Forum home Road cycling forum Amateur race

Explain cycling races/disciplines

mxmike1991mxmike1991 Posts: 56
edited August 2016 in Amateur race
Pretty new to the road cycling scene. I am doing it for fitness a training for another sport but it would be nice to do a few races for some thing to aim for. Now I have seem a lot of 'sportive' events but people say these are not actually races. I am usually run, so compete in 10ks, and I basically want something similar, actaully a competition . What would be best to find such races, as all the events I have seen on British cycling are sportives. Could someone explain please? And would I need a to join a local club?

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    Sportives in the UK are not races, so not classified as such. Not sure where you have been looking online, but the BC pages are very helpful these days..

    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road/ ... d-racing-0

    and the race calendar is definitely on there too, just use the filter options to find the events you are after..
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    You might be better off looking at doing some time trials? google Cycling Time Trials, you d need to join a CTT affiliated club, more akin to the 10k races you ve been doing, you dont need all the aero stuff and most club TTs are nt on dual carriage ways.

    Sportives are certainly not races as such, but almost all give Gold/silver/bronze finisher medals and a chipped time, so many riders treat them as such, all that is missing is a podium!
  • thomasmorristhomasmorris Posts: 373
    edited May 2016
    Sportives (Randonee, Reliability Rides): over various distances, nice courses. You get a time for the event and people will try to get good times, or hit a standard. However, as people start at different times personal speed is very much dependent on the luck of the draw of who is around you to draft, as as such it can't be considered a direct competition. It's really a personal achievement of pushing yourself and completing the course around like minded people. It'll provide a great day out, some experience of riding in groups and can be a great way to explore new areas without worrying about finding feed stops and good routes (as that is taken care of by the organizers).

    They usually cost between £20-£50 for an event, but no other membership is required.
    To do well is a test of general fitness and you'll have to be comfortable riding around others. But ultimately your time will be depend on the luck of which groups you get riding with and the pace they're doing (more the case the flatter the course).

    Time trials: Time trials are organised on set courses by local clubs. Riders set off as individuals and ranked by their finishing time. Drafting is strictly not allowed and the results are a direct competition.

    Local clubs will often run an evening series for members, costing £3-£5 a ride for 5-25 mile events. You'll often need to be a member of local club to ride though. At a higher standard are 'open' events held at weekends. Costs are £5-£15 and in addition to being a member of a club.

    To do well is a test of pacing, power and ability to hold a aerodynamic position. Similarly to running there is a emphasis on personal bests of set distances or set courses.

    Road racing: Road racing is mass start race where drafting is allowed. Races are typically run by clubs, but under British Cycling rules. The distances and courses vary. There will be National Escort Riders and marshals on junctions on open roads, or the races will be held on a closed circuits (motor racing track or purpose built cycling circuit). Races are banded by level and open to different category of riders (elite down to 4ths based upon British Cycling points achieved in previous events).

    Races cost between £15-£40 to enter, but you'll also need to be a member of British Cycling and Cycling club. At first you'll be limited to which events you can enter, until you score ranking points and move up categories, opening up higher bands of races.

    Doing well is a test of fitness, but also bike handling and tactics. You'll need to make sure your at the front if the pack splits, or get in breaks with the best riders. If the finish comes down to a sprint good positioning and explosive power are required. The variation in courses and riders strengths will decide which tactics are best to use. Unlike time trialing completing the course in a 'good time' or setting 'PB's) is not the aim, only to get a top finishing position.

    Audax: Organised long distance ride, however the exact course is not set, you just have to go through the correct check points. The key thing is that the distance are typically very long (starting from 200k i think). There won't be big pelotons like in road racing, but sometimes small groups.

    To do well is very much about proper pacing, eating well, and good navigation. I think prizes are awarded to the fastest finishers (not done a Audax myself), but the impression I get is that it's more about the personal achievement of completing the course (and huge distances).
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Time trials are the nearest you'll get to a 10k. Do a 10 and its near as dammit the same kind of duration.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    Sorry but an Audax is not a massed start race, though is a great way to start doing distance cycling, its more like orienteering for road bikes, google it.
  • thomasmorristhomasmorris Posts: 373
    Sorry what I meant was, people can set off at the same time, and draft. I was under the impression Audax was a race though, in that there was a winner?

    Having read the Audax website it clearly states they are not a race though (edited post above)!
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,130
    fenix wrote:
    Time trials are the nearest you'll get to a 10k. Do a 10 and its near as dammit the same kind of duration.

