Amy’s Gran Fondo is Australia’s premier Gran Fondo event. It’s also held at the tail end of what can be a very cycling unfriendly winter. Anything that helps you prepare for the event without getting cold and wet is going to be a good thing. If it’s the exact course, even better.
Specificity is a crucial part of training. The body and mind adapt to specific stresses, so if you trundle round slowly all the time, you get really good at going slowly. Likewise if you can practice an ACTUAL climb rather than generic climbs you’ll get much better at that climb.
FulGaz gives you the opportunity to ride all the key sections of Amy’s Gran Fondo again and again without getting wet or risking life and limb on the Great Ocean Road on weekends.
We’ve included the entire 2016 event from start to finish, plus we’ve broken the ride down into four key sections for you to work on.
Don’t just practise the climbs. If you don’t know the roads, getting familiar with the descents will help a lot, particularly if it’s wet on the day.Ride against yourself by using Challenge mode. Once you’ve done a ride once, you can then ride against your previous best time.You’ll be surprised how many calories you consume at race pace. Check the calories in FulGaz as you ride to keep a track of how much you’ll need to eat on the day.Deliberately over gear on the climbs to build strength. Down around 50RPM is ideal. Hold it for as long as you can.
The entire 2016 Event
Pick and choose any section, or get together with a few mates and ride it all together in Steady mode. That way you’ll all get round it in three and a half hours. Don’t forget to practice the Skene’s Creek descent, even if you just use steady mode to watch the video.
Amy’s Gran Fondo 1 – The climb to Benwerrin
Under the start kite and you’re virtually straight into the climb. Steep at first at around 13%, but soon you find your tempo on a quintessential Otways climb with eucalypts and shady gullies and averaging 4%. There are a couple of steep pinches around the 5km mark, and make sure you leave a bit in the tank for the ramp at the top!
Amy’s Gran Fondo 2 – Dean’s Marsh to Forrest
26 km without a climb of note and 0% average gradient, you would be forgiven for thinking you are in for a gentle spin. But closer examination of the profile reveals constant rollers which will tax the legs as you try to maintain speed, predominantly through western district farming country.
Amy’s Gran Fondo 3 – Climb to Mount Sabine
This is a beautiful ride through soaring Otways eucalypts and the dense rainforest undergrowth is rich with bird life if you can hear it over your breathing! Two 6km sections of steady climbing are broken in the middle by a short downhill stretch which is a chance to rest your legs. Then you’re into the last 1.5 km which gets noticeably steeper, with an average 5% gradient and spots considerably more than that.
Amy’s Gran Fondo 4 – The home stretch
As you turn at Skene’s Creek onto the Great Ocean Road for home some 37 km away, you commence one of the iconic Victorian rides along the coast. The road rolls slightly up and down as you enter and exit the many gullies, but because the route hugs the coastline all the way it is more or less flat, with majestic hills to the left and expansive seascapes to the right. It’s common to see koalas along the route, and look out for the house on a pole!