Former WorldTour pro rider and Grand Tour veteran Alex Dowsett has designed a series of Tour de France workouts for Wattbike. As the mainstay and marquee event of the pro cycling calendar, anyone who’s ever gotten on a bike proper will no doubt have dreamt about what it’s like to ride a stage of the infamous Tour de France. Thanks to Alex Dowsett, Wattbike are giving everyone at home a taste of the Tour with his newly created Tour de France workouts.
Introducing Alex Dowsett’s Tour de France Workouts
Drawing on over a decade of pro riding experience, Alex Doswett has carefully curated this quintessential taste of the callout stages of this year’s Tour de France. Best of all, you won’t have to commit hours – this tempting tasting menu will allow you to complete Tour de France training in eight stages, each under 45 minutes.
These workouts chart the heady heights and peak pressure moments that make for a complete experience of this cycling Grand Tour. The Tour de France workouts created by Alex Dowsett include:
TdF: Stage 1 - HILLY STAGE - 42min30s
Stage one packs three categorised climbs into its final kilometres.
Not one for the sprinters, this will see puncheurs like Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert mixing it up with the pure General Classification (GC) contenders with a penchant for punchy finishes – like Tadej Pogacar – in an action packed first act. Alex’s Top Tip:A real rogue Stage 1 will throw a surprise early Yellow Jersey wearer. Some will be trying to save their energy, some will be maximising their chances of a career defining stint in Yellow. Short punchy climbs is the name of the day.
The closest you’ll get to the intensity of a pure sprint finish without rubbing elbows, this stage is for pure cycling sprinters. This Tour de France workout will give you a taste of life in the lead-out train. Flat out fast just gets faster – have you got the legs to make the line?
Alex’s Top Tip:Sprint stages are a slow burn, the anticipation, the jostling for position intensity increases all the way to the very end culminating in an all-out sprint for the line. Imagine your leadout train getting quicker and quicker and then launching from the wheel of the final rider for that last 200m sprint.
This edition of the Tour gets down to brass tacks sooner rather than later, hitting the high mountains only six stages in. Today sees riders taking to the slopes of the iconic Tourmalet before a summit finish at Cauterets in an early test of riders’ ambitions. Who will come out on top?
Alex’s Top Tip:Got to save something for that final climb where time gaps start appearing. Keep pushing right to the very end of the Tour de France workout as the riders will!
Active recovery is the name of the game on the rest day – don’t expect riders to be putting their feet up. They’ll be spinning their legs to keep things moving, and so should you – we’re only halfway, and there’s a time trial coming. Keep those legs primed and ready with this Tour de France workout. Alex’s Top Tip:These days mess with the space time continuum, cherished by grand tour riders to maximise recovery as best they can to feel as fresh as possible for the next stages. An easy spin to make sure the legs are loose for the next Tour de France workout is all part of the routine on a rest day.
Some fans catch a nap, but for real riders the time trial is special. Dubbed ‘the race of truth’, it’s only you and the road in an exhibit of pure speed. There are no aero gains to be had during a Wattbike Tour de France workout, sure, but you still need to be able to pour on the power to get across the line in the fastest possible time. Have you got a need for speed? Alex’s Top Tip:When the pack crosses the line together everyone is given the same time. A TT day is an opportunity to put seconds, sometimes minutes into the opposition. A far more consistent effort than other days involves riding at and around your FTP mainly.
Here it is: this year’s mammoth stage. With over 5,000m of climbing and steep 20% slopes on the menu for the riders in France, our Tour de France workout will give you a taste of relentless gradients and endless uphill stretches. Find out what it takes to reign supreme in this dizzying test of mettle in the mountains.
Alex’s Top Tip:One of the main GC days, time to properly invest your effort today to reap the rewards tomorrow. For the top 10, this will be a super nervous day where the race can be won or lost and these efforts reflect that ten fold.
Tour de France Race Director Christian Prudhomme has described this stage as “likely to cause indigestion”. On the penultimate day, packing in five categorised climbs is anything but the easy run in, with the opportunity for upset abound. Whether you’re defending on to a race lead or challenging for a podium spot, this stage and Tour de France workout will be a spicy one, so be ready for attacks at any moment.
Alex’s Top Tip:Brutal day, the toll the TDF takes on the riders is colossal, both mental and physical stress. try and endure today, even if the numbers aren't what you'd hope to see try and get to the finish!
For the GC, the deal is already sealed. This is the day the riders have been dreaming of: Paris, and the inimitable Champs-Élysées. There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a later summer’s afternoon as hundreds of road-weary riders make a victory lap of France’s picturesque capital, looping the Arc de Triomphe in literal triumph. You’ve earned it, enjoy the moment – but beware, the finish of this Tour de France workout is a fast one for the sprinters. Alex’s Top Tip:Enjoy it as the TDF riders will be, an iconic setting for one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. Thoroughly recommend watching the stage whilst the peloton is rolling up the cobbles of the Champs!
You might never leave the house with an Atom, but you’ll take the fitness and form you’ve built by completing these Tour France workouts, on every ride you go on – including the Tour de France’s most iconic routes.
Training is tough, there’s no two ways about it. But getting started shouldn’t be – here’s 5 steps to making the most of your indoor riding this winter, and partner your training with the Wattbike Atom.
The best days in the great outdoors are built on the foundations of the best days indoors. New to the Wattbike Hub is a series of workouts designed by elite racer, coach and resident gravel guru Charlotte Backus, showing us how to smooth your time on the rough stuff.