100 Mile Sportive Fuelling Guide

Sportives are great fun and have never been so popular! They take you on challenging and spectacular courses and are perfect for any cyclist. They can range from a flat family friendly 30 miles to an extremely hilly 160 mile course.

The average UK sportive is usually around 100 miles (161km) and includes lots of challenging hills and climbs.  Depending on your fitness (and the weather on the day) you will be riding for around 6-7 hours, which is why you need to organise yourself with a nutritional strategy.

The Night Before

This is an important meal as you are effectively topping up your fuel tank for the next day. A familiar  high carbohydrate meal that is low in fat  is what you should aim for.  Good examples are: pasta with grilled salmon/chicken or the traditional pre-ride favourite spaghetti bolognese.

Morning of Event

Ensure you have your pre event breakfast 2-3 hours before to allow it time to digest before you set off. Opt for something that’s light on the stomach and high in carbohydrate.  Good examples are: Porridge, scrambled egg on toast or cereal with semi skimmed milk.

Make it Simple: Break the Route Down

A useful strategy when dealing with a daunting Sportive course profile is to break down the Sportive into its different parts and build your pacing and fuelling strategy around the feeding stations and climbs on the course.  I’ve broken our 100 mile Sportive down into three parts using the two Feeding Stations along the route as markers to aim for.

Part 1: 35 miles (estimated riding time 120-150 minutes)

Part 2: 35 miles (estimated riding time 120-150 minutes)

Ride the next 35 miles sipping your bottles of OTE energy drink; use your 2 OTE Energy Gels 10 minutes before each of the next two climbs. If you want to save your gels until the last hour then trade each gel for half a Duo Bar– they both have the same 20g Carbohydrate content.

Part 3: 30 miles (estimated riding time 100-120 minutes)

Ride the last 30 miles sipping on your OTE energy drink and use one OTE Energy Gel 10 minutes before the next climb and use your OTE Caffeine Gel 10 minutes before the last climb of the sportive.


Finish Line: 100 miles complete!

Within 20 minutes of finishing, it’s vital you refuel and support your body by giving it exactly what it needs.  You need to replace your carbohydrate stores, rehydrate and ensure protein synthesis takes place.