Epic Preparation for Tour de France Challenge

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10/13/2005| 0 comments
by Josh Powers

Epic Preparation for Tour de France Challenge

Nothing worth having comes easy.

when you?re in the middle of a long, hot ride, so make sure a few riders in the pack have a route map. We were fortunate enough to have a follow vehicle with GPS, as well as the TDF course markings, but GPS units breakdown and arrows get removed for souvenirs, so riding astray was a possibility and sometimes a painful reality. More than once, we realized we had added 20 km to an already long stage because of wrong turns and back-tracking.


Speaking of a painful reality, staying healthy can be the biggest challenge and you can get sick anywhere, even if you?re on ?vacation?. When you?re riding an average of 40 hours/wk for three weeks straight, as we were, you?re immune system is extremely compromised. While this was an extreme situation, riders face compromised immune systems on one-week and long-weekend bike trips too. Try not to touch your face, and wash your hands often.   If at all possible, don?t share bottles; and if you?re pooling them make sure they get washed after every use.   If one rider gets sick, it?s best to try and keep the illness isolated to that single rider if at all possible. Give that rider his own set of bottles, even his own set of eating utensils.


Keeping all the above in mind made our long trip to
very successful and personally rewarding for everybody involved. We had our fair share of bumps in the road, butts, necks, backs, and any other place that could possibly hurt, but the goal was achieved and a lot was learned in the process. We rode the entire course, but the intensity and the pressure of the professional Tour de France cannot be replicated. The Tour de France Challenge was an epic adventure, and everyone came away with a deeper respect for what the pros endure each July. Like the racers, we faced all sorts of potential hazards, but through proper preparation, great support and a lot of good luck, we made it to Paris and rounded the final corner onto the
Champs Elysees to see the Arc d?Triomph backlit by the setting sun. I have to agree with Tour de France veterans, that after three weeks, that?s the most welcome sight for tired eyes.


Josh Powers is a Pro Coach for Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. (CTS). He not only coached Kevin Mahaney for the Tour de France Challenge, but also participated as a member of the team as well. To find out what CTS can do for you, please visit http://www.trainright.com.


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