LBL Sportive 2019 Advice

Hi I’m new to TR and have just completed the first 3 weeks of the General Build High Volume training plan my FTP is set at 315 (I had done another 6wk training plan previous to this). I haven’t done any long training rides in the last 2 weeks, my question is will I be in good enough shape to tackle the 275km ride or should I go for the 175km?
I was thinking of taking it easy rather than going for a good time around 200-240 watts mark for the ride.


Hey P! There are a few of us here doing the LBL sportive. I’m doing the 145km version and have just finished General Build. I did 99% of my training indoors through winter and have only done 4 or 5 outdoor rides (around 85-100km each) and found long rides very doable coming off indoor training with good pacing (~200w average power). You might have a bit of back/bum soreness after doing 6+ hours in the saddle if you haven’t done any long rides recently, but overall your fitness will be just fine with that pace.

Fantastic, I’m going to get out on the road for a couple of easy recovery rides this week. I think for any distance over 160km it’s going to get a bit uncomfortable. I’m going to try my best and remember to eat and drink consistently hopefully that will see me through.

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Hey @paulumbo , I’m doing the 260K version. I guess a lot depends on pacing, nutrition and hydration. If you’ve done these distances before I’d say you should be able to do the full distance. My training has been mostly inside. I’ve just finished sweetspot base I and II and am in the taper week before Saturday’s LBL challenge. The last 3 weeks have been pretty intense (> 800 TSS weeks). I combine the trainer with commuting to work (which does add a good bit of saddle time and training stress). The TR plan has made me stronger in both FTP and endurance which is vital on a day when there’s hardly a flat stretch of road.

The weather does not look great but if the forecast is correct there will be a tailwind on the way back from Bastogne :crossed_fingers:

Hope to see you on the roads between L, B and L :slight_smile:

My favourite ride in the world as you drive in you realise just how hilly it is, there is no flat land anywhere, huge deep valleys with massive bridges across them.

We’ve done it for the last 4 years, but didn’t want to risk travel this year. The weather makes a huge difference we’ve had wet twice, cold and snowy once and 30c with baking hot sunshine. If you’re doing the full 274km start as early as possible and get into some of the big groups these will be particularly good for the plateau into Bastogne coming up feed 2 as the wind can really get up there. Coming out of that it’s a fun fast ride down to Cote De Saint Roche, groups then begin to splinter and you’ll find yourself in 2-3s. Try to get to the feed station 3 with as little energy use as possible, if you can get from there to the Redoute you’ll finish; lots of people seem to drop out around there, we had to in our first attempt as we didn’t judge the time right and decided we’d be back in Liege in the dark. Even when we judged it right it was get very dusky by the time we made the finish (the new finish in town rather than Ans hopefully will make this less risky). If you’re worried about it a rear light might be worth carrying.

Food on the route is standard European sportive, lot’s of Waffles, Sugary drink and Salty stick things but no gels or real food. I think just before the Cote de Ferme Libert we went through a town that had a fries shop that was good for a proper food stop for a sandwich and chips. I also take salt sticks as I’d struggled with cramps in earlier years and then made a big difference in the hot year.

Watching the pro race the next day is great if you have a car. Relatively relaxed can still get 5 easy viewing points

we always finish at the Reoute where we can watch the finish on the big screen, with another mandatory stop at the Saint Roche with an Achouffe from the beer tent.


I’m signed up for the long one too. I have got a few long outdoor rides, but last year I did a hilly 200km Audax off the back on a purely indoor block (due to a crash I had no choice). I blamed a lack of outdoor rides for cramps near the end, but on reflection it probably was pacing. For this I went with indoors a couple of times due to weather, and not facing into the grind of long outdoor solo spins after doing a 160km solo…

I’m hoping I’ve done enough - training was a bit disrupted, but came back on track in recent weeks and I felt good on the last few workouts and rides. May pack lights on the advice of Rob1, as this could well be a one and done trip for me!


I think I’m definitely in the lights club :see_no_evil:

Oh and fully charge your garmin, turn off mapping etc any to maintain battery life. The route is really well signed but if its getting late in the day be careful as the signs for the pro route will also be out (we ended up going back the way we came for a few kms) . Also if you have an old 500 process the route file the night before, last year my garmin will still processing the route half way to feed stop 1.
Also if you can register on the Friday, you can just ride out from the car/hotel on Saturday rather than queuing up in the expo which gave us 20 mins more sleep.

