I wanted to take part in my local sportive. Being from Rochdale, I’ve always done my rides on local roads, so I knew the Tour De Manc route very well and its great bike training for the tri’s. I am coming into my 9th year of competing in triathlon and this season my aim is to podium at the European Junior Triathlon Championships and place in the top 5 at the World Junior Triathlon Championships. I usually race sprint triathlons, recently winning the BUCS Sprint Triathlon in Loughborough, but tackling a 100km route of the Tour De Manc also builds up my stamina for longer triathlons as part of the Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre Squad.
I took part in the Tour De Manc and was the first finisher on the 100km route. (They also have 50km, 100 mile and 125 routes.) It is an undulating route, so be sure that your bike is serviced and cleaned before the event. Not only will it make your ride more enjoyable, but you’re at less risk of a mechanical halfway round the course too.
Please bear in mind that you will need to have a suitable helmet and a pump, without these you will NOT be able to start.
The 2019 ride was a typical British, overcast day so I had a small rain jacket in my jersey to keep myself dry should I have needed it. I suggest you look at the weather the day before and plan what kit you will need because you will certainly be spending a few hours in the saddle and comfort and warmth is essential. Other things you might want to bring include: sunglasses. Even if it’s not sunny, it’s good to protect your eyes using a clear or yellow lens. A spare inner tube is a must, should you puncture and a phone in case of an emergency.
By building up your fitness during training rides, it would be a good idea estimate how long it will take you on the day to figure out your fuel intake. You can burn in excess of 100 grams of carbohydrate per hour when cycling so you will need to replace these stores when riding. There are plenty of refreshment stops which provide food and drinks to keep you going throughout the route, so make sure you are fuelling enough and always keep something in your back pocket to keep you going.
If you have never done the Tour De Manc before, it is a great inclusive event to meet people and I would advise to find someone or a group similar to your ability to ride with, as I’m sure they will appreciate the extra company.
I suggest that you set off at a reserved pace for at least the first hour as you don’t want to tire yourself out too early, you may also want to measure your effort when going uphill. It’s better to keep a steady pace for the whole ride instead of slowing down at the end because you went too fast at the start, this will make it faster and more enjoyable.
Last of all good luck and enjoy the day!
To enter the Tour De Manc Sportive, visit www.tourdemanc.co.uk
Follow Marcus on his training and events on social media.
Do you regularly check your bike to ensure it is ready to ride before you head out? It is essential to keep on top of your bike maintenance, so your ride is as smooth and hassle free as possible.