Etape Cymru

by Cycle_Jim   August 12, 2013  

Hello forum,

Any advice for the upcoming etape cymru - what should I be aiming to do in my last month of prep? Anyone done the route or similar route? What should I expect?


11 user comments

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I did it last year, my first sportive actually. I did a fair bit of hill-simulation on my turbo trainer as Bristol doesn't have the hills that North Wales does.

The horseshoe pass isn't as bad as everyone goes on about but there were certainly enough ramps, kicks and hills throughout the route to test the legs.

Take cash for a post-race massage, it sorted me right out! Try to be fully sorted when you arrive at the racetrack too - it was chaos there last year, especially at the toilets!

I'm so lazy I'd rather order something off Wiggle than go to the shops for Haribo...

posted by Mr Jono [112 posts]
12th August 2013 - 22:13


I've done it both years and also live right on door step so im always on the hills around here.the key is same as pro level as in get your rhythm and cadence when on the steep parts.what is your usual training?also what cassette/gears have you got?

posted by Shanefutcher [121 posts]
12th August 2013 - 22:49


It's a big day out so the best preparation would be some long days in the saddle interspersed with some shorter efforts.
I would do a couple of 100 mile plus rides before the end of August and try do some sort of ride of varying duration and intensity five days out of every seven. In the week before ease right off with just a few gentle hours on the bike. Don't knacker yourself out by travelling up there at odd hours. Lay off the booze. Make sure that you get a good night's sleep on every night of the week leading up to the event. Have a big breakfast on the days and eat and drink plenty as you go round.

Have fun.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [346 posts]
13th August 2013 - 12:10


Im only 10stone so quite happy weight wise and consider myself a decent climber. Mostly worried about descending, think I will be braking quite a lot (or dare I say...walk).
Cassette is a 11-25 w/ 50 34 (I think 34 not sure) Not too worried about gearing and no money to buy anything, will just have to suffer if I run out of gears.
Trained through winter/spring in Cornwall, have some pretty good hills there - not entirely sure how it compares but elevation/distance is the same as the wales route (if that makes sense) Did as similar as hilly route as poss and did okay. Usually do short rides, 20-30 miles but intense (zone 3&4 regularly hitting the top of my BPM) I've been out on 50mi rides and felt pretty fresh if I take it back a bit.

My goals are to complete the ride not really bothered about the time just to enjoy a change of scenery. I'm targeting a decent placing on horse shoe pass.

Hoping this friday to do 100mi and maybe 50 thursday.

Any recommendations on things to eat? Usually I take 2x Bananas, half a loaf of soreen, dried apricots, a carbo drink and a normal drink. But this is for 60mi. Do I buy some gels to supplement this?

I'm in Leicester now so my hilly training is riding up to rutland, still not as hilly as wales - so should I be doing repeats/intervals I'm guessing?

Also what should I do as far as familiarising myself with the course? Looking at the route doesn't seem to help me at all Confused I'm kindof thinking to print out the elevation thing and sticking it to the top tube a la pro? Or is that not cool lol

Thanks for the help so far

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
13th August 2013 - 18:56


Maybe I'll see you there Smile

Also preparing for this but total elevation stats have been difficult to pin down, it seems to range from 4000ft to 9000ft in one review!
Looking at the profile I'd say the former.

I am a bit time crunched at the minute so have been doing high intensity stuff including completing the Rapha rising challenge. You can see some of my prep on my strava profile 'Ben Havill'
I plan to try and get a few more long rides in before the day.
Other things are checking I'm confident I have the right clothes for the weather and that the bike is in good shape.

Good luck

posted by MrBLH [32 posts]
13th August 2013 - 20:02

1 Like

The routes on Map My Ride seem to agree on 1679/1680m:

I am not familiar with this f-tu measurement.

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1812 posts]
13th August 2013 - 20:10


That should be easy then, definitely no need for the compact chainset.

posted by MrBLH [32 posts]
13th August 2013 - 20:42

1 Like

Your food plan looks good. Stick with stuff you know to avoid unexpected upsets and excess wind along the way. You will get fed at the feedstations so whatever you take along will be a supplement or give you the chance to crack on rather than queue up. I'd take your usual stuff only in larger quantities. Gels, caffeine boosts or even jelly babies are good in an emergency if you feel like you are bonking but I wouldn't want to rely on them to get round a long ride.

Sticking the profile to your top tube is definitely a good idea, especially if you include the feedstations on it. It will mean that you can judge your efforts and not get caught out by any unexpected hills.

Enjoy the rest of your preparations and on the day, start slowly, finish strongly.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [346 posts]
13th August 2013 - 21:55

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I'm doing the wild Wales challenge next Sunday.its got 10,000 ft of climbing including bwlch y groes which is highest pass in Wales.the route is tougher than the etape

posted by Shanefutcher [121 posts]
13th August 2013 - 23:11


Hopefully Ben! Just followed you on Strava, seem like I'm doing similar stuff to you! I need to have a big weekend I reckon!

I have been struggling to get out recently due to work

Should be taking the bike in for a service next week I think!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
13th August 2013 - 23:50

1 Like

Thanks for the input shanefutcher really helpful on my "rides in wales that are tougher than the etape" post...

Thanks for your help bedfordshire, I feel like the food I'd taken was good just would lack quantity for the distance, I'm running out of jersey pocket space!

Give the top tube notes a try this weekend I need to remember village names on a long ride so think that will help.

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
14th August 2013 - 0:11