much better to know as much information pre-event, which will allow you to take the self-sustainable approach if necessary. Once you understand the level of support likely to be provided by the event, it’s worth planning one step ahead of this and prepare yourself for your day.
What you should know about your event:
- Planning your journey to the event;
- forecasted weather;
- parking location/ facilities;
- sign-on time and location;
- start time and start schedule;
- event route and escape options;
- feed zones;
- expected event closure times.
Many sportives provide feed zones and post-ride food, but remember if you’re one of the latter riders to come through it’s safe to assume you’re left with water – the cruel irony being those at the back are often those most in need – but all the more reason to be prepared.
The general message is to treat it as a normal bike ride from home; don’t go for lightweight over reliability, as you’re sure to regret not taking an extra inner-tube at the top of a hill on a rainy day.
Want more information on event preparation? Take a look at the British Cycling Insight Zone for advice from the same experts that work for the Great Britain Cycling Team.