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Etape 2009

8) Hi Guys,

I am looking foreword to taking part in my first Etape next year.Does anyone have any suggestions to a really good training program and possible nutrition advise?

Thanks[/quote]
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  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Few of bits of info will help replies to this question:

    - Whats your current level of fitness
    - How long been riding a bike
    - Whats furthest distance ridden to date
    - Whats etape target, finish (i.e. beat the broom wagon) or finish fast (e.g. silver/gold).

    That said, general suggestions:
    - If never done any formal training Joe Friel's Cyclists Training Bible is worth checking out and should give you enough information to put together a plan.
    - Enter some UK sportives in May/June
    - Take part in club rides over winter to get in some miles/used to group riding
    - Treat nutrition as part of training. Everybody differs, use winter to experiment and UK sportives as trial runs for nutrition as well as fitness.
    - If the etape is really important to you consider getting some professional coaching advice. This is probably best guarantee of success and probably a better investment than upgrading equipment for the event.
    - Keep coming back to this site as load will be posted following tomorrow. Also checkout cyclosport.org

    PS: If your second name is Armstrong steer clear of anyone called Lemond :lol:
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • Congratulations on your decision to ride the Etape - it really is a fantastic event - don't listen to all those that say it's too expensive or overcrowded/overhyped - it's exactly what it says it is - i.e. a mountain stage of the TdF on closed roads and that is what attracts most people to attempt it.
    You will find no shortage of training advice for the Etape if you look back over this forum - one such link from 2008 may be of use below. But my two-pennies worth would be to make sure you have had a ride up an Alpine/Pyreneean mountain before you do the Etape, just so you know what it's like....and know how to descend/what clothes to wear etc.
    Good luck!

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12580777
    Time VRS Pro-Team 08 – weekend steed
    Condor Moda - commute
    Scott something or other - manky old MTB
  • You can use the Sport Communication Ventoux sportive next June as a training weekend.
  • jhopjhop Posts: 369
    At least it is longer than the 110k suggested in last weeks Cycling Weekly otherwise as rumoured.
  • Gav2000Gav2000 Posts: 408
    jhop wrote:
    At least it is longer than the 110k suggested in last weeks Cycling Weekly otherwise as rumoured.

    At 107 miles it sounds quite a long way to me!!
    Gav2000

    Like a streak of lightnin' flashin' cross the sky,
    Like the swiftest arrow whizzin' from a bow,
    Like a mighty cannonball he seems to fly.
    You'll hear about him ever'where you go.
  • alanmcn1alanmcn1 Posts: 531
    Ventoux is EVIL, especially after 150k!!!!!!. You'll need more than alp to prepare you for that censored , and i say from unforgettable experience
    Robert Millar for knighthood
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Lance - this UK based website is always full of helpful advice:
    http://www.etape.org.uk/
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Lance3315 wrote:
    8) Hi Guys,

    I am looking foreword to taking part in my first Etape next year.Does anyone have any suggestions to a really good training program and possible nutrition advise?

    Thanks
    [/quote]

    I'd recommend a trip out there nearer the time. There are a number of good firms out there but I've always used GPM10 who are Chamonix based and have a lot of Etape experience. You could try Pyractif in the Pyrenees.
    You need to ride up at least one long climb in either heat or cold to understand what you'll suffer. I'm sure the veteran etapers on here will tell you of climbs in blistering heat (2007?) and this year in the rain and mist. Forget trick wheels, just get sensible gears and adequate miles.

    www.gpm10.com

    www.pyractif.com
    M.Rushton
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Or just book a hotel, flight and a hire car yourself and get a Michelin map. Of course you can pay £500 for a weekend with a tour company but a DIY trip, shared with a couple of club mates works out at half the cost, so you can have two trips away.
  • CasbarCasbar Posts: 168
    I bought my road bike in June 2008 , did some reasoable training , went to the venue 4 days before the race , rode 4 of the local passes to get a feel for it ( it was nice and sunny then ) , then did the Etap in the pouring rain and fog

    I made it to the finish in just over 8 hours . So its possible to do it without too much training, although I dont recommend it...had it been hot like in 2007 I dont think I would have nade it

    Set yourself a sensible plan , based on what you want to achieve...definitely ride a few alpine passes ...do a few long sportives and you will fly through it and have lots of fun
    exercise.png
  • craigentycraigenty Posts: 960
    That's a lumpy stage - enough to tire you out before the Ventoux

    The Col de Notre Dame des Abeilles is a horrible slog on a windy wide road :lol:
  • Hugh AHugh A Posts: 1,189
    Make sure you have done the training - no need to go mad, but enough base miles with good hilly rides and practice riding hard(er than you would like). I think long intervals on the flat can be a useful substitute for long climbs.

