Here at Sports Tours International we have been successfully helping amateur cyclists to achieve their dream of completing some of the biggest and best European Cyclosportives for many years now. We now know a thing or two about what’s needed to make the whole experience as pain-free as possible. Our aim is to provide the best support in the business so you can focus on enjoying the event without having to worry about the (sometimes complicated) logistics that come with getting to and from the event and its start and finish. On our events single travellers can join our group and we provide a race briefing, additional food and assistance points along the course and various other additional race services.
So how to plan for a European Cyclosportive? Here below you will find what we do to prepare all of our customers who do the 3 bucket list European Cyclosportives: the Marmotte Gran Fondo Alpes, the Etape du Tour and the Maratona dles Dolomites.
As the cold winter weather approaches and the nights seemingly get darker and darker people can be put off from exercising and put their training on hold until spring comes around. However, by waiting for the spring, crucial preparation months are lost. According to the Association of UK Dietitians the average person in the UK could easily consume an extra 500 calories per day in December, resulting in a possible weight gain of around 5lb by the time January comes around. So what can you do to make the most of the winter months?
Wrap up and embrace the cold
Getting some extra layers could be a key factor to escaping the temptation to stop exercising over the winter months. Treating yourself to some new winter gear could persuade you to get out and use it on a regular basis. A decent waterproof will keep you dry and some thermal baselayers are sure to add warmth to your winter training ritual. Although the winter may seem to be a never ending psychological battle as you trounce through the wind and rain and try to stay active. Just think of the benefits you would receive once the winter is over. You’ll be ready for the summer and have the positive feeling knowing that if you can cope with winter, you can cope with anything.
Visit a winter training camp
You don’t have to stay on British shores. If you want to train in winter but just can’t bear a crowded gym or embracing the elements. A trip away to a warmer climate could be for you. Training camps offer a great opportunity to prepare for the spring and summer like a pro. They often combine warmer weather with excellent facilities and tailored coaching that is specific to your training needs. Additionally, winter training camps install a positive mind set to the people who use them. This allows them to be mentally and physically prepared for the spring and summer. Winter and spring means hundreds of cheap flights to the destinations that host these training camps as airlines are keen for people to fly to popular summer destinations all year round.
Looking further ahead it is useful to have some build up events where you can practice your nutrition and pacing strategies. Have a look at the Sports Tours International website for a list of Cyclosportives you can enter as preparation for the main event.
If you can, going on a training camp to get a week of quality riding in will set you up brilliantly. Your options are the ever popular Club La Santa in Lanzarote in either January or February to escape the British winter, or one of the many other training destinations such as Tenerife or the Costa Blanca.
Below, Albir Gardens, Costa Blanca
As an exclusive UK and Ireland Agent for Club La Santa in Lanzarote, the world famous sports holiday resort, we offer a range of excellent warm weather cycling options, either guided or not.
In France and Italy you have to provide a medical certificate from your doctor. You can download the required certificates below:
If you are not able for whatever reason to obtain a medical certificate from your doctor then we offer a convenient Medical Certification Service . For more information on sports medical certification, have a read of our web page here
You should take out travel insurance at the time of booking as it can also cover you for cancellation before you travel. We offer specialist sports travel insurance. It’s also worth checking that you have your European health Insurance card (EHIC). This card has an expiry date so check that it’s still in date before you go. The EHIC card covers you for emergency medical treatment in state hospitals in EU countries plus Switzerland and other countries. You basically get the same treatment as a local resident would. You may have to pay some charges and claim them back when you get back home. An EHIC card does not cover you for repatriation or longer hospital stays. You need travel insurance for this.
With Sports Tours International you can book your travel package with guaranteed event entry to take part in the world’s most popular sports events. Below you will find some useful tips to best prepare yourself before you travel.
Top Tip – As hotel and flight comparison websites and airline websites routinely track your visits, you should use an incognito window when booking flights and hotels online or use different computers/ IP addresses. Some sites will raise the price just because you’ve visited before.
Apparently the day of the week makes a difference as well. Most cheap seats are available at the weekend and the start of the week according to this article where you can find some additional tips. When booking your flights check the airline’s policy on transporting sports equipment or oversized baggage. We have looked into this for you so please find a list below of some of the most commonly used airlines who offer direct flights from the UK and Ireland into Europe.
It is worth bearing in mind that for mishandled baggage or lost luggage claims, the legal upper liability limit of airlines is just €1,131 per passenger. If you’re carrying something valuable, either get a ‘special declaration of interest in the delivery of your luggage’ from the airline or carry the item in your hand luggage. If you have an expensive bike then you have to make sure that you cover your bike with additional insurance when you are travelling. Read more here
Please note that for the full T&C’s of each airline you have to refer to their websites.
When you travel to take part in an international cycling tour or event with Sports Tours International, you have a number of options of what to do about a bike.
We are pleased to be working with a selection of British, French and Italian transport companies in 2018. The vehicles are of excellent quality and are equipped with specialised bike trailers. Your bike will be transported in a trailer, especially designed for this purpose. Additional support for both spectators and cyclists will come from our customised minibuses.
When you arrive at the airport, our airport staff will meet you and you will be escorted to the waiting transfer vehicle. Your luggage will be transported under the coach and your bike will be transported in its box or bag inside the trailer. Our trailers can be used both to transport fully-assembled bikes as well as bikes in boxes and bags.
During your event or tour with us, we transport bikes fully assembled in the bike trailer behind a larger tour bus or on top of one of our customised 8-seater minibuses. Our minibuses also have smaller box trailers which can transport luggage and empty bike boxes and bags.
As part of our collection of race and travel services for travelling cyclists, we offer a convenient overland bike transport service. We understand that not everyone is too keen on taking their bike on a flight, either because they have had a bad experience or they do not want to take any risks with potential damage or loss. We therefore offer a DOOR TO DOOR overland bike transport service for fully assembled bikes so no need for a bike box. Watch our VIDEO here on how it works
We offer our overland bike transport service to be booked as a stand alone service or alongside our travel packages to the following events:
We have again expanded our bike rental offering for the 2018 cycling season. Many of our events and multi-day tours now offer the option to add bike rental. The bike will be available for you on arrival and then collected when you depart. All you need to bring is a helmet, pedals and cycling clothes. For prices and details of the exact logistics, please refer to the below link
Your choice of accommodation can make or break your entire experience. Sure you can find a hotel that’s cheap but a 2 hour drive away from the event start and finish but does that help you with your performance? Below are some things to think about when you book your hotel.
If you don’t want to think about all these things then it makes sense to book with someone who has done all of the work for you already like Sports Tours International.
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Get your 2020 marathon season off to a flying start by participating in @RobinBrewSports Marathon training camp at @ClubLaSantaUK! This blog details the importance of warm weather training and how it can help you have marathon success ow.ly/tlcd50wcWrl #MarathonTraining
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We can't wait to help you experience @LeTour in 2020! Our official premium tour operator trips will be launching soon! You can pre book a trip with us here bit.ly/2MhzxO0 #TDF2020 twitter.com/LeTour/status/…