Tips to Ride the Mallorca 312 and other Sportives
With famous sportives such as the Mallorca 312 approaching fast, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some tips to riding a better sportive. Sportives offer diverse challenges, therefore it's paramount to have fun and no doubt you will want to do well. Hopefully, these tips to ride a better sportive will help you do exactly that.
Ride in a Peloton
Peloton riding or group riding saves you a lot of energy in a sportive. Riding close to the bike in front or drafting as it is often called, will see you ride further for less effort. Estimates of how much energy you save range from 20-50%. To ride as part of a peloton you need to know what you’re doing and be aware of what is going on around you. This is very important as a sudden movement could result in an accident.
In a sportive it is important that you do give yourself room even if you are an experienced peloton rider. The chances are you will not know the ability of those riding around you, and extra space could save you from a collision.
When the sportive starts natural pelotons form, so try to join one where the pace is suitable for your cycling level.
Pacing and Sportive Riding
Like all distance rides, sportive riding is all about pacing. Hopefully, as part of a peloton you will have a bit more energy than if you were riding it on your own. As you ride the sportive groups of riders become less as pelotons can become stretched. As such discovering the right pace in a sportive is essential. We have dedicated a blog to it on the subject: How to ride the right pace in a sportive. Give it a read.
Generally, after you have ridden the first half of the sportive you should be feeling like you have plenty of energy for the next half. Treating a sportive with the same mindset as a training ride could leave you without energy and having a bad day. So ensure you get your pacing right.
Riding with Friends
If you can, ride the sportive with friends. You will probably know the cycling levels of one another. As such you can set the right pace for the whole group, and provide encouragement to each other throughout the sportive.
Also, the stronger riders can take the lead in the peloton more often helping the weaker riders in the group maintain pace.
Eat and Drink
A common mistake many cyclists make is that they forget to stay hydrated and to eat. It is understandable as the grandeur of the events can be overwhelming and your whole focus is on the ride. If you have a device which can be set to beep at optimal time to tell you when to eat and drink, use it.
Food and drink is your fuel and through eating at the right intervals you will have more energy to ride a better sportive.
Know the Course
Knowing the course is important for a sportive as you can prepare for the more difficult parts such as climbs, and depending on the sportive location, the weather conditions will be more severe. Open, exposed roads will be more prone to wind. Memorising various landmarks so you can tell when you are halfway is advised. Knowing where the feed stations are located is good practice so you can plan when to top up.
Riding a sportive is the perfect way to test your limits, and experience what it is like to be a pro rider.
We have two sportive tours at SportActive where we look after you like a professional:
- Mallorca 312 is the longest amateur sportive in Europe. Here you ride across Mallorca taking in the Tramumtana Mountain range.
- Marmotte is in true Tour de France style taking in the iconic climbs of the great race.
If you’re planning to ride a sportive why not brush up on your cycling training and ride further and faster. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, join us in April or October and you can ride with the legend Sean Kelly. Click here and discover our Mallorca tours.