Is a cycling sportive really just a cycle race? Or is it a cycling social get together on wheels?
Of course, for some, it is a great time to get together and talk cycling. For the rest of us, it most definitely is a race. Only it's better than any cycle race most could ever get to take part in, but we don't like to talk about it just in case others find out how much anarchic fun we are having. Just like a professional cycling race, it takes off at full gas until a breakaway of the fastest riders forms out front, powering down the road eating up the miles and scaring the hell out of the natives
Slowly, as you hit the climbs riders are shelled out the back of the main peloton, unable or unwilling to stay with the pace, to be swept up by the next group on the road coming up fast from behind. Dodging the potholes, fighting to find the best line down the high-speed descents, the best wheel to follow when the road turns upwards, constantly switching wheels to stay in the groove, pushing through taking up your turn on the front to keep the speed high till only the very best are still in contact
So when you hit the sportive road, cling to that wheel in front of you as if your life depended on it, because it can take your further than you could ever dream of getting on your own. Is a cycling sportive a race? No, it's much more than just a cycle race, it's more like riding a storm
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