Which Cycling Sportive Suits You Best?

Written by Bethany McAtee on 16th July, 2019

So, you think you have what it takes to race in a world renowned cycling sportive? You’ve been out on your bike most weekends on the roads local to your home, and have even ventured on longer, more challenging rides. Yet it’s now time to step up and experience the famous road cycling Europe has to offer, with a dose of competition to spur you on that little bit more. However, which popular sportive should you choose to participate in if you don’t want to do them all? 

Maratona Dles Dolomites, ItalyMaratona Dles Dolomites mountains and switchbacksRace Day – 5/07/2020

Scenery

It’s hard to picture the grandiose of The Dolomites mountain range unless you’re in the valley, on a switchback, bike underneath you. Rugged with sharp peaks, there’s few places that allow you to feel engulfed in mother nature’s epic designs. Whilst on a bike you get the chance to pedal deeper into the range’s heart, an experience that leaves a lasting impact on anyone who rises to the challenge.

Weather and Fitness

Weatherwise, you’ll likely witness clear skies and warm temperatures, however because of the changeable nature of the mountains be prepared for a chilly summit! Perfect for cyclists who find hot weather, well, too hot. Slightly cooler temperatures mean higher altitudes, and higher altitudes mean higher climbs. It’s safe to say you don’t want to be undertrained for this sportive. Ensure you are confident riding the length and ascent detailed in each course before signing up.

Route

The Maratona Dles Dolomites offers 3 courses at different lengths, but all with famous climbs and an electrifying atmosphere. Each begins in La Villa, near the village of Corvara.

  • Course 1: 55km/1780m ascent
  • Course 2: 106km/3130m ascent
  • Course 3: 138km/4230m ascent

Etape Du Tour, FranceEtape du tour cyclists in franceRace Day – 21/07/2019 and TBC 07/2020

Scenery

Fancy yourself a bit of a Bradley Wiggins or Mark Cavendish, but aren’t Tour de France material? Don’t worry, the Etape du Tour is just your cup of tea! Ride a stage of the Tour de France only days before the pros give it a go. The 2019 Etape du Tour features stage 20, and does not disappoint in the landscape or professionalism departments. 

Weather and Fitness

July is the best month of the year for cycling in the French Alps, with gorgeous sunshine and temperatures in the high 20’s. You’ll be basking in heat until the descents, where a welcome breeze refreshes the body temperature back down for the next climb. There are 3 major ascents on this year’s route across 135km, which requires a high level of fitness, so without sufficient training your opportunity of a cycling pro experience is a no go. 

Route

The Etape du Tour changes its route every year to match the Tour de France, and whilst the 2020 route hasn’t been released yet, here’s an overview of the 2019 route:

  • 135km/+4563m ascent
  • Start: Albertville
  • Finish: Val Thorens 
  • Climbs included: Cormet de Roselend, The Côte de Longefoy and Val Thorens

Mallorca 312, Mallorca Mallorca 312 cyclists next to mountains and beachRace Day – TBC 04/2020

Scenery

You’ll need your beach body ready for the Mallorca 312, for the beautiful coastline shores and to get up the 5050m of total ascent. Arguably one of the most diverse sportives in terms of scenery compared to the Maratona Dles Dolomites and the Etape du Tour, the grueling Mallorca 312 route takes on legendary climbs, such as the Puig Major, as well as rolling past dramatic cliff faces looking out to the pristine sea. 

Weather and Fitness

You can’t go wrong with the weather at the end of April in Mallorca, when the sportive usually occurs, as the summer heat has yet to arrive meaning the air is perfectly warm and fresh. Any pictures taken will definitely be worthy of social media posting simply because of the incredible backdrop surrounded in sunshine. Admiring the scenery will be the easiest activity you’ll encounter en route, as the route itself is extremely demanding and is not to be thought of lightly.

Route

However, there are 2 shorter (but still difficult) options if you just aren’t into enduring one of the hardest sportive routes in Europe. 

  • Mallorca 312: 310km/5050m ascent
  • Mallorca 225: 223km/3972m ascent
  • Mallorca 167: 166km/2474m ascent

Whether you want to do your first sportive at the Maratona Dles Dolomites 55km course, ride like a pro at the Etape du Tour or really push yourself to the limit at the Mallorca 312, we can guarantee you a place. Places sell out fast, so contact us now for the opportunity to ride in some of the most sought after cycling events!