End to End & Etape

I am hoping to ride the Etape next year. As part of my preparation I will ride some domestic sportives in the three months leading up to the event to guage my training progress. However, I have also been asked to accompany a friend to cycle the End to End during the first two weeks in May. We will cycle the route on road bikes, travelling as light as possible and hope to complete the challenge in 10 or 11 days. My main question is whether this trip is likely to be detrimental or beneficial to my etape bid, or if there are ways I can make it the latter (e.g. having hard days and easier days). I will not be cycling on the same bike as I'll use any of the sportives, but it is pretty much set up the same.


  • I hope it'll be good, I'm doing Santander to St. Malo in the last two weeks of May and the Etape.
    I can't honestly see it being anything other than beneficial to get time on the bike.
  • skinsey
    skinsey Posts: 105
    I've done both, admittedly not in the same year. Doing the E2E won't harm your Etape prep, as it'll be good time in the saddle and develop basic endurance. However, it won't equip you with the necessary climbing skills, which really translate into a) a decent power-to-weight ratio, and b) tolerance of the heat. You can't really replicate b) in the UK, so a) has to be good. You'll still need to lose weight (which I didn't on my E2E), or develop power unless you're pretty strong already in that department. So, plan to do some climbing and/or some interval training in addition to the E2E.
  • I did see a post of someone who prepared for the heat of summertime France by cycling on a trainer in the kitchen, with the oven turned up to 200C and its doors open, with five layers, with his front wheel supported by five bricks.........but it might have been a joke.

    I also knew someone who did an alpine ride last year in the summer who had snow at the top of the Galibier, so you never know.

    Agree with Skinsey about the end to end, although I did lose weight (6lbs that I have now put on again!) when I did it, but then I was eating sensibly. He was probably troughing it and ambling, either that or just super fit already.

    If you are going to do LEJOG in 10/11 days it will be hard to get the climbing practice in, as there are few opportunities on a direct route. Cornwall is quite a hilly day, and you can do hills in the Lakes and Scotland, but then that cuts down the time for covering long distances.

    If you take a route through the Somerset close to the coast, there is some good flat riding (go over the bridge on M5 at Avonmouth). You trade off the nice roads for flat and fast, so it depends on what you want out of the trip. I can thoroughly recommend a route through Herefordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, not taxing at all, and very scenic.
    “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.”

  • kosta
    kosta Posts: 50
    I have done three etapes , 07, 08 and 09 and my best ranking was on the 08 etape Pau - Hautacam when I actually rode my bike from the UK, Midlands to Pau , Pyrenees the week before the etape .
    It will not do you any harm riding E2E, the opposite :)
  • I did LE-JOG this June in 9 days doing just over 1000miles...we didn't go the shortest way. then i rode L'Etape. for me it was vital as i did no cycling at all this year until after the London Marathon at the end of April and without the long miles of LEJOG I don't think I wd have got round L'Etape.