Anyone used TR plans for Tour of Cambridge Gran Fondo?

Has any one used TR plans for training for the Tour of Cambridge Gran Fondo in the uk? If so which build plan was the best after SS base /Traditional base?

I did ssb1 then ssb2, sustained power build, climbing road race speciality.

Even though it is pan flat, I wanted to simulate the constant attacks. It worked for me and qualified for their so called “world” event.

Oh cool thanks thats the sort of plan progression I had in mind tbh , dare i even ask what sort of FTP is required to get to that high level?

I was about 280 but there’s soooo many variables, group you’re in, weather, conditions…it’s really windy. My advice would be get i an early slot to start, it’s a crash fest due to the various categories of riders all on the course at the same time.

Yeah i did the sportive a couple of years ago and it was really windy , going back to to the training plans you did , what volume were they?

Mid vol, I don’t have the time for high volume plans

Fair enough , so what time did you ride to qualify for the worlds?

Would even be tempted to do short power build supplemented by some decent volume so that you have the endurance to not fade. The way to a fast time is being in a fast group. Which means a) starting as early as possible b) being comfortable enough with fast group riding to move up through the pack and stay near the front so that you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of any splits or crashes and c) having the short power to close gaps and cope with accelerations and short climbs. If you’re having to put out sustained high watts that means you’re doing something wrong - you’re either not in a group (in which case best to sit up and wait for a group) or you’re sitting on the front of a group for far too long and giving everybody else a free ride.

Would also be tempted to get a race license and enter the road race instead of the gran fondo. Qualifiers come from the fastest times from both events combined. There isn’t a huge difference in strength and speed between the road race and the faster gran fondo groups, difference is that the road race has a smaller field and (nearly…) everybody knows what they’re doing. So fewer crashes and more people happy (and able) to work.

I did the gran fondo in 2017, had decent FTP (~320W at 80kg) at the time, but from a triathlon background and I had never raced bikes and had very little idea how to ride efficiently in a pack. Event seemed to be entirely self seeded (may have changed) so even though we got to the start quite early there were a lot of people ahead of us already. So first 20-30 minutes was carnage with some huge variation in speed and ability all mixed in together with faster riders trying to charge up to near the front and slow riders dropping back rapidly. Lots of crashes and shouting. Did manage to get myself into a pretty fast group somewhere near the front but burnt an awful lot of matches doing so! Settled down a bit at that point but the group was over 100 people and the vast majority seemed to be unwilling or unable to work while also being shameless in moving up the pack whenever the pace eased (I’ve done enough bike racing since to realise this is entirely normal…). I was happy to work so ended up with about 6 of us doing the lions share of the pulls at the front while the rest got a tow. Last 5 miles suddenly there’s riders in club jerseys that I’ve barely seen for the last 3 hours forcing their way to the front and doing leadout trains for the “sprint” to “win” the 4th group or whatever we were. I was so pi$$ed off I managed to find enough left to finish about 5th in the group. Qualified fairly comfortably - I was about 12th percentile for my AG - but felt pretty much like 3 and a bit hours of over unders! Didn’t have an outdoor PM at the time (trained on TR with a Kickr), but would guess NP must have been close to 300. There would have been people in the same group as me putting out at least 50W less, but they must have started much nearer the front. A training buddy who I knew for a fact I was quite a bit stronger than did the road race and got round 10 minutes quicker with a lot fewer watts and a lot less stress!

ETA - another training buddy who was a little weaker than me, but not much, started at the same time but with a totally different mindset of not burning matches early on trying to stay with groups that were “too fast”. So he settled into tempo-sweetspot from the start while I was doing a series of sprints and anaerobic efforts jumping from one group to the next. He then spent most of the day on his own or pulling along stragglers who had dropped from the faster groups, finished about 45 minutes behind me and nowhere near qualification, but equally exhausted because he’d put out steady power for close to 4 hours with very little respite. He’d have been more than capable of hanging with the group I was in if he’d burnt the matches to get into it…

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Same as my experience, carnage.

Time isn’t the factor and is hard to compare one year to the next. I think they “select” the top 15-20% per age group. Average speed will be about 25-26mph but it’s very very flat and large groups with almost zero resistance rumble along.

Look for the workout “Blood+3” , it’s like that

Thanks all for the reply’s, beginning to think maybe a general build plan might be a good compromise after SS base then maybe climbing race speciality?
Although my weakness on group rides is reacting to sudden surges and not being able to recover enough to go again and again

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I guess that plan will have to be updated again :thinking:


I’ve just got the same email… we all knew it was coming but it’s still annoying

Got to re jig my training for the year now

It has moved to the only weekend in the year I already have something booked. Typical. Still ToC is more likey to happen than a concert so I’ll hold fire.

Yep just seen it on facebook . Was expected to happen i guess .