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Riding the LONDON-PARIS in Group 1? Ride Captain Top Tips

Group 1: Wayde Finch

Wayde started off his sporting life with a racket in his hand but then discovered Adventure Racing – a bit like triathlon but with added kayaking, navigation and even shooting. He quickly realised though that it was the cycling he really loved and was spending a disproportionate amount of his training time on the bike. 

Since then Wayde has raced and ridden everything from track, cyclo-cross, MTB, gravel, bike packing and road (where he participated in a UCI accredited race a few years back). He is by no means a professional but absolutely loves riding everything and is building a collection of bikes to participate in more disciplines – an Enduro MTB is next on the n+1 list. 

Wayde has ridden three London to Paris events, winning the GC Yellow Jersey in his first one and as Lead Ride Captain for Group 1 in both years after that. 

Hotchillee Ride Captain Wayde Finch

What’s the Ride Captains’ role on the road?

The Ride Captains role on the road, first and foremost, is to keep the group safe. They are there to work with everyone to keep the pace moving, allow enjoyment of the route and navigate everyone according to time and distance. 

What’s Group 1 all-about in a nutshell 

A fast paced, team tempo effort where you’ll feel as though you’re part of a well oiled machine and, of course, there’s scope for some leg burning efforts and a bit of good natured competition on the race sections.

What average speed will Group 1 be aiming for?

We will be averaging around 30km/hour depending on weather conditions. This is not flat out but a steady tempo pace that will be set on the front. 

That’s a bit faster than I manage on my own, should I be worried?

Definitely not, closed roads and group riding allow for much higher average speeds than a solo rider. If you can average anything over 28km/hr on your own then you will be absolutely fine for any group riding 30-35km/hr average on flat terrain.

How important are group riding skills and how can I learn them?

Hotchillee group ridesEssential! A fast moving bunch is not the place to try and learn them so, if you mostly ride solo or in a small group, try to join some club runs or, even better, some of the Hotchillee Monthly rides. 

https://www.hotchillee.com/hotchilleehandbook-group-riding-tips/ 

I’m raring to race, how does that work each day?

We will have multiple race sections on each day which are categorised Climbing (red) sections on uphill terrain and Sprint (green) sections on short flat terrain.  There is also a (yellow) section of undulating terrain on on Day 1, this along with the points awarded for the red and green will determine the Overall Winner in Paris.

An accumulation of points across the different sections will determine the winners. More details of how this will work will be available closer to the event and described again at the start of each day. 

Any tips for training for the race sections?

I would highly suggest doing high intensity interval training in the final two months leading up to the event whereby you alternate very hard efforts for a short amount of time (<5min) with rest sections to mimic the type of effort you will need to put in.  

Any big faux-pas that will put me on the wrong side of the Ride Captains?

Do not put the group or yourself in danger regardless of whether you are racing or not. Never ever cross the white line and don’t make dangerous moves to put other in danger. Anyone purposely riding in a dangerous manner will be given three warnings before being taken off the road and into the van. 

What happens if I’m struggling to keep up?

First and foremost the Ride Captains will try and assist you to hang onto the group as best as they can. If you are still unable to keep up, there are multiple stops and checkpoints throughout each day to either drop down a group or jump into a van to the finish or even just for a section. We will not leave anyone on the road on their own. 

What happens if I have a puncture or mechanical will I be left to fend for myself?

There’s full mechanical support but it might mean some time in the van while it gets sorted. 

https://www.hotchillee.com/hotchillee-handbook-bike-maintenance/ 

How important is on the bike nutrition?

Really important, especially if you’re wanting to compete for a jersey. Don’t forget these higher intensity efforts will effect how you digest and process food so you need to practice this in training. 

https://www.hotchillee.com/hotchillee-handbook-top-ten-cycling-nutrition-tips/ 

What’s happens post-ride each day on London to Paris?

It’s fun and social but don’t forget you have to get up and ride again the next day so, don’t overdo it. 

https://www.hotchillee.com/hotchillee-handbook-rest-and-recuperation/ 

Any tips on kit and clothing?

Pack for all potential weather conditions and check the forecast ahead of the event the day before. 

Final words of wisdom 

This is a great group to ride in if you’re looking to extend yourself and have some competitive fun. We are very inclusive and will teach you everything we know! So come and have some fun at the pointy end! 

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