Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Marchas, Fondos & Sportifs – what’s the deal?


“Fondos” they call them, in Italy; in France it’s “Sportifs” and in Spain it’s “Marchas”. The cycling press is full of them, VeloVeritas decided to take a look at these increasingly fashionable “mass participation events.” Who better to ask then, than Paul Coates?

As well as hurting everyones’ legs in the first half of the Scottish road season, Paul is one of the top protagonists in French Sportifs. We also speak to Adam Syme and Dave Chapman about their experiences in these events too.

Paul Coates

What are a Sportif and a Fondo, Paul?

“They are races, in all but name. There’s prize money and intense competition at the front, but they also give the “ordinary” rider the opportunity to sample some of the sport’s legendary roads. For example, the “Marmotte” event in France goes over the Croix de Fer and finishes atop Alpe d’Huez. A Fondo and a Sportif are the same thing.”