Joined TR recently to train for bike transalp next year (July 2022) Not managed to hit all my workouts but definitely improving consistency.
Have done lots of long single day rides in the past 160km+ off-road and have been stretching it to multi day events. This summer completed a 3 day off road UK coast to coast so decided if I can manage that with no training the transalp could be something I can complete
Wondering if anyone here has completed in the past or even better is planning on completing next year?
Didn’t completed (or participated) but I’m planning next year
Normally I would spend this budget on a two weeks cycling tour but due to obvious reasons it is hard to do a satisfactory point to point tour for two weeks. And also while I have the chance why not? It is very easy to lose the fitness or the means as we learned in the last years.
I race mainly mtb marathons and some 3-4 day mtb races but never really raced for 7 days. I trust my experience with 1 week and 2 weeks mtb rides & touring.
Hi. Yes; I completed this a few years back (2015). Wa a great event.
Yes I did in it 2019 and am registered to go back in 2022.
It’s a great event, let me know if you have any specific questions
Feel free to share some suggestions from the top of your head
As you asked…
I did the medium vol TR plan (longest trainer ride was 2hrs) and did 3hr outdoor rides in preperation. This was enough for my fitness but I suffered with upper body (arms, shoulders, neck). 5-7hrs a day off road for 7days is tough. I’m doing more strength work for next year.
The riding isn’t too technical, but the climbs are long 1.5-2hrs long climbs
Pace yourself in the early days. I set targets for HR (no power meter then) for the first 2-3hrs of each day and stuck to them no matter how tempting it was to go harder. It paid off as I actually felt quite strong in the last few days.
I was in the Trans Alp camp, I thought it was better than hotels due to lack of transfers but take ear plugs, eye mask
I took powder recovery drink sachet’s and a bottle. These were in my drop bag that was given to you at the end of the stage meaning I had a recovery drink within 5mins of finishing.
Starts are quite early (up at 6ish), I sorted all my kit the night before to avoid the “morning panic”
I was on a hardtail with a rigid seat post, it was perfect.
I ran Eagle with a 34T chainring, this was to big, next year I’ll run a 28 or 30T.
I used Reckon Race / Aspens with no issues. (Maxis sponsored it so fixed Maxis tyres for free)
Use 180mm brake rotors with sintered pads. Even with this mine were steaming a few times on some downhills
All the comments above are with just completing it as a target, if you are planning to be at the front I guess it’ll be different.
Some Stats for context (from 2015):
|Ruhpolding - Saalfelden
|Saalfelden - Mittersill
|Mittersill - Sillian
|Sillian - Alleghe
|Alleghe - San Martino
|San Martino - Levico
|Levico Terme - Riva del Garda
This is a solid weeks work !!!
For context to the above:
My FTP back then was c307w @ 73kg = 4.2w/kg and I was averaging 400km (mostly road) for the 2 months preceding this (commutes and weekend rides).
Stage 3 included this climb – Pros took just over 2hs, I took just over 3hrs :
I am hoping to fight for a podium position (single, masters).
A lot of my training is focused to improve fatigue resistance and repeatability. Back to back 30-45 min efforts with short rest periods and back to back blocks of training is key. Very little work over my full gas climb power (ftp, I guess).
So every training session has to address one of the following:
A. fatigue resistance (eg. 3 or 4 30-45 minutes with 5-7 min rest)
B. Repeatability (back to back days, up to 5 in training. Goes up to 7 or 13 during training camps/touring)
C. Base (4-6 hours Z2?, sprints, cadence work, <1 min efforts)
D. Specificity, fine tuning (climbing efforts with attacks, long base rides with efforts)
I have a lot of problems with sleep so a camp etc is no go for me. Opted for single room accommodation. Costly but no other real option for me.
I have a hardtail with 10-50 Eagle, 34T. No problems so far, 1x has no mercy if you are having a bad day but no other real options on the market. No fully or dropper post. Has to keep costs down.
I make my own energy jells so have to stock up big time before racing for 7 days. Taking these (Honey like substance in water bottles) on a plane would be a problem but luckily I just drive to the start town.
Rest is putting in the work and staying healthy until then.
Good luck that is a very competitive group, I know it very well )
Out of interest what w/kg do you think you need to fight for a podium? (asking for a friend )
I don’t test my ftp but keep a close eye on my sustained full gas climbing power which some may call ftp, cp60, mlss, vt2, obla etc :). It is around 5.3w/kg if I get my form right. I can do it at least 45 minutes but mostly for 5x minutes.
But that is not the important number to be realistic. Critical capability is keeping a decent effort up for the day and the whole week.
If I can keep 300w(4.6w/kg) average for all the important efforts that would be good enough. Bu it is never a stable effort, fluctuating between 280-330w ( 4.3-5.1w/kg) with spikes and dips giving a 300w average. It is not a big effort by itself but keeping it up for 3 or 4 climbs is key.