    As long as you have done enough you will really enjoy the day and the whole atmosphere. If you want to know how not to do it, check out the bbc blog from some of their staff last year (can't remember where it is but appears on etape 2008 threads).

    Plenty of time between now and 20th July 2009.

    The etape is a fun but hard ride. If you have been a hard riding cyclist for years you won't have any problems. If you haven't done much cycling before - also no problem but not something you can bluff your way through like the thousands every year walking their way round marathon courses.

    enjoy!


    PS weather for etapes is completely unpredictable so for the day take at least 3 seasons worth of kit with you just in case. In 2006 bib-shorts and a thin shirt was too much. In 2008, arm and leg warmers, overshoes, vest, shirt, shorts, gilet and jacket weren't quite enough!
    I\'m sure I had one of those here somewhere
  • Lance,
    I've not done an Etape yet, but have climbed Ventoux about 5 times, and it's not getting any easier! It is a brute of a climb even without that tough lead-up, but fantastic too. I've enjoyed it the most when I've been the best prepared.

    So I would echo the comments about training, especially proper Alpine stuff. I remember thinking (briefly) I was a great cyclist until I tried a proper mountain pass for the first time, then I realised what all the fuss was about!

    good luck, and perhaps I'll see you there, this might be the year I finally do it...(specially hearing gradiric's comments)
  • normanpnormanp Posts: 279
    I have put what is probably close to the route on bikely:
    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Etape-du-Tour-2009-may-be-a-little-inaccurate
    Under the show menu it gives a profile similar to the official one with 3715m of climb.
    Looks great - a really interesting day of a good length.
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,192
    I was one of the many who were stopped :x at Chalet Raynard a few years ago from
    continuing to the summit. I feel there's some unfinished business there. 8)

    (I can recommend the hot chocolate at Chalet Reynard).
  • Lance3315Lance3315 Posts: 4
    edited October 2008
    Hi Guys,

    A BIG thank you for the feedback and advise given.Can anyone recommend a good Tour Company to book the Etape with?

    I live in the UK.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Lance3315 wrote:
    Hi Guys,

    A BIG thank you for the feedback and advise given.Can anyone recommend a good Tour Company to book the Etape with?

    Where do you live, how much do you want to spend?
    M.Rushton
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Hi Phips,

    A couple of questions if you don't mind, would you recommend Sports Tours ?, they as well as Cyclomundo look to be the main two for the UK market. It will obviously be cheaper to try and organise yourself, but having never done an etape before I'm getting a bit bogged down in logistics the main ones being how to get to the start and back from the finish ! Having done an organised tour once would you do it again or would you go it alone ?

    cheers
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    benningj wrote:
    but having never done an etape before I'm getting a bit bogged down in logistics the main ones being how to get to the start and back from the finish
    Simple, on the day before, you drive your (rental) car to Ventoux and park it there. The Etape organisers put on a shuttle bus to take you back the start area in Montelimar. You relax in your accommodation and then ride the next day with the car keys in your back pocket.

    Remember, given the rates some companies charge for Etape trips, you fly out Club Class, rent a Mercedes and stay in a five star chateau for the equivalent money :wink:
  • Hugh AHugh A Posts: 1,189
    Kleber is right - up to a point. Personally I think you may not want to be worrying about other things on your first etape outing. Hopefully Baxters have improved a bit since we gave up on them.

    The main problem with doing it by yourself as suggested is finding accommodation near the start, as usually every hotel room, gite etc. is booked up by said tour companies beforehand and by keen etapers in the next couple of days. In my experience it is no easier to obtain than an entry.

    This years was slightly under-subscribed but that will probably change due to the climb of Mont Ventoux.
    I\'m sure I had one of those here somewhere
  • blorgblorg Posts: 1,169
    Kléber wrote:
    Or just book a hotel, flight and a hire car yourself and get a Michelin map. Of course you can pay £500 for a weekend with a tour company but a DIY trip, shared with a couple of club mates works out at half the cost, so you can have two trips away.
    I'm also planning the Etape next year, as well as the Marmotte.

