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It’s not a common occurrence that the Cycling World Championships are hosted in your own country and by the time I had got organised to consider visiting Scotland to see the Elite Men’s Road Race, accommodation was impossible to find. 

I was daunted by the prevailing logistical nightmare as I desperately tried to workout a solution.  Then it occurred to me, I would look at what was available using a specialised sporting travel company.  This is where I discovered Sportive Breaks. 

Who are Sportive Breaks?

Sportive Breaks are part of Destination Sport Experiences Group which offers tours, travel packages and guaranteed entry to marathons, cyclosportives and long-distance triathlons around the world, together with VIP hospitality access to many of the top professional cycling events. 

About Sportive Breaks

Sportive Breaks launched in 2015 and aims at providing holiday experiences for cyclists focusing on European Sportives and Gran Fondos.  There are three distinct categories:

  • Cycling Breaks
  • Sportives
  • Hospitality

Cycling Breaks – these are cycling holidays which have a set itinerary for you to follow with all the logistical challenges such as hotels and bike rentals taken care of.  All you need to do is book your flights.  

Sportives – these are organised, mass participation cycling events with many popular ones being associated to major cycling occasions such as the Tour de France.  An example is the Etape du Tour is one of the world’s toughest amateur cycling events. During this event you will ride the exact same route as the riders of the Tour de France, and in many cases only a day later.  Instances where the race immediately precedes the Sportive, you will have the opportunity to watch the event live.  All logistics and event entries are managed on your behalf.  Simply turnup and ride.  

Hospitality – this is where you have the chance to experience a cycling event in luxury.  Multiple packages are available, including spending a day on the course in an official car watching the race unfold in front of your very eyes.

My experience

I used Sportive Breaks to book a hospitality package to see the UCI World Championship Elite Men’s Road Race and my experience with Sportive Breaks was amazing from the start.  Their website, is professional and easily navigable, with clear dropdown menus to help you select the events you are interested in participating or watching. 

In my case, it was very easy to select the UCI World Championship and there were multiple packages, at different price points depending on what you wanted.  For me, I had opted for Package 2, which included two nights in a centrally located hotel (DoubleTree by Hilton), and two tickets to the VIP Hospitality Experience at City Chambers.

A few clicks later and the trip was booked and paid for.  I had opted for the 2-night hospitality stay.  What is this meant was that by arriving the day before and leaving the day after the race, I would be able to enjoy the event without the logistical headaches that are often the norm.  The few queries that I had regarding road closures regarding my trip were expertly fielded by the Sportive Breaks team via a phone call and I was all set. 

By arriving the day before the main event, I had the chance to experience the exhibits that were on show, buy souvenirs and watch the Under-23 Junior Road Races.   

On the morning of the Elite Men’s Road Race, I watched the start from the comfort of the hotel, before taking the short leisurely walk to the hospitality venue, City Chambers.  This is an ornate building that has operated as the headquarters of Glasgow City Council since 1996.

Entry was seamless, using the tickets which were sent to me by Sportive Breaks a week in advance.  City Chambers was by far the grandest venue I had experienced watching a bike race from and was the official UCI Cycling World Championship Hospitality Lounge, close to the finish line.   This was the first time that I had treated myself to a hospitality package at a sporting event and it is an experience I would certainly repeat.

I am accustomed to waiting on the side of the road for hours, only to see the peloton whizz by in a matter of seconds, not really knowing what was going on in the race. This time, things were different.  I was able to watch the race unfold, with cup of tea and cake in hand, via the large television screens setup in the hospitality venue. When it came to the business end of racing, I was ushered to a designated viewing area, next to the finish, where I could see the drama unfold and when the riders had passed, strategically located was a viewing screen, where I could watch the action continue as the riders raced ten laps of the circuit, till the end.

In my opinion, this was the best way to experience the race as I watched uninhibited as Mathieu van der Poel crossed the finish line to win, only meters away. 

After the race and the medals were awarded on the central stage, which we had access to, it was a quick return to the hospitality lounge for one final cake before heading back to the hotel, to mark the end of an unforgettable day.

Summing up   

My overall experience with this trip with Sportive Breaks was simply outstanding and really positive.  The after-sale care was good and my queries were responded to promptly.  I received my tickets in good time and instructions were clear.  The hotel that they had partnered with to create the package was excellent and overall, was potentially a once in a lifetime experience.  Would I do this again?  Absolutely, which is why I said “potentially a once in a lifetime experience” because looking on the website. there are other hospitality packages available at different races, including following the race from inside an official car, being part of the action as it unfolds around you – now that is next level.