The question of which is the UK's best sportive is a guaranteed conversation starter for your next café stop. But officially, according to one awards event at least, that title now belongs to the Flat 100. The Yorkshire-based sportive scooped the title of "Best Road Cycling Event" at the recent Let's Do This Endurance Awards, while organisers Sportive HQ also took a podium place in the Best Organiser category.
Sportive HQ dominated the short list of the awards, which relied on reviews and public votes which took place during August and September. Five of their events made the top 10, and they also secured a spot in the UK Event Organiser's category after receiving an impressive 426 positive online reviews for their events.
The final stage was down to the public vote, which saw Sportive HQ top of the leaderboard throughout the 3-week voting process only to be beaten by running giant The Great Run Company by just 2 votes in the final minutes of voting.
The Flat 100 received 39% of the votes in the Best Cycle Event category and in the Overall Event Organiser category Sportive HQ were neck and neck with The Great Run Company, both with 29% of the votes.
The Flat 100 is an iconic event with over 1500 riders, starting in Thorne, Doncaster and taking in places such as Hatfield, Rawcliffe and Goole. As the name suggests, it is possibly the flattest sportive in the country with just 496m (1627ft) of elevation over the 100 mile long course.
Sportive HQ were the only Yorkshire-based company in the road cycling category, and one of only three Yorkshire companies in the whole awards. They were up against some stiff competition from national and international companies specialising in everything from trail runs to triathlons including the likes of The Great Run Company, Let's Go Velo, Maverick Race, Race Solutions and Limelight Sports alongside other household name finalists such as London Marathon Events and Virgin Sport.
Sportive HQ CEO, Matthew Porter said: "Listening to what our cyclists want and endeavouring to deliver on this at each of our events is the biggest priority for us, we have a passionate and dedicated team and we are so thrilled that our riders have voted for us as the UK's Best Cycle Event and Highest Ranking Cycle event organiser - we couldn't have asked for more."
"The Challenge Awards will give us the chance to put Sportive HQ and our rides on a national platform and hopefully encourage more people to get involved and benefit from the sense of challenge and achievement that endurance sports provide, whatever their skill level or experience."
Sportive HQ organises several cycle sportive events across the UK. As well as the newly crowned "Best Cycle Event in the UK", The Flat 100, their calendar includes The East Riding 100 and The King Edward 100. Over 20,000 riders have taken part in their events over the last five years.
As well as organising mass participation events, Sportive HQ are well known for supporting corporate rides, charity rides and overseas tours, most recently a guided trip to Mont Ventoux, allowing cyclists to conquer the mountain three times in a day.
Charity has remained a focus for Sportive HQ since its inception and the company have helped raise over £50,000 for charitable causes since 2014. This year, Sportive HQ provided event support for the Jo Cox Way which took place in July and raised over £10,000 for the Jo Cox Foundation. They also regularly deliver community-based projects designed to help adults gain confidence in cycling.
Peter Dodd, Commercial Director for Welcome to Yorkshire said "Cycling in Yorkshire is going from strength to strength and it's brilliant to see that the passion is higher than ever for cycling events. To see a Yorkshire company scooping a national award for the cycling community is fantastic, especially during such an important week for cycling in Yorkshire with the hosting of the UCI World Championships. It's just brilliant to see so many people getting on their bikes, more than we could have ever wished for before hosting the Grand Depart in 2014."
Find out more about Sportive HQ's 2020 events at sportivehq.com.