Multi-stage sportives are growing in popularity as riders seek to set themselves bigger challenges in the saddle.
Multi-day events are as close as many amateur riders will come to riding like a pro and it takes a huge amount of preparation and training to complete sportives like the three-day, 360-mile Curadmir, which takes place in Northern Ireland in May to celebrate the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza.
It may not be a 21-stage epic, but as amateur rides go these are certainly ‘Grand Tours’ in their own right to the hardy riders who line up to tackle them.
The Curadmir, in particular, takes in some of Ireland’s most picturesque, but most rugged and challenging roads, including the leg-screaming ascent of the Mamore Gap in Donegal.
But one rider who knows all about the Mamore Gap is Donegal rider-turned-coach Ronan Mc Laughlin, who ended a six-year career with the An Post-Chain Reaction Sean Kelly team – which included starts in the Volta ao Algarve, Tour of Britain and An Post Ras – in the winter to return to amateur riding in his home country.
And the Irishman, who now coaches for Dig Deep Coaching, shared his top tips for tackling a multi-stage sportive with RoadCyclingUK.
Read on for his advice over the following pages – or share your top tips in the forum.