Updated: 6th October 2019
In this post Philip Broderick, 3-time participant, gives you 10 fantastic tips for getting your best performance yet in Etape du Tour and La Marmotte Sportives.
Philip has participated in three Etape Du Tours and I coached him for the last two. I thought that it would be great for you to get the views of a cyclist who has been there and learned from his experience each year. – Paddy Doran, Peak Endurance Coaching.
- 2013 – Etape Du Tour 2013 – Place 3,000+
- 2014 – Etape Du Tour 2014 – Place top 700
- 2015 – Etape Du Tour 2015 – Place top 700
So, what are Philip’s top 10 tips for getting the most out of your performance?
Top 10 Tips for Etape du Tour and La Marmotte Sportives
1 Quality and Consistent Training
Forget the wasted junk miles train smart, talk to Paddy Doran at Peak Endurance Coaching, working with him has opened up my eyes to proper training to suit my level and achieve my goals.
2 Don’t Be Intimidated
On the day, don’t be intimidated by all the fancy bikes, gear and all the usual bragging and boasting that goes on when a group of cyclists get together. By the time the first climb comes up you will past most of them if you have done the proper training, all you need is a big heart, dig deep and buckets full of determination.
3 Go With The Tried And Tested
Make sure any new equipment or nutrition is tried and tested before you reach France.
4 Make Sure Your Bike Is Well-Serviced
Make sure you have a well serviced bike. Forget about having the latest carbon fibre bike, it won’t make a difference. Have a bike that’s well maintained and comfortable whether it’s steel, aluminium or carbon.
5 New Tyres
Have new tyres that have been previously broken in, old tires will pop in the heat and heavy braking.
6 Be Self Sufficient
If you want to do well in the Etape try to be as self sufficient as possible, carry enough food in liquid, gel form etc. to get you through and minimise stopping, practice your race strategy on such big events as the Wicklow 200 or Mick Byrne 200.
7 Prepare For The Waiting
On the day there is a lot of waiting around in your designated pen to start. Bring a separate bottle of water to drink and easy food to digest such as croissants to eat, also if it’s cold and wet bring old clothes which can be dumped before starting.
8 Stay Calm
Don’t panic at the start. The pace is very high and frantic as hundreds of eager cyclists jostle for position. Stay calm and focus, it settles down once you hit the mountains.
9 Simplify The Race
Forget about the long climbs and distance etc. You will be surrounded by hundreds of cyclists and the support from locals is amazing. Just focus on one pedal stroke at a time.
10 Enjoy It!
Relax, soak in the atmosphere and scenery. Enjoy such a brilliant event, the chance to ride on closed roads and follow the same path as our cycling heroes past and present. It is worth all the heartache of training and committing to taking on the Etape du Tour.
So there you have it. The top 10 tips for for Etape du Tour and La Marmotte Sportives to help you get the best out of your performance. If you like this post feel free to share it!
If you’ve found this article helpful then get your copy of our Introduction To Cycling Booklet, full of helpful information and advice. It has everything you need whether you’re just getting started and need to set your bike up perfectly or want to improve your training with the included training programmes.
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