Conventional wisdom tells us that the best way to gain cycling form is to race yourself into it. I’ve taken a different approach this year and have not done any sportives so far. Normally, I would have at least 2 under the belt by now.
Therefore, to catch up, I’ve unintentionally created myself a spring Classics season of 3 events in 3 weeks. Here’s what it looks like:
L’Héraultaise (April 6th): I tried to do this one a couple of years ago, but an Irish friend brought the weather with him when he came down to ride it, raining us out. He’s back with a bunch of friends, as are a few riders I know who live down that way (central Languedoc), plus John, Anne and possibly Eric. I’ll have lots of wheels to suck on this one.
The route (138 km and 1400 m climbing) is one I know reasonably well, or parts of it at least.
2014 will mark my 3rd Gran Fondo de Saint Tropez. I’ve caved to peer pressure and signed up for the medium length route this year. I’m afraid that Eric, Anne and John will drive back home without me if I attempt the long one. The course (136 km, with 2100 m of climbing) traces a route around the small mountains and valleys in the hinterlands of super-posh Saint Tropez, with some stunning views along the way, if you have time to look.
The last event in my spring campaign is actually a Classic – Amstel Gold. The sportive (in the hilly province of Limburg, Netherlands) is run the day before the pro race (April 19). I’m really looking forward to this one because I’ve never done a classics-type parcours before. I have always thought that my physiology suits these types of routes, but I certainly haven’t been training for anything like this (lots of flats with steep, little hills), so I don’t have grand delusions about this one. Still, I hope it’s the first of an annual trip up north for a Classic sportive.
The course is 150 km long and I’ve got no clue about the climbing. I do know it’ll hurt, though.
Once my spring season is done I will change gears and start fartlekking my way to my ultimate goal this year, the Etape du Tour (July 20). It’s too far out to worry about distance and climbing, but the profile below says enough, I think.
That should keep me busy this year. And what are you up to?