Hotchillee

news

Francis Cade: Conquering the Big Climbs

Everyone has their own way of doing it. Setting a rhythm, counting the pedal strokes, humming a tune, (hard when out of breath). If you want to join us on the Alpine Challenge, conquering the mountains is a must. Here are some tips from former bike racer and current video blogger Francis Cade.

 

Equipment

The lighter you and your bike are, the better. There will be mechanical support on the Alpine Challenge, you won’t need to carry a full toolbox in your second bidon! Compact chainrings are an excellent way to increase your gear range. A 28T or larger cassette also gives you more versatility. There’s nothing worse than running out of gears on the way up.

 

Don’t sit down the whole way

My muscles need a break. Sure, in a perfect world staying in the saddle is ideal, you avoid wasting energy and it’s the most power-efficient position to ride in. I like to take small, out of the saddle breaks, just for a few seconds. It makes a world of difference comfort wise. If Contador can get away with doing it, so can you.

Remember to eat

If you’re riding a big climb, your heart rate is going to be up and you’re going to be burning more calories than usual… for quite a while. It’s easy to forget and not want to eat, especially in the heat, but it’s something you have to force yourself to do. Keep an eye on the time and aim to eat something small every 45 minutes. I find energy gels work well when it’s not – no chewing necessary.

 

Drink little and often

There will be support at the Alpine Challenge, don’t worry about running out of water. Drink little and often, ideally something with electrolytes in – it makes a huge difference over plain water or squash. This will stop you from getting muscle cramp, it’s hard to come back once this has set in.

 

Wear sun cream

If it’s sunny (of course) and sometimes even when it’s not, at altitude the effects of the UV radiation are magnified. The Alpine Challenge is three stages, don’t ruin the last two getting burnt on stage one!

 

Ride within yourself

Along with increased risk of sunburn, you’ll also notice how thin the air is the higher you go. Don’t be alarmed if your power suffers slightly, this is normal. Continue to ride within yourself and expect a longer recovery time once you do take a break. You can always speed up when nearing the top, but careful not to go too hard at the start. It’s easy to do in the heat of the moment with other riders around you. If you have a heart rate monitor or power meter, know your zones and stick to them – for a while at least!

 

Spinners are Winners

Unless you’re Bert Grabsch, you’ll probably get more out of yourself if you pedal an easy gear. Aim for around 90 revolutions per minute. Your legs will thank you.

 

Recovery is key

Have a recovery shake – or eat, within 15 minutes of finishing the stage. Followed by a proper meal within an hour. If you’re really serious, have a 15 minute spin later that evening, as easy as possible – think glass cranks. Stretching and massaging is personal preference, do what feels good and you’ll go better the next day.

 

 

SHARE

stay up to date

Fill out your details below to be contacted about our next Explorer gravel adventure.

