The GORE BIKEWEAR Sportives are run alongside the Merida Bikes MTB Marathons and offer the most fantastic 80-100mile road challenge events taking in the best road climbs Wales, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders have to offer. And with 40-50mile option the events are open to a wide range of riders and abilities.
The more experienced Sportive riders will find the GORE BIKEWEAR Sportives a great challenge with the classic courses taking in some serious hills complimented by rolling back roads and amazing views over the various regions of natural beauty.
A lot of people will know the team behind the Merida Bikes MTB Marathons from the off road events and are familiar with the concept of UK mountain bike marathons. For 2008 the Saturday of the event weekends will see the addition of the GORE BIKEWEAR Sportives to the event weekends bringing different cycling disciplines together and giving the hardened endurance experts out there the chance to get a ‘proper’ warm up ride on Saturday before the dirt awaits them the following day. Same goes for the hardened sportive rider who like the idea of finding out how his/her power and stamina translate to the marathons courses of the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon series.
So in short through the addition of the 4 rounds of GORE BIKEWEAR Sportive Series at the Ruthin, Builth Wells (July event), Selkirk and Penrith events of the Merida Bikes MTB marathon Series ’08 we are getting even closer to a national series of cycling festivals. And don’t forget there is lots more going on alongside there two main events.
Event concept GORE BIKEWEAR Sportive Series:
The GORE BIKEWEAR Sportives are run very similarly to the Merida marathons by being one loop events with the start and finish being in the same location as the event village, registration and event camping. Due to legal reasons the Sportives will be started in small waves of riders at set intervals. The start will open at a certain time and will stay open for approximately 2 hours to give everybody the chance to have a relaxing start at the time of their choosing.
The courses are fully marked but every rider will get a small ‘backup map’ given in case that marking is not 100% clear or gets damaged or removed. Around the course our energy food sponsor High5 will be present with energy drinks, bars, and gels as well as with bananas and water. Alongside the energy backup, mechanics will be out there to help everybody with any technical problems. The feeding stations are normally in between 25-35miles apart but should not be relied upon as the sole source of your food and drink. Check out the ‘5 Basic Rules of Road Sportives’ in the magazine or on the website. Besides that have a good read of the FAQ section as that is full with useful information regarding eating, drinking and the general running of the events.
The feed stations act as check points and there are also further ‘hidden’ checkpoints to make sure that no riders get lost and that everybody finishes one of the courses on offer.
We have two (sometimes three – please check website for details) different courses at each of the four locations: the approximately 80-100mile long ‘classis sportive’ and the approximately 40-50mile long ‘standard sportive’ With a selection of 2-3 distances at four different events you will find the perfect step up to progress from the ‘standard sportive’ via (when available) middle distance to the full ‘classic sportive’ in one year. A tough job but possible!
Once you’ve managed to complete your ride and come over the finish line make sure you don’t just race past the commentator and the timing crew as you would miss out on your unique finisher present and on your chances of getting one of the many spot prizes that we will give away again. As always we will have bike cleaning facilities near the finish line where you can clean your bike for your next outing or simply your drive home.
Camping and parking facilities are available at all UK events and are included in the entry fee, so if you fancy making a proper weekend out of it come along on Friday and stay all the way to Monday morning. Facilities like showers and toilets are going to be available over the whole weekend as well – all part of your entry fee.
Your entry fee for the GORE BIKEWEAR Sportive Series includes:
The entry fee for the GORE BIKEWEAR Sportives is £ 25 for the 50mile and the 100mile ride. Your entry fee includes:
- Ride entry
- free ‘after ride’ food
- free usage of service stations
- free Mountain Bike skills and riding tuitions (please check website for suitable times)
- finisher present
- free camping from Friday to Monday
Event weekend discounts:
As at the Exposure Lights Big Night Out marathon weekend in April we expect quite a few riders to consider taking part in the GORE BIKEWEAR Sportive on Saturday before getting down and dirty in the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon on Sunday. If you enter both event at the same weekend we will give you a £ 10 discount on your over all entry fee.