tour de etape

Walk the Talk – The Etape du Tour

As a coach I am keen to demonstrate to my clients that I believe in the power of coaching. For me, one of the best demonstrations of coaching is helping people realise a dream, something they had dared let themselves get excited about at some point in their life.

For me, a dream for the last few years has been to ride the Etape du Tour. This is a chance for keen cyclists like myself to tackle a stage of the Tour du France a few days before or after the professionals have raced that very stage.

The Tour du France is well known for its sheer brutality as a race, 3 weeks of extreme effort that only the very best of the best can survive, let alone be competitive in. The journey takes the riders on hundreds of kilometers of racing across France and takes in the Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges.

The Etape du Tour is just an opportunity for keen amateurs to experience just one day of what that would be like.

Every year the roue is different, sometimes taking in Alpine stages, sometimes taking in Pyrenees climbs, but always challenging.

My dream for 2014 is to complete this event.

A few weeks ago the route was published. Taking place on 20th July 2014, a gruelling 148km starting in Pau, through the Hautes-Pyrenees to climb up to Col du Tourmalet (2115m high) after 98km and ultimately finishing at the ski resort of Hautacam (1520m high) after 148km.

I am an accomplished cyclist, having enjoyed mountain biking especially over the years, travelling and racing around the world.

However the Etape du Tour, whilst a dream of mine fills me with some anxiety.
It doesn’t matter how good or fit you are, these events are always hard. Everybody hurts, it is just that some go faster and endure for longer whilst they are hurting. Thoughts like “Will I finish?”, “Am I good enough?”, “What if I have a mechanical failure?”, “How will I manage?” are already running through my head and I have not even got a place in the event yet! These thoughts are saboteurs and quite common. As coaches we talk to people about these kind of thoughts all the time. It is human nature and no matter what your ability or goal, are very common. If I listened to these thoughts I would not even enter the event in the first place. Then I would never get to realise my dream. I would not be able to look back in years to come and say “I did that” and feel that sense of pride and achievement. Sure it is a long journey and many months away but the preperation starts now and it is just as much dealing with those sabatore thoughts as it is riding my bike.

Check back to see how many training is going and how I am dealing with the issues that arise along the way.