The Tour de France is one of the longest-running and most iconic cycle races in the world. This year, the race begins on Friday 1st July 2022 and the last stage is held on Sunday 24 July, consisting of 21 stages over 23 days.
Find out how the world’s best cyclists train for this Grand Tour and see how to train for the different stages yourself.
How to Prepare For The Tour
The Tour de France attracts the world’s top cyclists to undertake a gruelling 21 days of intense cycling. With various different stages along the way, from mountain climbs to sprints to time trials, athletes need to be in peak condition for this event. The preparation for the Tour de France is immense, from both the cyclists and their teams.
Cycle coaches will begin their preparation almost as soon the previous year’s race has ended, with training and planning beginning in early autumn. They will map out the entire year of training, and then fine-tune this when the following year’s route is confirmed. Like most competitive cyclists training for a summer race, pros will start building an endurance base over the winter. This will consist of a winter cycle training plan with emphasis on building a strong aerobic foundation.
As winter starts to wane, it’s time to increase the intensity. Tour de France coaches will start to include tempo and threshold workouts into their cyclists’ training plans in order to build up as much fitness as possible at the top level.
Finally, as the race approaches, the pros will switch to a race-specific programme so that they get to the start line in peak physical condition.
How to Train For a Mountain Stage
Mountain cycling requires aerobic efficiency and puts a constant load on slow-twitch muscle fibres. Cyclists preparing for a Mountain Stage will need to train for dealing with fatigue as the body will need to consistently supply the resources the muscles need to sustain the effort.
Looking to improve your climbing ability? Try 'The Climber' to simulate a mountain segment, ortake on Stage 7 - La Planche des Belles Filles or Stage 12 - Alpe d'Huez in the Summer Sessions x The Tour category on theWattbike Hub App.
How to Train For a Sprint Stage
Sprinters need to be able to work above their threshold and have explosive power for short bursts. The job of a sprinter is to get to the finish and still have the power and energy to win. To train for a Sprint Stage, you’ll need to work the energy systems needed to make this happen. There’s a heavy load on both slow and fast-twitch muscle fibres. This means you’ll need to be able to produce high power and deal with fatigue to improve your cycling sprinting.
Try "The Leadout Train'in the Summer Sessions x The Tour category on the Wattbike Hub app to simulate building up to short, intense efforts.
How to Train For a Time Trial Stage
In the Tour, a Time Trial Stage pits one cyclist against another in a raw battle of speed and power over a set distance. Individual time trial cyclists need to build immense power and be able to sustain it over the distance. It requires efficiency in pedal stroke, so you’ll need to practise this on an indoor bike trainer. This can give you pedalling technique feedback and analysis to help you improve your speed in a time trial.
Tune into the Tour coverage and test your physical ability with "The Time Trial'in the Summer Sessions x The Tour category on the Wattbike Hub app.
Make the Most of Wattbike Summer Sessions
Structured training has huge fitness benefits and it can be difficult to execute these sessions on the road. Introducing Summer Sessions workouts from Wattbike - a constantly changing, free selection of incredible workouts following the outdoor sporting calendar to keep your fitness levels high all summer long.
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