The Etape and Marmotte, prepare for changing Weather conditions. bY Beth Mc Cluskey

Ensure that you get the most from your Sportive experience by planning well for the conditions.

Sportives are long events and the weather can change quite dramatically during the day. Make sure you check the weather forecast for the whole day and not just the morning of the event.

If the weather is going to get very wet and cold in the afternoon make sure you carry a waterproof jacket and some spare buffs to help keep you warm.

SOME OF MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF SPORTIVES AND WEATHER CONDITIONS

I have finished the Ring of Kerry sportive in hailstones in July so anything is possible in Ireland. Be prepared.

If the weather is to be very warm be sure that there will be adequate drinks available, if this means stopping at a shop to top up make sure you bring money.

I have done the Wicklow 200 in 30 deg sunshine, dehydration, cramping and heatstroke were the main reasons people didn’t finish that year.

Another year in the Wicklow 200, some riders left Greystones just wearing jerseys & shorts in torrential rain and got hypothermia up on Sally gap. Be Prepared.

MARMOTTE/L’ ETAPE DU TOUR/RAID PYRENEES

If you are participating in the MARMOTTE/L’ ETAPE DU TOUR/RAID PYRENEES check the weather forecasts for the entire route. I have left Bourg D’Oisans in 37deg heat and been frozen in a snowstorm on the Galibier on the Marmotte route. Weather changes in the high Alps or Pyrenees are far more dramatic and potentially dangerous than those in the Irish mountains.

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Taking hands off the handlebars while going fast on descents to eat or drink. The danger of losing control of the bike if a corner appears very quickly or the wheels hit a pothole is very high.
  • Not taking enough food and drink for the distance or duration of cycle.
  • Poor preparation for the weather conditions
  • Body temperature dropping rapidly when stopped because no windcheater jacket

 

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