Participating in events is a great way to keep you motivated to train, work towards some targets and get you out of your comfort zone. The idea of entering an event may make you feel nervous and anxious of how you will perform. That is normal, without it you would not developing yourself as a cyclist.
Here is a guide to the different types of cycling events and races. Entries our open for many events during 2021. Regardless of what the future holds, it's worth entering as it will give you the motivation to train for them and you will have the benefit of increased fitness by the race day.
There are many sportives that are on around the country and beyond They can vary from distances from around 30miles up to around 200miles. A sportive is often not considered to be overly competitive. But it's a great way to challenge yourself over a certain distance or ride with a mass of people. You will often get a medal at the end of the event and food stations alone the way. Events will range from having 100's - 1000's of competitors The most popular in the UK being ride London. Sportives are a great option to do as your first event, where you can enter on your own or with a group of friends.
Audax events as less popular than sportives. They are long distance events where you must complete the distance in a certain time frame. These are self navigated, which was more of the challenge before GPS came about. You will also have a brevet card in which you need you collect stamps at certain checkpoints. They tend to be completed individually and suit those that like the solitude of cycling.
Ultra Endurance Race
Ultra endurance races are not for the faint hearted. Again they are completed alone or in pairs. Riders cover thousands of km over several days. Cyclists will sometimes have to navigate the route themselves. Riders will need to find their own nutrition along the route and places to stay, where some will sleep outdoors. One of the most popular races is the transcontinental which passes through several countries.
Time trails are a great entry point to competitive cycling. The vary from distances of 10miles to 100miles. The most common is 10miles. Each rider is set off at minute intervals. So you are not actually racing around a big bunch of riders. Everyones time is counted and the winners announced at the end of the event.
A crit race is a circuit race where you will complete laps of the circuit. This is a lot more competitive and I would suggest looking out for a cycling club that has a women's team if you are interested in taking part. This can be very exhilarating and intimidating as you will need to ride within a close group and practice good bike handling skills. The races are quite fast and explosive and usually last for under an hour.
Road races are the most well know type of competitive cycling event. They will usually last a few hours and a lot of your success will depend on your ability to ride within the group. More opportunities are coming about for women's cycling. Again look at for you local club with a race team to get started.
Dualthon and Triathlon
A dualthon is multi sport event where you will run bike and run again and triathlon swim, bike run. It requires you to be a good level at all disciplines to be a really success at the sport. They can be quite fun to take part in. You will find events all over the country from sprint distance to iron man. You will get a huge mix of levels and abilities.
Whatever events you enter this year, see them as something to work towards to get you out your comfort zone!
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