One of the best events on the Australian cycling calendar can also be the key to reaching a level of cycling you may never have thought possible.
The Peaks Challenge Falls Creek is one of my favourite events of the year. I have been fortunate enough to be present on all but one occasion since the inaugural event, either as a competitor or a support person. The atmosphere and energy, both in the lead up and on event day are right up there with some of the biggest gran fondo events in Europe. The magic of that second Sunday in March is, in itself, enough to have me returning each year, but I am also acutely aware of the broader benefits participating brings to all the other aspects of my cycling.
Here is what I mean;
I make no secret of the fact that I am a great believer in the importance of building base for all endurance athletes. The great body of both research and anecdotal evidence makes this a given and the best form / fitness / race performance will always come on the back of a great off / pre season, filled with steady kilometres and a large dose of elevation gain. The problem is that many cyclists find base training difficult. By nature this sort of riding is time-consuming and due to the absence of racing and intensity can at times, seem a little dis-connected with the "fun" and competitive drive, so important for many cyclists. Well, entering the Peaks Challenge each March, may just be the perfect solution.
Having an event focus is the key to getting motivated to train and this is even more likely when one enters these events as part of a group. The climbing and endurance nature of the Peaks event also creates just the right focus for a base training phase in a season long plan. Then throw in the perfect timing of early March and you have a bespoke solution for springboarding into your next race season with a base of strength endurance that will carry you through most of the year. Come through Peaks, rest for a couple of weeks and then begin to dose in greater intensity as part of race-focussed training weeks and you will be flying.
A colleague of mine and all-round good bloke, Steve Rooney recently took out the Div 5 road race at the Australian Masters Cycling Champs on the Gold Coast. Steve is 100% certain that the base training he did (climbing and kms) on his cycling tour in the French Alps in July, is the main reason for his golden form in October. The Peaks Challenge at Falls Creek, could do the same for you.
Sign up for the Peaks Challenge, Falls Creek, not only will you experience one of the best weekends all year but the extra motivation to train, coupled with that magic mix of kms and climbing metres, will have you riding with a strength and confidence you have never known before.