The Tour de France is won or lost in winter

How many times have you read that one in recent years? The same is true for all of us cyclists: our cycling performance over the summer is determined by the quality of our winter training.  If we want to do well on the bike in July and August we have to put the endurance work in. Here’s where ski touring comes in.  It’s an ideal way of getting those base training endurance hours in and to say that it breaks the monotony of bleak winter hours on a home trainer would be a major understatement!

In fact the two sports are hugely compatible.  In the Alps, local ski mountaineer racers use cycling as their base training for their winter ski mountaineering races and local top cyclosportive riders use ski touring as their base training.   Stéphane Ougier from the Mâcot-La-Plagne cycle club regularly wins the Savoyard summer races – the Bourgui, the Arvan Villard and the Madeleine - as well as getting top 100 finishes in the Étape and the Marmotte.  His winter base work is 80% ski touring and 20% home trainer.

Think too of the altitude training advantages. If you are aiming for a cyclosportive ride this summer, why not join us for an introduction to ski touring week in Sainte Foy, France, this April 13th-20th?  Not only will you have a great holiday but we guarantee that it will improve your cycling summer performance!

Andy MacInnes

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