Étape Training – 12 Weeks to Go

The view from Box Hill

View from Box Hill

It’s mid April which means it’s now twelve weeks until the day I’ll be donning way too much Lycra whilst attempting to beat the broom wagon cycling through 109km of French mountains from Modane to Alpe D’Huez as part of the Tour de France Étape.

My training for this event has been erratic over the last 6 weeks, any serious riding was curtailed after spraining my foot playing football in mid March.

Sprained Foot

Fortunately the sprain healed reasonably quickly despite some serious swelling and bruising, cycling was actually less painful than walking although it was difficult to put too much force through the foot and into pedal.

So, although still commuting, albeit a little gingerly, I had to take a couple of weeks out from any demanding cycling and then a weekend in Berlin meant three weekends in a row with no cycling at all.

Fortunately the foot healed and the weather has been excellent so I’ve managed a significant amount of riding over the last two weekends. 70km and 100km rides the weekend before last and a 54km ride around the North Downs last Saturday with over 900 metres of climbing, an hour recovery ride on Sunday along with my weekly commute of around 125km and some turbo training sessions in the evenings.

It’s the first time I’ve been to Box Hill in Surrey which is really quite spectacular. Whilst hardly alpine there’s several good climbs in the area including Coldharbour Lane, which couldn’t be more different than it’s namesake in Camberwell, and Anstie Lane which both got the heart pumping.

I also replaced my 12-25 cassette with a new 11-28 one, so a bigger range with a bigger top gear and a smaller gear for hill climbing, I think I’m going to need it.

It felt great to get some longer hill riding in, I felt pretty good so am looking forward to getting more and longer climbs in.

Due to Easter and bank holidays, the next two weekends are both 4 days long so there’ll be plenty of time to get some long rides in.

PS – 2011 Tour of Britain route announced with a split stage final day in London including an individual time trial.

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