When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Home / Training / Bike / How can sportives benefit triathletes?

How can sportives benefit triathletes?

Better bike climbing, descending and riding in groups are all benefits of entering a sportive

How can sportives benefit triathletes?

This just in from the Wiggle Etape Cymru organisers about how their 92-mile challenge can benefit triathletes…

Sportives are great training grounds for long distance triathletes. Cyclosportives – mass participation cycling events – can be highly beneficial for a triathlete’s training program for the bike leg of longer events, like half and full Ironman, in many respects that training on your own just cannot replicate.

To start with the best way to improve bike handling amongst others is to ride with others. Moving up and down groups of riders, and practicing not drafting the rider in front is easily drilled.

Climbing and descending technique are vital aspects of riding. Riding on your own and around others is something different altogether, and will only benefit your skills. An event like the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon features three mountains and over 45km of climbing, as well as quite a bit of downhill too. Having a good technique here would make a huge difference.


The environment of a mass participation ride ?is perfect for practicing techniques around others with riders always coming and going around you. This is even more relevant if the sportive route is on closed roads, for example the Wiggle Etape Cymru in Wales.

A sportive can also get you used to riding a fresh, new route – something that you’ll encounter on race day. It helps to take the monotony out of riding on the same roads for your long training rides. Everyone knows that a ride on new roads goes much quicker than a familiar route!

Finally, a sportive gives you an excuse to be serious. If you tell the other half it’s a race, they’ll be less likely to give you stick about eating bowl after bowl of pasta and going to bed early on a Saturday night!

For more information on September’s Wiggle Etape Cymru (where 220 will be entering), the UK’s longest closed road sportive, head to www.etape-cymru.co.uk.

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.