For those cyclists and Poli aficionado’s wishing to relive the moment, or those who weren’t able to attend, here are our highlights from the evening.
Our guest blogger, Richard Snow outlines how he felt a Mallorca Cycling Academy helped him succeed in his 2013 ambitions.
In 2012, as a typical middle-aged guy I did a mid-life crisis thing and had a go at the Etape, my first ever sportive. With massive help from a La Fuga coach called Huw Williams, a diet and a lot of slow solo miles in Surrey I got my not inconsiderable bulk around the course and avoided the broom wagon and lived to tell the tale. I did the Etape travel and accommodation with La Fuga and had a great time and was well supported.
For me a training camp was an idea to kick start my 2013 training programme – to mark the end of winter laps in Richmond Park with my club and a time to start back on the turbo and focus on trying out time-trialling with a view to breaking the hour for 25 miles. I chose La Fuga because of my great experience in 2012 and because I knew that the whole time would be focused on cycling, recovering and learning lots of stuff about feeding and training and riding. Oh and, of course, eating – my second favourite pastime. The key thing for me was the training and support. Anyone can book a week, full board at the hotel where we stayed in Pollenca. Anyone can get on a bike and trog over to Puig Major or Sa Calobra and cycle up and down it. To get the most from the week you need coaches who understand why you are there and have the time and inclination to teach you and a support vehicle to keep things moving so you spend as much time as possible on your bike.
The week very much exceeded my expectations with a good mixture of steady and threshold work and lots of climbing (good for the thin) and lots of pacey flat roads too (good for me). Mallorca was beautiful and the riding good fun. There was a good mix of abilities so I wasn’t always at the back and when I was, Tom one of the coaches was there gently cajoling me on and keeping an eye. The coaches were ‘proper’ – Tom was a pro and national champion time trialler, Alison was a national road race champion and had ridden in her own team in the pro tour in Europe and Jared was a national level triathlete – but they worked with everyone and had relevant experience for all. The best thing I did all week was the descending school and I now think that riding downhill is pretty much one of the best things there is….
So did the camp help me? In a word YES ! It got me motivated to cycle again just as the UK weather becomes bearable. I managed a short 58 for 25 in June and broke 22 for 10 miles in late May. In September I visited Ventoux with a group and completed the Cingles challenge of three ascents in one day – I managed a final descent speed over 21kms that was a little over double the average speed in the 2012 Etape.
Overall a lot of fun and, although a bit more expensive than the classic turn up and ride cycle camps, the extra money was worth it.
Suffering…for the love of it
The Cobbles Week is a pilgrimage to the holyland of professional cycling, encompassing two of the most important one day races on the calendar.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out issue #60 of the Australian magazine RIDE Cycling Review. Journalist Mark Johnson has written a piece on the adventures of stalwart Aussies Lew Targett and Steve Hicks, plus California-Frenchman Jean-Francois Thietard from this year’s La Fuga Classics Trip.
Below is a snippet from the article, and view the full story here Classics-The Experience.
This year Targett and Hicks rode the 133km version of ‘de Ronde’ cyclo event, a ride that took them over climbs like the Koppenberg, Paterberg, and Oude Kwaremont. While much shorter than l’Alpe d’Huez, in the halls of cycling mythology these hills tower alongside the Alpine giants.
After the Flanders sportive, Targett said climbing the Paterberg a day before Cancellera made his race-winning move in the same exact spot gave him new appreciation for both what it takes to race the Ronde, and for the Flemish public’s genetic disposition to support bike racing.
Because of the connection the flag-waving, beer-drinking, frite-munching locals have with the riders who are depositing their legs and souls on the cobbles, Targett said that he thinks the Flemish event is better than l’Etape du Tour. Even though it was cold, grey, and windy, “It was a sensationally good day.”
