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  • Whatever your physical capabilities, or level of fitness, it's essential that you prepare

  • yourself adequately before a climb, especially the steep climbs and climbs that last over 10 minutes.

  • First and foremost, you must ensure prior to the ride that the gear ratio you have will

  • suit the terrain. Fortunately, most modern gear setups have compact-style ratios, with

  • 50 tooth x 34 front chainring, and 12-25 or 28 rear cassette. On the very long, strength-sapping

  • climbs, it's a good tip to be actually be slightly under-geared and have a reserve sprocket

  • or two, just in case you get into difficulty. Remember, spinning is better than churning.

  • Know your route.

  • So that you are suitably mentally prepared, it is definitely a benefit to know your route

  • beforehand. Not in minute detail, but certainly if there are any significant climbs to tackle.

  • Not knowing your route can be exciting, but hitting climb after climb and not knowing

  • what lays ahead can also be pretty demoralising. So, get clued up.

  • Try not to eat when climbing. Get any solid food down you a good 10 minutes before you

  • hit the climb. Believe me, when you're trying to gulp in air on a climb, no matter how tasty

  • the bar is, it's a pretty difficult challenge.

  • Of course, there's no harm in sipping drinks while climbing.

  • Clothing.

  • Even in colder weather, it is remarkably easy to overheat while climbing, with the increased

  • workload and lack of cooling wind due to the lower speeds. If you can, and where it is

  • safe to do so, remove any arm warmers, capes or gilets prior to the climb, so you can effectively

  • assist in keeping your body temperature regulated.

  • On the approach.

  • Your level of fitness will dictate how hard you can hit the foot of a climb, and of course

  • how fast you can actually climb it. For those of us not as gifted as Quintana or Froome,

  • it's best to try and rest a little on the run-in to the climb, so you start climbing

  • in a relaxed state, which will have a knock-on effect of enabling you to get into a steady

  • rhythm with no sense of panic.

  • You're now prepared for a climb. Go for it!

Whatever your physical capabilities, or level of fitness, it's essential that you prepare

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