Growing popularity in the UK could do for cycling what marathons did for jogging

Sportives to go mainstream?

Increasing numbers of sportives cropping up around the country are leading industry commentators to predict that they could have a huge impact on the cycling trade.

Specialized sponsors its own sportif at Silverstone, Northampton. Specialized MD Richard Hemington said: “Sportives are increasingly popular and we wanted to give riders a great landmark for a new endurance challenge.”

Martin Harrison of holiday company Trail Break is helping put together the Great Western Sportive in Swindon this June.

He told BikeBiz: “Sportives are the best shot that cycling has had in giving itself an equivalent appeal since the MTB boom of the ‘90s failed to keep going. We think there is a great risk of sportives settling into an elitist form and the cycle industry will find itself looking back on a big missed opportunity. The challenge sportives face is to present that much more accessible appeal without losing their ‘big challenge’ inspirational value.”

For more on the Sportive phenomenon, click here.

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