Appennini – 31st August -7th September 2013
‘The route, service, support, hotels, food, attention to detail, and general back-breaking hard work done by La Fuga and the guides were second to none and, more often than not, beyond the call of duty and expectation. The fact the group were always looking out for each other, offering a wheel to shelter behind and some words of encouragement, will live long in the memory’.
Jeremy Persad (Appennini)
La Fuga is entering Spring with an irresistible offer that is sure to keep you going during the last legs of winter. We are sharing our love of riding by offering you, and a friend, an incredible discount of £1000 on our ‘Randonnée Originals’: The Pyrénees, Alps and Appennini.
You and a friend can take advantage of this amazing offer if you book together between 07/02/2013 and 07/03/2013, and if booking on the same qualifying trip, each will receive £500 discount. More detailed terms and conditions to be found below.
All three Randonnée Originals pack a real riding punch, and in our previous experience groups who become Randonneurs together stay lifelong buddies. So we know that our trips are perfect experiences to share, after all, how great it is to have friends there to support you 20k into a hard climb!? Share our newsletter with a friend, Like and share it on Facebook and join in the conversation by Tweeting it loud and clear and take advantage of this amazing Share your #lovetoride offer.
Pyrénees – 14th – 21st September 2013
‘Extraordinary biking, perfect weather, outstanding support from the Fuga team. I was greatly impressed by the team spirit, the cohesiveness of strangers to accomplish a common goal, and as Fuga promotes, an ethos that characterizes the spirit of the Randonnnée and the Raid du Pyrénées’.
Ted Cronin (Pyrenees)
Our Original Randonnées are tests of your adventurous spirit, determination and physical endurance. Our carefully designed routes will take you on an exploration like no other, traversing some of the most beautiful and historic roads and mountain passes in Europe. The La Fuga Original Randonnées are both demanding and rewarding , giving you the opportunity to experience the highs and lows commonly seen in a professional stage race. On a good day you’ll feel like Pantani and as if you’re floating over the tarmac but, on a bad day, it’ll be a struggle to get out of bed and tackle the road ahead. However, it’s on these bad days where the La Fuga Ethos comes into it’s own: On a strong day be generous and offer the help that you’ll so gratefully accept on a low day. The Randonnée is not a race, there will be no individual winner, but there is a unique sense of having achieved something colossal when you work together with your fellow Randonneurs to complete these epic events. Read more about our Randonnées.
Alpine – 14th – 21st June 2013
‘It might not have been ‘Nam but it was an intense and emotional week, a complete luxury to have been wrapped up in a mini universe comprised only of preparing to ride, riding and reflecting on the day’s ride. I didn’t think about work once. It was a real privilege to be able to ride and spend some time with a group of great people and I hope we get the chance to ride together again. I don’t believe anyone else can provide five star suffering quite like La Fuga!’
Dominic O’Neil (Alpine)
La Fuga is celebrating the new year and are now offering trips to all five of the revered cycling monuments, adding Milan-San Remo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege to our already successful trips to the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Lombardy. For those who are looking for that extra challenge, we have also teamed together the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, offering a pilgrimage to the Holyland of professional cycling during our Cobbled Classics Week.
Milan – San Remo – 15th – 18th March 2013
Tour of Flanders – 29th – 31st March 2013
Cobbled Classics Week – 29th March – 8th April 2013
Paris – Roubaix – 5th – 7th April 2013
Liege – Bastogne – Leige – 16th – 21st April 2013
Tour of Lombardy – 4th – 7th October 2013
All La Fuga trips offer our guests the chance to ride the same routes as the professionals, watching the professional race from the best vantage points, staying in luxury accommodation and ride support from experienced La Fuga staff – but don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the testimonial of a La Fuga guest below.
The love and respect La Fuga has for these ancient one-day races means we have dedicated our latest newsletter to giving each Monument the individual attention it deserves. To read more about these prestigious races and to keep up to speed with La Fuga you can subscribe to the newsletter here.
The five monuments should be on every riders bucket list – where will you start?