Gran Fondo or Climbing Road Race training for 13500ft over 177km


I am pretty new to Trainer Road, circa 3 weeks into my training plan. But had a quick read and wondered if me selecting Gran Fondo training is incorrect for the L’etape du tour I am doing in July 2020. The route is 177km, 13500ft of climbing in the Southern Alps in July.

I am now wondering if the “most appropriate” speciality training discipline would be climbing road race.



I can’t help with choosing between plans but, just for clarity, can you confirm whether you’re 3 weeks in to the base phase or 3 weeks in to Gran Fondo?

Hey [onemanpeloton]. Thanks for the reply, I am 3 weeks into the base phase.

I have been riding for the past 10+ years and do ride alot of climbs in the UK, an average 50miler is generally 3500 - 5000 ft, but these are very short climbs and in duration in comparison to Alps.


Cool, I just wanted to check as a new user that you hadn’t skipped the all important base and build phases! I dare say these phases may help you highlight your strengths and weaknesses, if you don’t already know them, and therefore help you choose the speciality phase that suits you and your event best

I think the general rule of thumb is if you are at the pointy end and need to respond to attacks etc of the race go for climbing road race

If you just want to do it at your own pace regardless of what the people around you are doing

Go gran fondo



I would go for Sustained power build after your sweet spot base I and II and after the sustained build i would go for climbing road race specialty !

I can´t help but may this one: TrainerRoad Support Gran Fondo
The suggestion for your type of event

I´ll have a similiar event in June (“DreilaenderGiro in Austria, Italy Switzerland”) 165km and 3300m of climbing, including the Stelvio. My plan: SSBMV I & II, followed by sustained power build and Climbing Road Race for speciality. I`ll give you an update by end of june if it was a sucsess or better choosing a ddifferent plan :smiley:

Thanks for the advice from all, always good to have different views.

I will see how I progress over the next several weeks and make a decision :slight_smile:


Looking back at this a while later - would anyone care to share their experience? I have a similar question (though less climbing than the original poster; 1950m of climbing over 174km distance, planned for the start of June). Am currently on Gran Fondo plan as I’m a recent convert to riding (6 months) and 105km is my longest ride, but any advice or experience welcome.

Follow the plan, it will consistently build volume/intensity for you. Try to go out and do 5 hour+ days a couple times at least a month before the event, just to get a feel for how nutrition and pacing work on those long rides. Ride at your pace not the pace around you. Keep the power as steady as you can.