Top training tips for Etape du Dales

As you know the Etape du Dales is not easy given you will face 3500m of climbing over 112miles. Here are some training tips to help you prepare for this famous cycling sportive.

  1. Train for it and do some more training

Being as best prepared as possible is the most important thing you can do. Try to fit in regular bike rides during the week or try to riding to work. If your ride to work is short try leaving earlier and plan a longer more scenic route. Try to fit in 2 longer rides per week (of 4hrs or more) to get used to longer durations in the saddle. An incorrect bike setup which doesn’t reveal itself on short rides may crop up on a longer ride. It’s best to sort these out before the big day. Here is an excellent website on bike fitting if you are suffering from any aches or pains.

Try training on a single speed or a fixed gear bike. A set gear ratio will help you build more power on inclines because you don’t have the benefit of changing to an easier gear. On a fixed gear you have to keep pedalling so when you crest a hill you got to keep spinning.

Try some strength training using kettle bells. There are some excellent kettle bell exercises for cyclists here.

2. Practice climbing in the saddle

Climbing whilst remaining seated conserves energy. The climbs in the Etape du Dales are often long so learn how to pace yourself and find the most efficient body position. It’s important to establish your bike fit is correct.

3. Appropriate cycling kit

A good pair of cycling shorts is essential. 6hr + in the saddle can become very uncomfortable. Too much padding can cause extra pressure in the wrong areas so make sure you try some out in training rides. Riders swear by Chamois Cream to help friction areas.

A cycling jersey with pockets for carrying some food and spares is always the best approach. Pack a cape to shield you from the wind chill on long fast descents.

Gloves will help protect the nerves in your hands from temporary damage. Ensuring your bike is correctly setup will reduce pressure on your handlebars.

4. Learn to pace yourself

Conserve your energy at the beginning by sitting behind other peoples wheels. If you try ride too fast at the start you may struggle to finish and it could ruin your day.

5. Fuel yourself little and often

Eating too much can prevent your body absorbing essential fluids risking dehydration. Eating very sugary foods along the way can cause temporary energy highs and then a sudden drop so mix it up a bit.

6. Bike gearing

The Etape du Dales has 3500m of climbing so make sure you have enough gears to get you over the hills. A compact 34/50t chainset is recommended and anything above 25t on the rear is fine.

7. Learn to ride in groups

Riding in a group will massively conserve your energy. It will also increase your average speed. Be careful on the descents and leave loads of space for other riders! Here’s some more in depth info on riding in a group.

Host towns for 2016 Tour de Yorkshire revealed

The towns set to host the next episode of the Tour de Yorkshire have been revealed by Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO. The race will take place between Friday April 29 and Sunday May 1st 2016 with the ladies race being held on Saturday April 30 2016.

Tour de Yorkshire 2016

The all successful Tour de Yorkshire occurred in May 2015 and was won by Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug. One and a half million came to watch and over six million viewed on TV worldwide. British Cycling rejected the request for there to be a fourth stage. The following will be part of the 6 start and finish towns – Beverley, Doncaster, Middlesbrough, Otley, Scarborough and Settle.

There was a bid to upgrade the race’s status from 2.1 to 2.HC by Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO in a hope to attract more famous cycling names and sponsors to raise the profile of the ladies race. Last year’s ladies race happened in York and was won by Louise Mahé.

According to Welcome to Yorkshire it received 14 indications of interest to host a stage start or finish in 2016 or 2017 and a small number of 2017 locations have been announced. The following towns will host the race in 2 years time: Fox Valley (Sheffield), Halifax, Harrogate and Selby.

Sir Gary Verity, of Welcome to Yorkshire said the following:

“From the first moments of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, everyone who was there knew it was something special. I’m delighted that we are able to bring the 2016 race to all four corners of Yorkshire. It is testament to how much the county has taken the race to its heart that we have been oversubscribed for next year’s starts and finishes.

“The Tour de Yorkshire is an event in the cycling calendar that riders want to race in and we look forward to welcoming some of the world’s best riders back to Yorkshire next year.”

Director of the Tour de France at ASO, Christian Prudhomme described Yorkshire as being ‘perfectly suited to international racing,’ adding: “Many of the teams and riders said that the Tour de Yorkshire reminds them of the Tour de France’s Grand Départ, with the routes, crowds and atmosphere once again combining to create a very special race”.

The 2016 road race route will be revealed in December which includes the stage distances and profiles.