What’s a cyclosportive?
According to Wikipedia, a cyclosportive, or often simply sportive, is a short to long distance, organised, mass-participation cycling event, typically held annually.
A cyclosportif falls between a traditional cycle road race and the more challenging non-competitive randonnée or Audax events. Riders normally carry a number and the time they take to complete the course is recorded. There is usually an upper time limit within which the course must be completed (unlike many randonnée events, there is no lower limit preventing riders from completing the course quickly). The already lengthy course will traditionally include climbs and difficult riding conditions, adding to the merit of the event (e.g. the cobblestones of the Paris–Roubaix).
Many cyclists use sportives to challenge themselves in a personal battle against the distance and then ultimately, the clock. Some participants in a cyclosportive will ride the event like a race, with prizes awarded and considerable prestige for top place finishers, particularly in events like La Marmotte, L’Étape du Tour and the Ardechoise.
Why a cyclosportive in Perth?
The Perth area is a beautiful and well kept secret for cycling. The Ottawa area has many events, including the Rideau Lakes Tour, the OBC Grand Prix, GranFondo Gatineau and GranFondo Ottawa. Ottawa has a great cyclo-cross series. Cyclosportif Perth is going to combine the best of all of them into a season-ending festival of cycling from the beautiful town of Perth, ON.
Maybe surprisingly, the area also has a tremendous network of dirt roads and trails on which to ride. These routes can be used to cut across some of the busier paved roads. They also tend to go in areas not normally seen on two wheels. Some of the best riding can be found on these routes, and this is your chance to check them out.
To that end, Cyclosportif Perth is offering a variety of terrain and distances, from 100k to 100 miles on the road and an epic 90k on a combination of paved and dirt roads (best suited to cyclo-cross bikes, or at least knobby tires).
It’s going to be awesome!