Team Cycling Plus - Andy Ward

Preparing to tackle the French Alps

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. This week Andy's getting ready for a french cycling adventure...

Team member: Andy Ward

Serious cyclist, 41 year old Andy from Leicester, commutes to his job as a doctor, competes in a number of sportives, and enjoys the challenge of a hilly climb. Last year he did the London to Paris, and this year he hopes to squeeze in a cycling holiday to the Alps with his mates. His goals are to improve his power and have a go at time trialling.

This week I’m off to the French Alps with a couple of mates for a 4 night cycling trip. We’re staying in a chalet in La Clusaz, near Annecy (www.gravite.co.uk) . There are 4 or 5 Cols that we can cycle to straight from the Chalet, including La Colombiere and Col des Aravais. I’ve never cycled the mountains before, so I’m particularly intrigued by the Col de l’Arpettaz with its 40 hairpins! I’ll be sending some Tweets from France with our progress – if you’re interested, have a look at http://twitter.com/AndyTeamCPlus .

With all these climbs in mind, I’ve spent the week concentrating on the work Ben has set me to build my power. I’ve already mentioned the intense intervals that I’ve been set, and how exhausting they can be. At the weekend I went out with Martin and Dave (who will be coming to the Alps with me). One of my prescribed training rides involves doing intervals to get the heart rate up at a low cadence. The best way to achieve this seemed to be to stick the bike in a high gear and slog it up the short sharp hills we get in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the end, it turned into a bit of a battle to see who could do the hills in the highest possible gear. The competition eventually peaked when we all ended up walking up one particularly steep climb that we’d decided to take on in top gear – hardly the best preparation for the Alps.

This time last year I was also preparing for a different trip to France to take part in Christian Aid’s London to Paris ride (see pic). It was a brilliant experience and a really good laugh. The ride up the Champs d’Elysee will live long in my memory – the traffic just stopped and (unlike what you might expect in England) the drivers clapped and cheered us. With this in mind it was great to hear that another local GP is taking on the challenge, except he is doing it in just 24 hours – you can sponsor him and his teammate here - http://www.justgiving.com/Nicholas-Rushman-get-back-on-your-bike

Who are Team Cycling Plus?

Team Cycling Plus powered by Verenti are readers Andy Ward, Kay Bowen, Malcolm Ratcliffe and Sam Shaw. We’ll be following them in the magazine for the next few months as they train towards their personal cycling goals under the guidance of Team Wiggle’s Ben Simmons and we will be publishing their weekly trials and tribulations here too. For regular updates check our twitter page twitter.com/cyclingplus and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page

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