Technics to fuel a century race without stopping

I am doing a couple of grand fondos which qualify to the grand fondo championships in danemark.

my hopes of qualifying are next to none, however i want to get as close as possible to the top 25% of my age category.

if i need to stop that is not going to be even be possible…but i have hard time planning how i am going to do for the fueling part.

i have sis beta fuel gels, chews and powder.

the powder have 80g per bottle and the gels 40g each

i have seen the fuel guides here

unfortunately they stop at 4 hours which is what a pro would take to make a grand fondo but i will not be able to average 35kph over 155km with 2000m elevation.

what would you do?

unfortunately i am alone i do not have anyone to handle me water along the road. should i carry and extra bottle of water/powder in my jersey pockets?

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A lot depends on the weather. I can go out for a solo century and do it without stopping, but not in the summer. The calories are easy enough to carry, the trick is hydration if it’s hot. I’ll run a hydration pack and 2 big bottles and that is plenty with cool weather. If hot, I’ll do the same setup, but also carry some Skratch powder to mix at a stop. In many of the races I do (mostly gravel), people are skipping stops and you don’t want to lose the group. The hardest part of that can be holding my bladder for 100+ miles.

I also switched from traditional gels to flasks of maple syrup. Partly due to the cost, but also the logistics of carrying enough and not needing to deal with empty gel wrappers. If you don’t like maple, some of the gel companies also offer large portions you can put in flasks. So much better than stuffing 20+ gels in your pockets and dealing with the sticky mess of empties.

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Measure out 1.75 cups of dextrose
Measure out 1.5 cups of fructose
Mix them together & split them up between two water bottles…fill up the rest of the bottles with water.

Strap a 2L water bladder to my back

Ride. Every 20 minutes drink from the food bottles…chase it with a drink from the water bladder.

I would also put one 200mg caffeine pill and one norco in a sandwich bag and stuff it in my jersey pocket. The norco is in case you break a bone.


Easy if it’s cool. Harder if it’s hot.

2L USWE, plus two bottles on the bike (1L + 0.75L), and I’ve carried a spare bottle (.75L) in a jersey pocket. Could even do two in back pockets.

Gels in jersey pocket, left leg cargo pocket. Discard Gel Wrappers right leg cargo pocket.

But, if it’s hot, that’s a LOT of fluid and a lot of weight to carry. I do it on training rides, but for a race / fondo I’d really like to have a quick drop bag stop or some of the bottles empty and ready to be filled at neutral aid.

I’m also going to play around with squeezing my gels into flasks this year. Maple syrup didn’t work for me.


This is similar to the Ironman bike leg, but we get to pick up fuel and fluids if we want to - but not everyone does.

You can get hydration systems within the bike frame, cheaper options are a camelbak and taping gels and bars to your top tube.

For that kind of effort in summer sun I get through a lot of water, I’d be thinking 5hrs, 4 litres.

I guess you can carb load and hydrate beforehand so maybe 2x 1l bottles on the frame and ten gels on the top bar. :blush:

And aero dynamics are your friend here,

2ea 750 bottles in the frame. 2ea 500 bottles in jersey pockets, toss them to spectators when done. 3rd pocket for gels.

I would take inspiration from gravel riders and consider a hydration bladder. Like others have said, hydration is critical. Personally, I vastly prefer that over carrying bottles in my back jersey pockets, especially since they tend to be stuffed with food, arm warmers, phone, pump, etc.

I would then oversaturate the bottles in your bottle cages with carbs and you simply need to adjust the ratio by mixing in fresh water from your hydration pack.

Then I would try out different strategies and see how they work. Some things work great or promise e. g. aero benefits in theory, but don’t work for you in practice. So try.

With my water/carbs needs: 2 bottles on frame + 2 bottles in saddle bottle holder + hydration bladder → self-sufficient for ~8h at ~25℃

As others have pointed out, carrying enough for your fuelling is easy enough for 4.5 to 5 hours. The difficulty is hydration and a bladder is likely your best option.

P.S. don’t want to worry you but it’s 161km not 155km…