…and 5 extra kilograms since August, but that’s another story.
It’s been 3 full cycling seasons since I started this journey of ever-lowering stems, hill repeats and learning to love my Zone 4. I’ve just completed Haute Route. What the heck could possibly top that? Nothing, you’re right. But anyway, a guy needs goals, so here goes.
1. The Gran Fondo St. Tropez (April 13)
You may remember that I have done this race twice now. The 2nd time, last year, was in order to qualify for the UCI World Championships for Masters and Amateurs. You also might recall that I didn’t qualify, finishing just outside the top whatever-it-was in my age group. Next year I will be more prepared. Yes, that’s right, I’ll have someone there to hand me water so I don’t have to stop! And I’ll train a bit, too…
2. The Etape du Tour (July 20)
This will be my 3rd year doing the Etape and 4th one in total. The Etape will forever be close to my heart. You never forget your first multi-Alpine col race, do you? Happily, it’s also a very cool event, with closed roads, guaranteed epic routes, and all the carnage and suffering you could ever dream of.
This should be the main event of 2014 and will depend on how efficient my water boy/girl is during #1 above. Plus my training, I guess. If I don’t qualify in St. Tropez in April I will either put this one off for another year or find another qualifying race in a country with weaker riders!
This year it’s different. In previous years I had only one main goal, and all my training for the many months preceding were just geared to getting me ready for it. Everything else – at least in theory – was secondary.
2014 will be more interesting, and probably more challenging for both me and the guy who designs my programs (ready Coach!?). All 3 events are ‘A races’, as Joe Friel would say. Therefore, my training needs to have me peak thrice (note: you have been witness to the first and last time I will use this word in print. Enjoy it). I think Stage 14 of next year’s Tour neatly illustrates the upcoming training season:
- The first long approach from Grenoble to just past Bourg-d’Oisans is my winter of indoor suffering.
- The Col du Lautaret is ‘Peak #1’ – the St. Tropez race
- The Col d’Izoard is ‘Peak #2’ – the Etape du Tour
- Risoul is the ‘Worlds’ in Slovenia.
It’s a long way from Grenoble to Risoul, with many ups and downs along the way, it seems. But I’ve really got to lose these 5 kilograms. It must be done.
So what are you doing in 2014?