Event Review

REVIEW: Evans Cycles HOY 100 Sportive 2015

by Sarah Lewis

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REVIEW: Evans Cycles HOY 100 Sportive 2015 

Date: Sunday 30 August 2015 
Distances: 46 and 100 miles 
Entry fee: £35 or £70 for HOY Experience 
Start: Skipton Academy 
Feedstops: One for 46 mile and two for the 100 mile participants 
Catering: Free hot/cold drinks and food available before and after the ride 
Timed: Yes (electronic chip on helmet)   
Signs: Yes 
Support: Moto assistance on the roads and broom wagon 
Goody bag: Musette, t-shirt, SiS gels and cap 
Website: www.evanscycles.com/pages/rideit-hoy-one-hundred-30th-august-2015  

Now into its second year, this Skipton-based event treats participants to a lumpy route through the Pennines with some pretty spectacular views. It's also managed to keep an intimate, small-scale feel, which is surprising given the big name (and equally big legs) it's attached to. 

Speaking to some of the team running proceedings, I got the impression this is all down to the family feel (however cheesy that sounds) created by Evans Cycles staff from across the country meeting at this North Yorkshire school to run a great event. 


Sir Chris Hoy being grilled

If I understood correctly, staff have a number of events they are required to help out at each year which therefore leads to what could almost be an away day - but with some associated things to do. 

So there is a nugget of information for you: it's one of Evans Cycles' portfolio of RIDE IT events which is essentially their sportive offering. This is the second Evans event I've ridden, and so far, so good. 

Rather fortunately, I'd managed to get a place on the HOY Experience which was actually a two-dayer up at the event HQ. For the decidedly not bad price of £70, fans of Sir Chris Hoy and those who wanted to do more than just the 100 miles could attend a Q&A with the man himself on the Saturday night while ingesting just about as much pasta as they could manage. 


Carbs. Many, many carbs

At 6pm the school hall hosted around 100 cyclists who were sat around dinner tables. Up on the stage was a big marketing spread with a sizeable photo of Chris, a HOY bike prototype and a vacant table and chairs. 

Following an introduction, Chris and his interviewer took those seats and were soon into deep conversation covering topics as broad as the Olympics, writing fiction, racing cars, supporting young riders - and red wine. At some point Graeme Obree arrived and was given a nod, ready to ride the 100 miler with Chris the following day as something of an established sportive buddy. 

Following questions from the floor, the interrogation ended and the room was soon busy with people completing registration and carrying plates of carbohydrate to and fro. The spread put on was pretty impressive and, arriving late, I was actively encouraged to have multiple puddings to get rid of them. Not a problem! 


Under canvas (and a floodlight)

While there was an impressive mix of mobile habitation in the shape of camper vans, I opted for a camping spot - except I'd pitched my tent in the day and therefore didn't realise it was underneath a floodlight. Oops! Everyone was pretty early to bed and apart from some yappy dogs who yapped for a short while and a faraway power ballad disco (that I found out Graeme Obree had briefly attended), it was a good under canvas experience. 

On the morning of the event I got up with enough time to enjoy the free breakfast which was in the same hall as the Q&A the night before. This time however, the number of riders had spiralled as those just riding the event (and not on the HOY Experience) were getting signed on and ready to go. 

Being part of the HOY Experience meant I started in an advance group with Chris, Graeme - and the 100 or so other riders from the evening before. Crossing the start line however, meant going through a bit of a thin funnel, meaning that the advance party had stretched out somewhat. 


Getting ready to start

This resulted in a bit of a frenetic chase back on and probably the hardest start I've ever made to a sportive - definitely against the advice that Chris had given at the Q&A to pace yourself and not go out too fast! 

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Official Review

1. Feed Stops (correct foodstuffs and energy drinks, the right many, well spaced) 8 out of 10
2. Timing (correct and easy to use) 9 out of 10
3. Signage (Clear, concise, maps, profiles, route card) 8 out of 10
4. Facilities (HQ, Parking, Toilets) 10 out of 10
5. Support (Sag Wagon, Outriders) 8 out of 10
6. Friendliness / Professionalism (Sign-in, marshals, support) 9 out of 10
7. Website - ease of use (Online and postal entry, clear concise) 9 out of 10
8. The Course (Area of outstanding beauty/scenic, quiet roads, cleverly designed?) 8 out of 10
9. Would you recommend it. (Would you ride again?) 9 out of 10
Overall Rating 86.7%

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