Picking up the pace for Cycle Tour

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iol spt feb24 Cycle Tour Independent Newspapers Its the 11th hour for cyclists as there are just two weeks left until the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour on March 9. Photo: Henk Kruger

It’s the 11th hour for cyclists as there are just two weeks left until the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour on March 9.

And as his last act of goodwill and support, Peter Huber – the Austrian Ironman who put a group of beginners through their paces and guided them to the starting line of the world’s biggest timed cycling event – has put together a final training regime.

Monday: This is a rest and recovery day! So put your feet up and enjoy.

Tuesday: Time to hit the hills. Plan on riding for about two hours and make sure you spend some of this time warming up before you tackle the climbs. Remember: easy gears. When you reach the top of the hill you must still be able carry on cycling or at least talk. Try and cover 50km in this time.

Wednesday: Choose a flat route today. Work on keeping your average speed up with a two-and-a-half-hour ride. Include two sessions of pushing speed up for 10 minutes at a time.

Thursday: Another rest day. Use it wisely, go for a relaxing walk or even treat yourself to a massage.

Friday: Spend about one hour and 45 minutes in the saddle on a flat route. Include an interval session halfway though where you ride as fast as you can for one and a half minutes followed by one minute of easy recovery.

Repeat six times and ensure you spend time cooling down. Also, remember to play with the gears during this session. By now you should have a good feel for which gear suits you at different speeds.

Saturday: Plan a nice early outride from Green Point over Chapman’s Peak, into Sun Valley and back again. Push yourself a little up the hills and aim to at least complete this ride in about two hours and 45 minutes.

Sunday: If you are not able to enter a fun ride, plan your own longer ride for three to four hours.

Huber had a few tips for race day. He warned riders not to wear a new kit on the day of the event: “Cycling gear performs at its best when it’s been washed and worn for a while.”

As for nutrition and hydration, Huber suggested riders stick to what they had already been doing.

“Send your bike in for a last-minute service, but be warned many bike shops may already be fully booked. It is important to have the brakes checked, especially if you are riding an old bike.

“Change your tyres from knobblies to slicks now and get used to them. Also, you should expect punctures, so it’s a good idea to practise how to change and repair a tyre.”

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