Sign up to the Hotchillee newsletter to get the latest news on rides, events and community activities
previous arrow
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​3
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​2
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA1​
PlayPause
next arrow
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​3
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​2
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA1​
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
02.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
03.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
04.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
PlayPause
next arrow
01.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
02.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
03.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
04.Rollercoaster_Rocacorba_venue
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01.Rollercoaster_villa
02.Rollercoaster_villa
03.Rollercoaster_villa
04.Rollercoaster_villa
PlayPause
next arrow
01.Rollercoaster_villa
02.Rollercoaster_villa
03.Rollercoaster_villa
04.Rollercoaster_villa
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
02London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
03London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
04London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
PlayPause
next arrow
01London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
02London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
03London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
04London_Paris_Paris_Hotel
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
02London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
03London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
04London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
01London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
PlayPause
next arrow
02London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
03London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
04London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
01London_Paris_Amiens_Hotel
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01Alpine_Challenge_Megve_Hotel
02Alpine_Challenge_Megve_Hotel-1
02Alpine_Challenge_Megve_Hotel
PlayPause
next arrow
01Alpine_Challenge_Megve_Hotel
02Alpine_Challenge_Megve_Hotel-1
02Alpine_Challenge_Megve_Hotel
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
02.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
03.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
04.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
PlayPause
next arrow
01.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
02.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
03.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
04.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Eden_Hotel
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
02.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Disentis_monastery_Hotel
01.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Disentis_monastery_Hotel
PlayPause
next arrow
02.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Disentis_monastery_Hotel
01.hotchillee_suisse_gravel_Disentis_monastery_Hotel
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​3
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​2
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA1​
PlayPause
next arrow
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​3
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA​2
01.Rollercoaster_GIORNA1​
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
Rectangle 302
Rectangle 303
Rectangle 301
Rectangle 293
Rectangle 292
PlayPause
next arrow
Rectangle 302
Rectangle 303
Rectangle 301
Rectangle 293
Rectangle 292
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
alpine-challenge (8)
alpine-challenge (7)
alpine-challenge (4)
alpine-challenge (25)
alpine-challenge (21)
alpine-challenge (18)
alpine-challenge (5)
alpine-challenge (16)
alpine-challenge (15)
alpine-challenge (14)
alpine-challenge (10)
alpine-challenge (9)
PlayPause
next arrow
alpine-challenge (8)
alpine-challenge (7)
alpine-challenge (4)
alpine-challenge (25)
alpine-challenge (21)
alpine-challenge (18)
alpine-challenge (5)
alpine-challenge (16)
alpine-challenge (15)
alpine-challenge (14)
alpine-challenge (10)
alpine-challenge (9)
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel
02Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel-1
03Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel
04Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel
PlayPause
next arrow
01Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel
02Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel-1
03Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel
04Alpine_Challenge_Morzine_Hotel
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
01London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
02London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
03London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
04London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
PlayPause
next arrow
01London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
02London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
03London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
04London_Paris_Calais_Hotel
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce
03hotchillee_rollercoaster
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
13hotchillee_rollercoaster
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
10hotchillee_rollercoaster
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce
PlayPause
next arrow
03hotchillee_rollercoaster
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
13hotchillee_rollercoaster
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
10hotchillee_rollercoaster
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce - Hotchillee
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce
Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 route recce
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
Slide
PlayPlay
image-slider-with-thumbnail1.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail2.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail7.jpeg
PlayPause
next arrow
Slide
image-slider-with-thumbnail1.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail2.jpeg
image-slider-with-thumbnail7.jpeg
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
alpine-challenge (8)
alpine-challenge (7)
alpine-challenge (4)
alpine-challenge (25)
alpine-challenge (21)
alpine-challenge (18)
alpine-challenge (5)
alpine-challenge (16)
alpine-challenge (15)
alpine-challenge (14)
alpine-challenge (10)
alpine-challenge (9)
PlayPause
next arrow
alpine-challenge (8)
alpine-challenge (7)
alpine-challenge (4)
alpine-challenge (25)
alpine-challenge (21)
alpine-challenge (18)
alpine-challenge (5)
alpine-challenge (16)
alpine-challenge (15)
alpine-challenge (14)
alpine-challenge (10)
alpine-challenge (9)
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
suisse-gravel-explorer (24)
suisse-gravel-explorer (16)
suisse-gravel-explorer (15)
suisse-gravel-explorer (14)
suisse-gravel-explorer (12)
suisse-gravel-explorer (10)
suisse-gravel-explorer (6)
suisse-gravel-explorer (4)
suisse-gravel-explorer (1)
suisse-gravel-explorer (28)
PlayPause
next arrow
suisse-gravel-explorer (24)
suisse-gravel-explorer (16)
suisse-gravel-explorer (15)
suisse-gravel-explorer (14)
suisse-gravel-explorer (12)
suisse-gravel-explorer (10)
suisse-gravel-explorer (6)
suisse-gravel-explorer (4)
suisse-gravel-explorer (1)
suisse-gravel-explorer (28)
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
Girona / Hotchillee
girona-rendezvous
Girona / Hotchillee
girona-rendezvous
girona-rendezvous (21)
girona-rendezvous (17)
girona-rendezvous (14)
girona-rendezvous (15)
girona-rendezvous (5)
girona-rendezvous (3)
girona-rendezvous (22)
girona-rendezvous (20)
girona-rendezvous (11)
girona-rendezvous (10)
girona-rendezvous (9)
girona-rendezvous (7)
PlayPause
next arrow
Girona / Hotchillee
girona-rendezvous
girona-rendezvous (21)
girona-rendezvous (17)
girona-rendezvous (14)
girona-rendezvous (15)
girona-rendezvous (5)
girona-rendezvous (3)
girona-rendezvous (22)
girona-rendezvous (20)
girona-rendezvous (11)
girona-rendezvous (10)
girona-rendezvous (9)
girona-rendezvous (7)
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrow
alpine-challenge (8)
alpine-challenge (7)
alpine-challenge (4)
alpine-challenge (25)
alpine-challenge (21)
alpine-challenge (18)
alpine-challenge (5)
alpine-challenge (16)
alpine-challenge (15)
alpine-challenge (14)
alpine-challenge (10)
alpine-challenge (9)
PlayPause
next arrow
alpine-challenge (8)
alpine-challenge (7)
alpine-challenge (4)
alpine-challenge (25)
alpine-challenge (21)
alpine-challenge (18)
alpine-challenge (5)
alpine-challenge (16)
alpine-challenge (15)
alpine-challenge (14)
alpine-challenge (10)
alpine-challenge (9)
previous arrow
next arrow

REQUEST A CALLBACK

    Thank you for your request!

    We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

    previous arrow
    London Great Gravel Escape-2
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape 4
    London Great Gravel Escape 2
    London Great Gravel Escape-3
    London Great Gravel Escape
    Beer London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape 4
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape-11
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape 8
    London Great Gravel Escape 2
    London Great Gravel Escape-3
    London Great Gravel Escape
    Beer London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape 4
    LGGE10
    London Great Gravel Escape
    PlayPause
    next arrow
    London Great Gravel Escape-11
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape 8
    London Great Gravel Escape 2
    London Great Gravel Escape-3
    London Great Gravel Escape
    Beer London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape
    London Great Gravel Escape 4
    LGGE10
    London Great Gravel Escape
    previous arrow
    next arrow

    cancellation waiting list

    The Rainmaker Rollercoaster 2022 has sold out. Join the waiting list to be contacted if cancelled places become available. 

    Sign up to the Hotchillee newsletter to get the latest news on rides, events and community activities
    previous arrow
    THE LONDON_PARIS by Tour de France hospitality
    20200920TDF1031-A.S.O._Pauline_Ballet
    20200920TDF1010-A.S.O._Pauline_Ballet
    20190728TDF2022-A.S.O._Thomas_MAHEUX (1)
    THE LONDON_PARIS by Tour de France hospitality
    20200920TDF1031-A.S.O._Pauline_Ballet
    20200920TDF1010-A.S.O._Pauline_Ballet
    20190728TDF2022-A.S.O._Thomas_MAHEUX (1)
    PlayPause
    next arrow
    THE LONDON_PARIS by Tour de France hospitality