In your training leading up to Gran Fondo Beechworth I recommend that you focus on two things that are specific for this event. The first is to ensure that you get plenty of climbing into your riding during your training and the second is practice riding in a bunch.

Written by Jodie Batchelor, Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach and Director of Cycling-Inform.

I would imagine that you are pretty busy so to fit this into your hectic schedule I recommend that you allocate the next couple of weekends prior to the event to do a 3.5 hour ride where you climb a minimum of 1,000 vertical meters.

These rides don’t need to be particularly fast, a suggested Heart Rate is 75-85% MAX HR and 90-100 RPM on flat roads and 65-75RPM on hills. When you are climbing focus on good form rather than smashing up the hills.

If you can combine this with at least 1 bunch ride during the week then you will find riding the Gran Fondo Beechworth more enjoyable. Bunch riding is energy efficient and when you are not on the front you are saving your legs for the final climb up to Stanley.

When riding in a bunch practice sitting on the wheel in front leaving a margin for error. Always look forward to a ride or 2 ahead so you can more quickly react to changes in pace or obstacles. When in a bunch keep movement’s fluid and point out obstacles for the riders behind you. When you roll through to the front keep the pace even and avoid surging or speeding up.

If the bunch you are on is too fast then let them go and join a slower bunch. You are better to go at a slower pace and get used to the skill of bunch riding. If the bunch feels unsafe and they are messy – again let them go and join another bunch.

By doing incorporating these tips you’ll be covering off you’re two basics; getting enough climbing in your riding and riding more efficiently across the flatter sections of the course.

In my next article I’ll be talking about nutrition and hydration, so look out for it.