    I reckon if there's an equivalent in terms of duration a 10 mile run and a sporting 25 mile TT is pretty close.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • mxmike1991mxmike1991 Posts: 56
    Thanks for all the info. I think I have got my head around it all now. I was struggling as I could only see sportive type races, seems they are popular. I looked on my local club website and they do have some time trials. 10 milers every other week or so which is good. I am fairly competitive so it's nice to race like minded people. Thanks for all your help again
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    'sportive type races' are not an actual thing. Races are races - sportives are sportives.
  • bflkbflk Posts: 240
    mxmike1991 wrote:
    Pretty new to the road cycling scene. I am doing it for fitness a training for another sport but it would be nice to do a few races for some thing to aim for. Now I have seem a lot of 'sportive' events but people say these are not actually races. I am usually run, so compete in 10ks, and I basically want something similar, actaully a competition . What would be best to find such races, as all the events I have seen on British cycling are sportives. Could someone explain please? And would I need a to join a local club?

    I did a couple of TTs when I was doing running races too so I would definitely recommend trying at least a 10M TT first and maybe consider a 25 too if you are used to doing 10/HM foot races. I found them a shock to the system as I was not bad at running but my TT times were censored . :(

    Ignore all the flash kit around you and the silly helmets. ;-)
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,030
    In my experience most sportives are not dissimilar to your typical 10k, in that most people aren't directly racing each other as they would in a proper bike race but instead are aiming to get a good time/PB (or some of the entrants in some sportives, particularly the really mass participation ones, are probably just aiming to get round or not to get off on that one climb etc etc).

    TTs are a bit more serious and probably closer to the 10k for serious runners because the distances are fixed (sportives vary) so you can track 10 mile/25 mile PBs etc etc.
  • mxmike1991mxmike1991 Posts: 56
    So am I right in thinking "sportives" are timed? And you get to see all the results etc? I am going to do a few TT next month, still waiting on my bike but have already seen some I want to enter. They sound like fun, I will probably go and do some sportives. I wanted a bit of competition. I'm not sure if my gear will hold me back in some events as I only got a cheap px pro carbon. Sure I will enjoy it none the less. Thanks all
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Most Sportives are timed, results are available and typically times are banded into gold/silver/bronze. However its not a race, there are no prizes. I've recently done a few sportives and don't care about the time, I just enjoy the ride (and cake).
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,030
    drlodge wrote:
    Most Sportives are timed, results are available and typically times are banded into gold/silver/bronze. However its not a race, there are no prizes. I've recently done a few sportives and don't care about the time, I just enjoy the ride (and cake).

    Sometimes they give out awards to fastest man/woman, or to top 3... This is probably pushing the limits on what's allowed, but I've seen it done (Etape Loch Ness for one)...

    But there is generally a staggered start and it's not "first across the line wins", it's more like a TT in that it's the fastest time.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,856
    mxmike1991 wrote:
    So am I right in thinking "sportives" are timed? And you get to see all the results etc? I am going to do a few TT next month, still waiting on my bike but have already seen some I want to enter. They sound like fun, I will probably go and do some sportives. I wanted a bit of competition. I'm not sure if my gear will hold me back in some events as I only got a cheap px pro carbon. Sure I will enjoy it none the less. Thanks all
    A lot will depend on what standard of 10k runner you are. If you are cranking them out in under 30 mins then you are going to be wasting your time doing sportives for the competion. You would be better doing Time trials.
  • rphertsrpherts Posts: 207
    webboo wrote:
    mxmike1991 wrote:
    So am I right in thinking "sportives" are timed? And you get to see all the results etc? I am going to do a few TT next month, still waiting on my bike but have already seen some I want to enter. They sound like fun, I will probably go and do some sportives. I wanted a bit of competition. I'm not sure if my gear will hold me back in some events as I only got a cheap px pro carbon. Sure I will enjoy it none the less. Thanks all
    A lot will depend on what standard of 10k runner you are. If you are cranking them out in under 30 mins then you are going to be wasting your time doing sportives for the competion. You would be better doing Time trials.

    Wow, regularly runs under 30 mins? He might want to think about the Commonwealth Games. Olympic qualifying time is sub-28 for 10,000m this year, Commonwealth Games tends to be higher (29 mins or thereabouts).
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    mxmike1991 wrote:
    I'm not sure if my gear will hold me back in some events as I only got a cheap px pro carbon.

    The only things that will hold you back are your cycling fitness, pacing, and getting enough food and drink down you.

    As long as it fits you and it's roadworthy, it's not about the bike... :D
Sign In or Register to comment.