I am training for L’Ètape Australia (fingers crossed covid doesn’t spoil it) just wondering which plan builder to use, grand fondo or road climbing race? The race is 136km with 2770m elevation. This will be my first road cycling event, normally compete in triathlon and mountain bike events.
Century plan or Climbing Road Race. Former is really focused just on being able to hold sweetspot and threshold power for long intervals, the latter adds in some high intensity work as well.
With 2770m of climbing and a history of racing in solo events I’d say Century is maybe more suitable since you’re likely to be spending a lot of the day putting out steady power on those climbs. CRR in my opinion is better suited for fast races where your effort is more polarised - e.g. lots of time spent sitting in a group getting a good draft and not having to work too hard, but also having to punch above threshold to get over short climbs, do pulls on the front, close down gaps, etc. And if you’re not used to group riding then worth joining a few roadie group rides (if they’re allowed in your area at the moment) to get used to riding fast in a group since that may be new to you from your previous events. Assuming the entry numbers for L’Etape are pretty high then there should be plenty of riders around so you’ll be wanting to conserve as much energy and get as much free speed as possible on the flat sections by being in a group and benefiting from the draft.
Thanks. So it sounds like either one will be fine, I’m 4 weeks into the grand fondo plan and have found it pretty good so far, except I have gone over hours and tss a few times when doing my rides outdoors with the bunch. I ride with our local bunch (we started back up again after restrictions from Cycling Australia were lifted) have also done some crit training with them, so have ridden with a bunch at a solid pace plenty of times so that doesn’t concern me. Hopefully numbers will be high and I can sit on with a solid bunch for the race. Just need to hope this doesn’t get cancelled due to covid like all our other races so far
Century plan would be optimal. Alternatively, you could do the rolling road race plan to get some time in VO2 max territory. This could give you a little more high end fitness for your event I case you need to do any supra-threshold efforts on those climbs