Feeling inspired to take part in a sportive after watching the Tour de France? Why not use some of the same tech as the pros too?

Promotional feature with Cycleplan

Clothing

Whether it’s a Boardman or an Altura, almost everyone wears a jersey when taking part in a ride or sportive.

Want to take your performance to the next level? Think about a speed suit.

Previously reserved mostly for triathalons, the all-in-one design has plenty of aerodynamic benefits if you want to shave seconds off your PB.

While there’s little chance you’ll manage to get your hands on the brand-new Castelli Body Paint 4.0 as seen on Team Sky riders in this month’s Tour de France – there are plenty of other choices for a reasonable price.

The best part of speed suit tech to take from the pro’s? You can retrofit a speed pocket. No more of your number sticker falling off your bike in high winds – now it’s safe and strapped to your back!

Image credit: Nopinz UK

Nutrition

What is the most annoying part of any sportive? Apart from the pain in your legs – it has to be the amount of time wasted stopping at food stations, costing you precious seconds while you try to grab a banana. What’s even worse is when you come to a stop, only to find that there’s no food left!

Well, just like the professionals on the Tour de France do, the time has come to swap to ‘technical nutritional products’. Simply put, energy gels or duo bars.

There are a ton of choices on the market, so it’s important to make sure you pick a flavour you will be able to stomach at high speed.

Essentially, studies estimate sportive riders will need between 30g and 65g of carbohydrate an hour during the race to ‘maintain performance’.

So, it makes sense that instead of stopping and trying to plough down a thick flapjack, staying in the saddle and downing a small energy gel packet or energy bar is the way to go.

GPS

For last year’s Tour de France, Dimension Data offered a brand new, well, dimension on the sport.

Fans had long been clamouring to see more of the technical side of their favourite riders in action, and the company delivered.

They fitted a GPS live-tracking device underneath the saddle of every bike, meaning that with the official TdF app, fans could track each rider’s position, speed, distance covered and much more.

This year has seen even more evolutions, thanks to their ‘Data Truck’ – a hub that can process more technical info than ever.

With such advances made for the professionals, it seems only natural that amateur cyclists should adopt a similar strategy to help improve their rides – make some ‘marginal gains’ of their own!

Whether you choose to use Strava, Map My Ride or a similar GPS tracking app – you can pair it with a smart watch or fitness tracker.

Once your sportive is over, you can analyse your ride in detail from the comfort of home and see where you slowed down or could improve.

Just like those in the Tour de France, the numbers are all there – so why not use them to get ahead for your next ride?

Whatever gear you choose to emulate the professionals with – whether it’s clothing or your smartwatch – make sure you protect it, and you, properly with Cycleplan’s specialist cycling insurance.

Why not get your instant quote online today, along with your EXCLUSIVE Cycling Weekly 25% introductory discount?

Policies cover Public Liability, Personal Accident, Theft, Loss and Damage of Equipment. Plus: 0% APR on policies with premiums over £50, multiple bikes and accessories all on one policy, plus a Lowest Price Guarantee!