Plan for finishing a 170km, 4200m D+ event

Hi All,

Coming from MTB I got more into road cycling in recent years.
This year I’d like to do some Gran Fondos. So far I have no experience in this field. Did some MTB marathons with 70-90km and around 2000m D+ in the past. So I’m not quite sure if I’ll be able to do a 4k+ event. But I found one where the option to change the distance during the event is possible.

So I set up a low volume plan starting in wk1/24. I am right now into the first week of sustained power build.
There is a B event with 176km and 900m D+ in wk21 (first week of specialty)
I had to reschedule my A event (170km, 4200m D+) from September to end of June.
This leaves 12weeks base, 8wks build and 6wks specialty.

As there is a lot of climbing I defined the A event as Climbing Road Race. Now I see however that specialty contains a lot of high VO2max spikes which are probably meant to give more power when attacking and defending.

I will not be racing, just trying to finish. So should I change to a grand fondo plan? Just wanted to make sure I prepare well for the 11 climbs with a max of 19% and the long duration.

Any other advice on pacing and preparation is also welcome.


Hi Axel,

I would change for a gran fondo plan. it will make sure that you have the sustained power for those 170km and 4200D+.

I would also do some climbing in preparation for the race to get used to the pace, cadence and change of position on the bike.
The pacing is up to your weight and the elevation profile of the race, is it a lot of small steep climbs or a giant alpine climb?
I wouldn’t be too worried about finishing since you already have 90km and 2000D+ on an MTB. Since the road is not technical compared to MTB, you will have more sustained efforts and fewer spikes (to go over a rocky climb for example) that are eating your energy.

About preparation, try to do a similar ride (140-150km, 3000D+) 1 month before the race, so you can learn and try different things (fueling, pacing, stuff to pack, etc). Try to minimize stopping time, start slow and eat a ton.
Finally, once you complete this ride you can try to do longer if you like with the Audax rides.

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