For the 1 day marathons which I am competitive in, my np is around 270-300w depending on many factors. Stages in Biketransalp will be maybe 10w or so lower or even similar. Repeating a good ride day in day out will be the key.
I started this thread then forgot to check in!
Nice to hear from some other that are taking part and other that have completed it. I am based in the uk and this type of event doesn’t seem to have a huge following.
Just looking at accommodation and was trying to decide between the camp and hotels. As a single its a bit pricey but think it will probably be worth it to get some rest.
Do people use the hotel service or try to arrange things individually?
I am riding not racing but also in the masters single cat.
Have started off with low volume cross country marathon to try and get me in the habit of training not just riding and so far its keeping me on track. Planning on working more on fitness over winter then as the weather gets better in spring planning on getting out on the trails and working on the technical skills.
Looking forward to seeing the route and starting to plan some of the travel logistics!
I stayed in the camp in 2019 and it was great (but I can see the potential for it being awful)
It was super convienient, fiendly atmoshpere, usally within 5mins walk of the finish, plenty of showers / toilets and generally quiet by 22:00. People did start to stir early though, maybe 05:30-06:00.
I’ve choosen to stay in the camp again in 2022. (if it’s available, it wasn’t this year due to Covid)
p.s. where are you based in the UK?
I am also UK based ! (Surrey). I did Tour Transalp (Road) in 2012 + 2013 and Bike Transalp (MTB) in 2015.
It was a really well organised event & had a great vibe. Although it is quite Euro! (not many Brits).
At all three I stayed in hotels - both booked privately and using the hotel service (with transport where required). They tend to mix it up for everyone so you mainly stay in town, but may have a couple of nights a little further away in a local town (with a minibus transfer).
This year, I did my third Transalp.
Few comments on what’s already written in this forum:
Equipment: For my first two editions(2016, 2019) I agree that a hardtail was a perfect choice. However, this year was a very technical edition (and therefore tough since the distance was similar to previous editions). The general consensus amongst riders was that fully + dropper seatpost was the best weapon of choice. Luckily I rode last edition with a fully (My teammate obliged me to) and that was a good decision.
Don’t ride with lightweight tires since the time you gain with them, you’ll lose one day due to a flat. I rode with Recon Race as front and aspen as rear tire (protection)
Brakes: 180mm rotor front, 160 rear is more than sufficient.
For your reference: I was riding quit at the front of the race.
CAMP: For 7 days of racing, I personally wouldn’t opt for the camp. It can be great, but if it’s a wet edition, you just want to have some comfort. If you find the hotel service by the organization too expensive → you can book your own hotels and provide the details to the organization They also do the luggage transfer from hotel A to B even if you’ve booked them yourself. (no additional cost)
At last 2 important tips for stage racing:
- Rest and recovery is key
- Eat well (quality+quantity) on and off the bike
I am in Surrey as well, Banstead to be specific. I am pretty torn with the accommodation. I think the camp looks like it could be good but as everyone says, recovery is key and I have done a lot of reading previous blogs and some of the comments haven’t been great. Is it possible/easy to pick up accommodation while you are there or once you have stared are things fully booked?
I only have a hardtail so I will be riding that, only moved from cheap alu 26er a couple of years ago so the extra comfort in a carbon 29er with a dropper should be enough to get me through.
Training wise I am doing some core and body weight work as well. Previously rode SDW on a cross bike and a few other 100mile mtb events and it was back and arms which really caused me trouble. This summer I did a 3 day event and having started working on my core I didn’t have anywhere near the same amount of pain I previously had. Fingers crossed that works.
What are the feed stations like? Sufficient to only carry minimal or best to take everything you need. I tend to try and eat real food not gels as have had some bad experiences but when the days are long it can be tough getting oat bars to digest! Think this is one area to experiment with.
What kind of kit do you carry each day? Most of the info I can find focuses on the pros put front not the pack.
Really pleased to have found some other people working towards this as it felt a bit daunting just plugging away with no one to discuss.
Aid stations (in 2019) had water, energy drink, fruit, nuts, cake, waffles and sometimes various pastries, they were always well stocked. You’ll definately need to carry some sort of food as there’s only 2 aid stations per 5-7hr stage. It’s very personel but I “forced” myself to eat something every 45mins regardless of whether I felt hungry.
Some of the pro’s had no pack, just used jersey pockets, however I used a small camel back with normal spares, multi tool, tube, pump, chain link. Depending on the forecast I sometimes took a rain jacket.
I’m not doing Transalp, but am doing Alps Epic mtb stage race in June. I’m in Kent so local to some of you.
Will follow this thread with interest and maybe we could organise a few big rides together? I reckon South Downs are the best bet for big days on the bike with lots of climbing.
The south downs can be pretty slippy this time of year but if dry happy to get out for a long spin. Surrey hills might be a good shout.
Not sure I have the legs to keep up with other but happy to try!
Yeah, South Downs can be hard going in winter. Gets you fit though!