Final preparations for the Alpe d’HuZes

Marcus Groeneveld

On Sunday evening, May 28, we arrived at the top of Alpe d’Huez. We chose to ride on Sunday so we would have three more days to prepare. A nice benefit is that our bodies have three days to get used to the air. This means more red blood cells and therefore more oxygen for Thursday!

In recent weeks, I have been completely consumed by the Alpe d’HuZes. I especially notice that the reason why I am doing this, because of my mother’s death from cancer, is increasingly on my mind. In the beginning, the main focus was on training and raising money, and now the higher goal, namely, riding the mountain six times for my mother, is taking priority. In addition, there are many practical issues that keep us busy in the run-up to the big day. So we all have had our bikes checked (mainly new brake pads and adjustments), and we have taken a lot of nutrition (more on this later). On Thursday a group of about 30 family members and friends will cheer us on. Together with them, this will be a special experience!

Training and living for endurance
In the last month, Thijmen, Jeroen and I have mainly focused on endurance training. We found it important to ride for many hours. For example, we have done a number of rides between 180km and 220km. In addition, since the end of April we have drunk less beer. The combination of these two things with healthy eating has greatly influenced our performance.

 Focus on food and drink
At the moment we are all feeling very well. Last Monday we tried out the climb and we noticed that we could ride up laughing, with a smooth pace. Whether this will still be the case on Thursday after a few climbs, I do not dare to say. We will try to maintain the good feeling and focus on our food and drink (water). A hydration deficit of 2 percent can lead to a performance reduction of up to 10 percent. We will also try to maximize our carbohydrate intake. For example, we started Monday by drinking a so-called carboloader and eating carbohydrate-rich products – every little bit helps!

To give you an idea of ​​what we are all bringing, here’s an overview:

- 4 cycling jerseys, including a clean BEAT jersey for the day itself

- 2 pairs of shorts

- 1 pair of tights

- 3 windproof thermal jerseys

- 3 pairs of cycling socks

- Arm and leg warmers

- The usual tools and a bicycle pump

- Helmet, glasses, heart rate monitor and shoes

- Carboloader drink

- 8 gels, 15 energy bars and 8 bananas

- Isostar for cycling

- Recovery drink

- Pancake mix

June 1 is here, and of course I will let you know how we got on.

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