well last weekend I completed my first sportive event. My mother, who also recently caught the cycling bug suggested we do it as it would be a good training run. The event was called the tour de burren and was divided into 160km, 100km, and 60km routes. we decided to to the 60km route which was titled the corkscrew challenge and featured a quad burning 5km cat 2 climb with a 5% gradient in the first ten kilometers. http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=259494 the link shows the profile of the climb, which didnt prove to be as difficult as the profile suggests.
Due to a decision to start the 100km ride at the same time as the 60km ride the start was very crowded and everyone was tightly packed until the climb began to split the riders up, allowing the stronger cyclists to push on and gain some ground. Once at the top of the hill we were able to open it up and my mother and I pressed on we were in no mans land for most of the race with the very strong cyclist ahead of us and the weaker ones much further behind us. We got to the finish in around 1hr and 48 mins which was pretty respectable for a 60km race. The event manager later informed us that out of roughly 900 people doing the 60km we managed to place in the top 30. Chuffed to say the least!
Overall the event was well organised and there was a great buzz in the village before and after the race. The scenery along the coast route and in the picturesque village of ballyvaughan was a welcome distraction fro the pain in my quads at the conclusion of the event. My first, but definitely not my last sportive. watch this space!