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Fantatsic event. Do the full version, it’s brilliant. The climbs are all savage, in a way you want them to be. I wouldn’t be too concerned with a time. You set off when you want and there is no official timing other than what you record yourself. You definitely don’t need navigation, it is very well signed. Just be sure to look out for the one split point where the medium and full distance routes diverge.

It is a long day in the saddle but if you’re going all that way, why not go all the way?!

Now I feel bad for only doing the 146km version! :joy::joy:

Good call on the route I’ll download it to my Garmin today. I have used maps on another century ride and my Garmin just about made it to the end

@zwillis1 @Macy @osnoek have a good ride. I’ll be wearing an Ogmore Valley Jersey say hello if you see me on the road!

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Will keep an eye out. No idea what I’ll be wearing yet - club gear looks like it’ll be covered by a rain jacket at this stage! Although the Disaster Day T Shirt is packed for one of the off bike days :grinning:

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I’ve tried to plot the route with ridewithgps if that’s any use to anyone? Turn by turn doesn’t really work on imported gpx, for me, on my bolt. Also I lost the summits and food stops. Distance a km longer, but the official gpx was longer than 266 too…

Rain cape for me too, but under I’m thinking my TR kit. I’ll keep an eye out for the disaster day shirt!

Ah cool, they finally published a GPX file. I had managed to import the route from the Google maps route the organization published. I think they’re pretty much the same though.

My commute this morning was in very similar conditions to those that are forecast for this Saturday. I wore a gilet, jersey, arm and leg warmers and was more than warm enough. Final decision will be made at 6-ish in the morning :frowning:

I wish @macy, @zwillis1 and @paulumbo the best of luck, may your legs never tire and the wind be in your backs!

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How did everybody fare this weekend?
If the weather was anything like the pro race it must have been a grueling ride

After a couple of beers on Friday I decided to do the shorter ride and do some reps on the climbs… except Redoute and Faucons too steep and crowded. It was bitterly cold and wet with periods of hail, but the sun came out for us in the last couple of kilometres. The 147km course is undulating the climbs on the whole are fairly long but not that steep, the descents are quite long and fast so you couldn’t really rest going downhill because you would just get too cold. If it would have been warmer it would have been an enjoyable fast ride. Still enjoyed it though! Once we had finished we had a beer headed back to the hotel for a warm shower, then back out to a bar to watch the rest of the riders roll in. Ended up doing 167km in the end. Chapeaux to those who managed the 265km course

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What a ride! The weather was atrocious. I’d been following the forecasts like a hawk and none were even close to accurate. Hence I underdressed for the occasion (merino base layer, jersey, armwarmers, gilet and legwarmers and overshoes). It rained most for of the day and on the climb of Col du Maquisard we were treated to a massive hailstorm.

I met up with @Macy before the start but we soon lost contact when the large peloton broke up on the outskirts of Liège.

The first part down to Bastogne was against a strong headwind. The undulating terrain made it hard to stay in a good group as every time you found some guys with a nice rhythm on the “flat” bits another climb would scatter people all over.

After arriving into Bastogne, nearly half frozen there was a long stretch on a dual carriageway with strong side winds which required some concentration to keep the bike straight. At this stage I was begging for a nice long climb to get warm again. This arrived finally in the form of the Cote de Saint-Roch a nice sharp steep affair. From there on the weather improved slightly and the climbs started to follow in quick succession all leading to the final three timed climbs of La Redoute (6m:50), Cote des Forges (6m:40) and Roche aux Faucons (Falcon Rock) (6m:50).

I must say that the work on Trainerroad paid off in spades. I was able to ride the longer climbs at sweetspot and the steeper stuff was all out VO2Max. Beforehand I wasn’t sure if my preparation of mainly trainer crides of 2 hours at the longest could prepare you for a 10 hour monument but at no point did I feel like I wasn’t going to finish. Better yet I was able to keep to my power targets throughout. The information on nutrition strategies from the podcast also helped and my strategy of consuming approximately 50g of carbs every hour was sufficient to see me through without bonking.

In all it’s a ride I would highly recommend. If the weather was better it would have been more enjoyable of course as this weekend was more about type 2 fun :wink:

The next day after watching the start of the pro’s it was nice to meet up with @zwillis1 for a coffee and a chat about our exploits.

For anyone interested here’s the strava file of my ride :slight_smile:


Great to have met up! Excellent race report too! I’m gutted I pulled out, but I’ll be back (with proper clothing) and take care of the unfinished business with LBL.

I also completely agree that the fitness was there for me thanks to TrainerRoad. Never felt out of my depth with either LBL or Tour of Flanders two weeks prior, even with 95% of my riding done indoors.

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