    We did a DIY trip to the Alps just at the start of this month, worked out great. Based in Bourg d'Oisans and did the route of the Marmotte with all the climbs, some in both directions and a few others thrown in. Not all in one day mind but was on the bike 4.5 days in a row; longest day was a tad over 100km but I didn't feel I would have had any problems doing the full 174km in one go, especially on fresh legs. It's maybe not immediately obvious but there are cracker descents that enable you to recover; from the Galibier to Bourg d'Oisans towards the end of the Marmotte route is just under 50km, almost all downhill, before you have to tackle the Alpe d'Huez.

    My first time ever up significant long climbs was the Pyrenees this September, on my touring bike- did the Aspin, Peyresourde, Tourmalet, Soulour+Aubisque.

    It is definitely a good idea to head over to get an idea of what you are up against before you do the thing. To be honest though if you have decent local climbs gaining even 200-300m and are happy stringing some of them together or doing repeats I don't think you'll have any problems on the French ones, they are just longer, so pace and don't kill yourself in the first few km. Road surfaces are better and somehow the gradients seemed easier, e.g. a 10-11% section up the Alpe d'Huez is easier somehow than the same 10-11% up a mountain in Wicklow.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    have a look at the blogs by Phil and Jules on www.cyclefit.co.uk about their Etape experiences. GPM10 will take care of the luggage/transfer thing and will prob.do a recce trip out there. I recommend them since they are a fun team to work with and I've seen them get their clients thro' the Etape.
    M.Rushton
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Kléber wrote:
    benningj wrote:
    but having never done an etape before I'm getting a bit bogged down in logistics the main ones being how to get to the start and back from the finish
    Simple, on the day before, you drive your (rental) car to Ventoux and park it there. The Etape organisers put on a shuttle bus to take you back the start area in Montelimar. You relax in your accommodation and then ride the next day with the car keys in your back pocket.

    Remember, given the rates some companies charge for Etape trips, you fly out Club Class, rent a Mercedes and stay in a five star chateau for the equivalent money :wink:

    I could put my luggage in the car when I drive it over the day before but what about the little bag of stuff I'd have to have with me for the night before the etape (change of clothes and toiletries etc) - do you know if there is a service for entry only people to get luggage from start to finish on the day? Or would I have to carry it in a rucksack? (over that beast of a mountain)
    I just tried looking up hotels in Montelimar but it's looking pretty full!
  • SunWuKongSunWuKong Posts: 364
    Popette - is your ticker sorted now?
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Yes, they take one bag per rider in a truck, you give them your bag, they give you a ticket and you collect the bag afterwards.
  • I used a Sports Tours International package for this year's Etape. I had a very convenient hotel and personally had very little problem with STI, although they seemed a little bit disorganised (i.e. sent out wrong timetables detailing pre-race pasta dinners which were apparently never included, rep hardly ever around, change of timetable without putting up notices in the hotel, etc). Also, I don't know if it helped applying to STI early, but I had a good start number on the low 2000s. However, feedback I've read since my return from others using STI for this year's Etape was not that complimentary and I would probably go with another operator if I did it again - I got the feeling that it was ok for me as nothing went wrong, but if I'd had problems I didn't feel STI was particularly well-placed to deal with them or sort them out. In contrast people seemed to have very positive things to say about their experince with Pyractif.
    Time VRS Pro-Team 08 – weekend steed
    Condor Moda - commute
    Scott something or other - manky old MTB
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Kléber wrote:
    Yes, they take one bag per rider in a truck, you give them your bag, they give you a ticket and you collect the bag afterwards.

    thanks for the info kleber - that's good to know. The only way I can see me doing entry only is if I can find somewhere to stay in the start village or within a few miles of the start. I would drive the car over to the end the day before, take the coach back to the start village and then walk or taxi back to the hotel. On the day I can use the service you describe for my luggage. My hotel for immediately after the Etape could be anywhere because I'll be back with the car and so can easily get about.
    The problem is - I can't find anything near to the start village! The whole place seems to be booked.

    SunWuKong - yes finally it's sorted. I had the procedure done a few weeks ago and I'm now back cycling on the hills around the peak district. I feel such a difference.
    I'm sooooooo excited about the etape.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Get together with someone else, maybe via the forum. You drive your car to the finish and get the bus back to the start, where your friend is waiting with their car and you drive off to your accommodation, however many miles away that is. Then on the day, you drive towards the start and ride, then after you drive them back to their car.
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