In 2005, After 15 years of successful mountain bike presentation, we identified the resurgence in interest in road cycling and began preparations for our first road event.
The first Southern Sportive from Petersfield ran in September 2006 and was an instant success attracting 500 riders. The event capacity was grown and managed each year, until, by it’s fourth year, the Southern accepted 1,500 riders, a capacity at which it has since been capped.
The success of the first event led to the creation of the Sunday Sportive series in 2007. The ethos of Southern Sportive was to develop the format for a broad appeal; adding short and medium route options to the traditional full distance sportive, and presenting high quality, balanced, enjoyable yet challenging courses, rather than out and out ‘leg-breakers’. We wanted to create ‘riders rides’. Attention to detail and top quality organisation have always been at the heart of the events, creating a loyal following for events.
Southern Sportive continued to grow in 2010, adding the highly rated Great Western Sportive to it’s calendar. As we move forward, we are constantly looking at where the event format is going, and how it can be grown responsibly into a true cycling flagship.