Ulster Cycling News


<< Leisure Cycling

A cyclosportive, or  sportive, is a short to long distance, organised, mass-participation cycling event, usually held annually. A true sportive event falls between a road race and a leisure tour. In major sportives riders are timed and prizes may be awarded to the top finishers somewhat like a marathon. The events themselves are usually challenging both in terms of distance and difficulty. A top sportive will normally be between 80 and 200km and will include tough climbs. Sportives are normally annual events and major sportives can attract thousands of participants.

Among the most famous of the European Sportives are The Marmotte and L'Etape du Tour. Increasingly cyclists in this country set such events as their ultimate goal. Jeremy MacLynn who is originally from Ulster did the Etape in 2012. You can read about his experience here. Jeremy's Etape 2010

In Ulster some of the events on the Leisure calendar are titled sportives but this generally means that they are not events for the faint-hearted as few of these events are timed and prizes are generally not awarded.  They are instead tough events over longer distances and which may include difficult climbs.They are  challenges which many riders like to tick off.

And -  boy - you know when you have done it!

Among the toughest of these is the traditional May Bank Holiday Tour of the Glens.The big challenge is the 200km route over most of the Glens of Antrim. Another challenging event is the Dromara Mourne Sportive but there are many others on the calendar such as the inishown 100, Tour of Inishowen and the Tyrone and Sperrin Sportives.