The Sellaronda HERO is a classic MTB marathon in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The GORE® wear sponsored ROSE Vaujany team offers up four tips to get you through this classic race in the Dolomites.
Simon Gegenheimer (GER / 28), two-time World Cup winner in the Sprint and one of the fastest mountain bikers in the world
Start full of energy
Training is important. If you were lazy in your training and preparation, you’ll suffer a lot in the Dolomites. What you missed in training in the weeks and months prior cannot be made up in the last few days, so accept your fitness level in the week before the race. Only then can you utilise 100% of your current fitness and get the best out of yourself. Too much hard training in the days before the race just makes your legs and body tired for the actual competition.
Rémi Laffont (FRA / 25), in the yellow jersey at AlpsEpic, TransPYR and the Portuguese Tour in 2017. An absolute climbing specialist weighing in at 54 kg.
Take care of yourself before you need it
I live in the French Pyrenees, at the foot of the famous Tourmalet climb. High alpine terrain is my home. I’ve experienced some key moments in the mountains due to hunger. If you do not have any energy in the mountains, you are lost. You cannot just roll and recover. You can’t just choose an easier gear. It’s just too steep. But you don’t have to get to that point. The thing with diet is it’s actually quite logical. Energy gels and gels take 15-20 minutes to reach your muscles through the stomach, so eat and drink before you need it. My rule is 1 bar, 1 gel and 1 drinking bottle of liquid per hour. At least 2 hours before the start of the race, eat a breakfast that is balanced. For me it looks like this: 2 eggs, 1 slice of bread with ham and cheese and two espressos.
Viviane Favery-Costa (BRA / 31), Brazilian National Champion in 2016 and Top 5 at the Riva Bike Marathon 2017. A fighter who never gives up.
Organisation is everything
The hero is long, the hero is steep and the hero will tax you. You know all this going into the race. And because you know, you can prepare for it and leave the fight unscathed. The Sellaronda Hero is basically comprised of four climbs. The first is steep but easy to ride. Here the goal is to stay cool and restrained. Everyone here is feeling strong and is riding fast, but the hard work still lies ahead. Mountain two should be ridden with the goal of eating and drinking well. Staying in control and keeping your legs feeling good is important, because right afterwards the third climb begins. It goes high up into the clouds and on frighteningly steep paths. You will thank yourself that you fueled up well for this hard climb. The final mountain, number 4, is much more rolling, but you should not be deceived once you crest the summit: there are some rollers on the way to the finish that hurt people! From here, though, it’s very close to the finish in Selva Gardena. Everyone who crosses the line is a true Dolomite Hero.