Freshen up and get ready


Unlike the last ditch efforts we’re all guilty of to get ready for a school or university exam, with less than 10 days to go to L’Étape Australia, it’s too late to cram in a heap of training. It’s time to freshen up to be at your best on Saturday 1 December.

Ten days out from Race/Ride day all the work is done… at least it should be. Trying to squeeze in one or two more big sessions won’t make you faster but it could result in you getting rundown and sick.

Here’s a plan for the final 10-day countdown:

  1. Reduce your training volume by 40 to as much as 60 per cent.
  2. Between day 10 and five, on the count down, have at least two days off the bike.
  3. Do two rides that include four or five 30-second to one-minute anaerobic efforts or a handful of short sprints.
  4. Do one ride of three hours at a low intensity.
  5. Have a day off on Thursday 29 November.
  6. On Friday 30 November, the day before the event, do a one to one-and-a-half hour ride at a low intensity but include four 30-second efforts at 90 per cent to open the legs and lungs up.
  7. And don’t worry if you have a poor sleep the night before the event. For a one day event, provided you’ve sleep well in the week leading up to it, a restless night will have little to no impact on your performance.

In addition to tapering make sure you’ve got everything organised for the L’Étape weekend – make a list of all the food and drink supplements you’ll need for the ride, clothing, bike equipment, spares, etc. And get it organised early in the week so you’re not rushing around before leaving for Jindabyne.

I look forward to seeing you in the Snowy Mountains. Good luck.


Being one of the most recognisable voices of cycling, Matthew Keenan regularly forms part of the international commentary team at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, broadcast around the world from Europe, USA, Africa, New Zealand and on SBS in Australia.