There will be several feed stops for ‘ravitaillement’ over the course of the Etape and you should use these top up your bottles and pockets.
Don’t necessarily stuff yourself at these stops, rather using the descents to take on board more substantial items of food to allow more digestion time before you hit the harder climbs.
Once you’re on the climbs you will want all your blood heading to your legs rather than your digestive system so stick to simpler, carbohydrate based foods and drink such as energy drink (again, Isostar is the official provider so check you get on with this beforehand and if not then bring your own!), gels and sweets.
If it is hot it will be very important to take on plenty of water so don’t hold back with your drinking, losing a minute to fill up your bottles or for a ‘comfort break’ will be insignificant compared to the time you could lose if you become dehydrated.
See the last article for more tips on nutrition for the Etape.
So there you have it. Over the previous 20 weeks you’ve trained hard to develop the fitness and skills needed to master this year’s Etape du Tour.
The preparation is done but now is the key time to ensure your final preparations in terms of training, nutrition and equipment are ready for the big day.
Be confident in your ability to do well, but remember the mountains can be unforgiving so it’s vital to pace yourself well to get through the day, satisfied you’ve ridden your best and not on your knees on that final climb. Good luck!
Tom Kirk is a coach for Custom Cycle Coaching