a dumb question but are there facts??

steve kaspar

New Member
Apr 28, 2009
The Giro; they say that you need to go through a Grand Tour to move to the next level as a rider, do you think that’s true?

this question was just asked to a pro rider, and has been asked a few time's i have read and all the riders answer "yes".. why and how do you move to a higher level when you hammer 19 out of 21 days? do us weekend warriors need to "shock" our bodies like this to improve to the next level? maybe do a hard week of hammering, rest a day and do another week like this? just curious. per all my rerading and the training advice i got over the years, i hear hard, ez, a hard one maybe back to back, rest, long, ez ,rest again..etc...
they say you get stronger when your resting/recovering, so how does one reach the next higher level going hard 19 out of 21 days?
what can us weekend warriors do to get to the nexl level?
i miagine most of us would come down with a cold, from lack of rest or an injury..
of course they are all way more tallented than all of us, get the massages, do nothing but train, but still, where is their rest to recover?
so how do you get to a higher level going this hard this many days in a row?
just curious

One of my cycling buddies' nephew races for Jelly Belly and has yet to make it past the 4 or 5th day of either Tour of California or Tour of Georgia.

But then again I honestly believe he is drug free and has trouble recovering as quickly. Not that I am implying anything. :)
I know a couple of pros or ex pros and am told for a GT they need to train about 6000 miles and I figure that is about 70 miles average a day.
I ride 4 times a week but do not have the time to devote to 400 + miles a week, besides I am past the age of being real mean on a bike.
I guess my answer is that the more the better as long as you do it wisely and sleep,eat and hydrate in appropriate proportions.
Still if someone would pay me my present salary to ride 100 miles a day, 5 days week I would promise to get better.
Ah, the elusive 'next level' and how to get there? :D

Let me start by saying that I've never been to that level, so I cannot really give directions on how to get there. However, I think there are facts out there which would indicate that most of the riders in those Grand Tour races are not really hammering 19 of 21 days, relative to their own riding abilities. The ones that are successful conserve as much as possible and pick their battles carefully so that they can hammer during decisive portions of the race. Certainly the volume is high, but not necessarily the intensity.

My understanding is that the serious contenders plan their peak fitness for the 2nd or 3rd week of a Grand Tour stage race, which implies to me that they are coming down from even greater training stress prior to and during the first week of the event. Combined with the best rest and recovery that money can buy, a few days of hiding in the pack on flat stages* is probably not pushing the GC hopefuls too hard. I'm not disputing the common wisdom that doing a Grand Tour race makes you perform better next time (ie, you're on the next level after having suffered through and learned from the first time), but as with so many things in cycling, the observations and assumed causes may not necessarily match up.

* talking about the Grand Tours here, as opposed to the 1-week events Felt Rider is talking about where everyone is peaked at the start they get right into it in the first couple days.
frenchyge said:
* talking about the Grand Tours here, as opposed to the 1-week events Felt Rider is talking about where they get right into it in the first couple days.

That is what is amazing to me. There are some domestic pros that can barely make a week event, much less, a Grand Tour.

Is there a step for some of you (the week long event) before you get to the NEXT step the Grand Tour? Or are you guys talking as if you are already past that step? :)

.......and I was wondering on how to step up to a back to back century at a decent pace. I feel so small and insignificant in the world of cycling :-(
We need a Pro really, someone thinks a Pro is here on the board? Or do we KNOW that?

But yea, best massage you can get, best food you can get, best whatever, I think they are very well aware of the fact its important to recover
Scream said:
We need a Pro really, someone thinks a Pro is here on the board? Or do we KNOW that?

There are pro riders who have posted here, although it was more common before the Great Spam-flood of '08.

Anyway, the OP asked for facts rather than Pro stories (which it sounds like he already has available in abundance). Since riders in the last couple TdFs have been equipped with power meters and made their files publicly available, the facts are definitely out there to look at first-hand.