The Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant takes place on May 27, 2017. As an early season event that makes the Laurentian resort town it’s hub, it’s important to start thinking about how you can make the most of your experience. Here are five tips to prepare yourself to ride the Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant:
1) Ease into riding this spring
“Cycling is here,” proclaimed Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant event organizer Simon St-Arnaud. “It’s April and it’s time to take your bike out to get your legs going with some short ride to start the season.”
Preparing to build fitness for an early spring event starts with the first rides of the season. St-Arnaud advised riders of all levels who plan to make the Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant their first event of the season to start now by going out and riding for easy for 30 to 50 km with high RPM and a steady pace. He also suggested riding with a group in order to get reaccustomed pack riding. The reason, he said, is even if you have been on the trainer it’s important to get the body used to riding on the road again.
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“After you have done those four or five rides you can play a bit. Add distance, intensity and do more hills,” St-Arnaud suggested to riders easing into the season. “This sort of riding really relates to what the event is all about. Mont Tremblant is a region where flats don’t exist. We are in the Laurentians with winding road, rolling hills and no flat straight roads.”
2) Choose your speed and distance
The Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant has four distance options which are then divided into groups based on average speed (ranging from 21 km/h to 33 km/h). “The gran fondo in its format gives the opportunity to every level of cyclist,” St-Arnaud said.
Riders can choose between the 45-km, 80-km, 125-km and the 160-km ride. With a distance of all types of riders, participants have the freedom to choose the ride that best suits what they want to get out of the weekend.
“The more mileage you have in your legs the easier the challenge is going to be but at the same time it’s not a competition and you can select the right speed for your level of fitness,” advised St-Arnaud.
With the date set for the end of May, some riders will be looking to use the ride as training to get into better shape for future events or races. With thousands of metres of vertical elevations gain on the hilly Tremblant terrain, St-Arnaud reminded riders to take into consideration the terrain when selecting the speed of the group they choose to ride in. For riders who are at a more introductory level, there is also a free rider that uses newly paved cycle tracks.
3) Take advantage of the great Laurentian cycling destination
As the fondo has grown, so has the cycling culture in the Mont-Tremblant region. Since 2006 when Ironman 70.3 came to Tremblant the infrastructure has developed with newly paved roads with wider shoulders. For a region that has the terrain and scenery of an excellent cycling destination, this was important to establish the culture in the area and today cyclists flock to the region to ride the beautiful roads. If singletrack is more your flavour, there is also an extensive network of handbuilt trails to be explored.
“Tremblant is well positioned as a sports destination. Ironman paved the way for endurance training,” St-Arnaud explained. “The region is perfectly set up for health, fitness and outdoor activities.”
If you are traveling to Tremblant to ride the gran fondo, make sure to stay long enough to enjoy the area’s offerings. The gran fondo organizes an informal sunset ride on the Friday before the event and a coffee ride the Sunday after. The longer you stay, the more time you’ll have to explore the region’s other cycling offerings at your own leisure.
4) Mont-Tremblant is great for more than just cycling
If the gran fondo is enough cycling for one weekend and you want to make the trip with the family or friends there are plenty of other activities to do at Tremblant. With the nearby lake, visitors can take part in a host of watersports, there is hiking on the mountain and visitors can spend hours wandering through Mont-Tremblant village with its restaurants and shops. There is also golfing for a change of pace or for thrill seekers the newly installed zip-line.
As a year-round sports destination, Tremblant has all sorts of activities to enjoy and with many different accommodations to choose from it’s a beautiful area to spend time with friends and family who aren’t as interested in the cycling.
5) Make it a challenge
If you want it to be, the gran fondo can be a great challenge. While the ride takes place in a controlled non-competitive environment, cyclists who do what to test themselves have the opportunity to ride hard on timed KOM sections. In the 125-km ride in 2016 there were two sections where timing chips recorded riders times and at the end, KOM prizes were awarded to the fastest riders on the segments. The first was a 2.3 km climb at Kilometre 35 and the second was on the scenic section of road called Le Nordet which was a 2.1 km drag. These are great opportunities to test your fitness or have some fun spicing things up with your friends.
Riders seeking a different type of challenge can ride the 160 km distance. With the rolling terrain and early season date, the longer rides can be a great way to jumpstart fitness for the rest of the summer. However you decide to ride it, the Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant is a fun challenge to tackle early in the cycling season.
The Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant is on May 27. To sign up and for more information visitgranfondotremblant.ca