Your Alpine Cols coach: a real professional
Our focus is on helping you become a better cyclist. Whatever level you may have today, we want you to learn and progress through your experience with us. We employ only fully qualified and highly experienced coaches, and do not employ unqualified “guides” or “Ride Captains”.
All our Alpine cycling rides are thus led by a cycling coach with intimate knowledge of the roads and an official French coaching qualification. This is both a legal requirement in France and also an important guarantee for you, not only of your coach’s professional competence but also of proper insurance in the unlikely event of an accident.
The French have a very professional and structured approach to coaching sports considered to involve risk (this includes for example skiing as well as cycling). Anyone who has skied in France knows the quality of the ski instructors in this country: cycling coaches are the same. Trainee coaches are required to undergo a full year of training including 1200 hours of formal instruction and 400 hours of practice coaching. The majority have considerable experience of racing at regional or even national level. Your coach is therefore an expert cyclist and able to advise you on any aspect of the sport.
What your cycling coach can do for you – short term
During an Alpine Cols training camp the coaches stay in the same hotel and are available to you from 7am to 10pm. Their basic job is safety, closely followed by assessing the level of the group and designing daily rides that will stretch each person just to the right extent and provide each rider with a great experience. In addition, they will:
- Ride alongside. Your coach will accompany the group throughout the ride and provide suggestions and feedback on climbing technique, pacing, energy management etc
- Teach safe descending. Some of the descents are steep, sinuous and long, requiring excellent technique to go down safely at speed. Your coach is here to advise and help you improve your technique.
- Coach relaying techniques. On the flatter sections between the climbs the group will ride together as a peloton, and your coach will focus on bunch-riding techniques to help you relay each other effectively and safely.
- Use power meter data. If you choose to hire a power meter, or to bring your own, your coach will help you get the most out of it during the week.
- Use video. We use video cameras to record parts of the ride. These serve to provide feedback on technique during the evening sessions and are also treasured by our guests as mementos of the rides.
- Share experience. Coach’s Corner is an informal and of course optional coach-led discussion focused on different aspects of performance. Depending on the interest and level of the participants, we may discuss climbing or descending techniques (with video taken during the day), power meters, nutrition, recovery techniques, interval training, or any other topic related to cycling performance.
What your cycling coach can do for you – long term
If you wish, you may enter into a six-month or annual coaching contract with your coach, at additional cost. The main advantages of such a contract are that it will:
- Save you time. For busy people, time is the most valuable commodity. Your cycling coach saves you time by designing a training programme to suit your personal objectives and available training times. You don’t need to think about it: just get changed into your cycling gear and follow the plan!
- Provide goals and structure. Your coach will help you define your training goals very specifically, and will then structure a state-of-the-art training plan with you. This will take into account your availability and your constraints, to give you the best chance of achieving your goals.
- Hold you accountable. Your coach is the objective outsider who will act as your conscience: did you do the training or not? Your coach’s role is to hold you accountable for your commitments, and make sure you put in those hard miles and do the tough intervals needed to reach your summer objectives.
- Provide expert advice. Your coach has a deep knowledge and experience of cycling and is able to advise you on any aspect of your sport, from the right line to take while cornering during a race to pre-event nutritional strategies and much more.
- Inspire you. Your coach should motivate you to reach your potential as a cyclist, whether you aspire to win races or just to finish a sportive comfortably in the middle.
Interested in an Alpine Cols cycling coach?
Read more about our coaches
Read more about the contractual arrangements