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Audax & Sportives


Since the Etape du Tour gained popularity in France and Gran Fondos became regular targets for ambitious riders in Italy, the Sportive scene in the UK has been growing fast. There are now Sportive events most weekends throughout the Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Typical distances will be between 100 and 200km, usually with a significant amount of climbing included. These events are attractive for a wide variety of entrants: road racers, club cyclists, hardriders, and even "non-cyclists" looking for a good sporting challenge.

Reading CC riders enter most of the popular Sportives: local around the Chilterns, further afield in the UK, and abroad with the Etape and other large continental events.

Audax has existed as a branch of the sport in the UK for many years, but has always had something of a niche appeal to long distance riders - for example only having officially dropped the requirement for mudguards and lights in the last few years. These days Audax events are much more accessible for the casual rider, notable for being comparatively cheap to enter compared to Sportives, and usually offering well planned and challenging routes, typically from 100km up to 600km monsters. The main difference between Audaxes and Sportives is that Audaxes don't usually have signposted routes but rely on riders reading a route card, don't provide any food/drink on the ride itself (although there's usually food available at the finish), and typically don't publish results in finishing order.

Visit http://www.audax.uk.net and http://www.cyclosport.co.uk for more information on Audax and Sportives in general.

Nick Crocker, Ant Maynard and Rory West set the pace in the Highclere Sportive

Nick Crocker, Ant Maynard and Rory West set the pace in the Highclere Sportive