With the winter on its way out the back door and the Aussie summer fast approaching, the riding season is about to heat up.  For those of you who are riding the Gran Fondo at the Gold Coast Festival of Cycling on September 29, here’s a few tips to riding your best Fondo ever.

Study The Course

The GC FOC Gran Fondo will be a scenic and challenging route through the Gold Coast hinterland.  Be sure to have a good look at the course and its elevations before you start the ride.  Mentally preparing yourself for this 117km challenge will help on those hefty climbs.

Gran Fondo Course

King of the Mountain

The organizers have created a King of the Mountain climb up the backside of Beechmont.  This will be the second climb of the day.  Prizes will be awarded for the fastest times. The climbs will be timed via Strava. If you’re up for a challenge, be sure not to burn yourself out on the first climb up Mt. Tamborine.

Pick Your Group

If you’re gunning for speed, slipping into a group will help you save energy. In the first 10 kilometres, find a small group of riders who seem to be of similar fitness and strength.  In time your group will grow which will allow you to keep a high pace on the flats.  Make sure you are confident sticking close to someone else’s wheel and utilise this time to conserve your energy for the climbs.

Start Smart

Thousands­ of ­riders are expected to compete in this years Fondo.  Riders will be released in waves of 100, a few minutes apart.  If you’re gunning to smash the course at record pace, then get a position closer to the front. Rolling out with the right crowd is crucial if you take the competition seriously. Starting farther back may protect you from the chaos.

Feed The Machine

A huge aerobic engine won’t do much good if your tank is empty. Be sure to eat a little a lot.  Downing at least one 500ml bottle per hour is a good rule of thumb.  You should also be comfortable taking on board up to 60g of carbohydrate per hour.  Use the aid stations if necessary and be sure to carry appropriate snacks for the road.

Get Fondo Fit

As with all events, you only get out of it, what you put into it.  Be sure to do the training prior to the event.  Don’t turn up without training and expect to hammer the climbs like Chris Froome.  Be sure to execute a specific training plan before the event and turn up prepared.  It will make all the difference.

Pedal Hard

Haydn Thomas: haydn@pedaltorque.com

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Haydn has been bitten by the cycling bug and bitten hard. Like most Aussie kids, he grew up riding his beloved chrome BMX before moving onto a Mountain Bike. Haydn describes his transition onto a road bike as a Renaissance and since that time has never looked back. If not riding the awesome roads of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Haydn can often be found photographing local cycling events. As Pedaltorque co-founder, Haydn is responsible for editing and photography. He rides a Specialized Tarmac.