Norwegian national team cross country skiers Anders and Jorgen Aukland and Odd-Bjorn Hjelmeset got a little taste of what the Tour de France participants can expect, when they test-rode a small portion of the course last week.
Tour de France starts July 3 and ends 22 days later after 3395 kilometer of the hardest riding you can imagine trough a mostly burning hot France. The Norwegian skiers traveled to France to bike some of the toughest stages of the race.
– It was incredibly exciting. Lots of beautiful mountains and a nice experience in great weather said Odd-Bjorn.
The skiers did not come unprepared for these workouts. They had arranged for local support from some of their central European equipment suppliers, and had a complete program for a Tour de France “light” version, support car included.
The group concentrated (not surprisingly) their riding to the hardest climbing stages. Among other to the Les Saisies area. They also biked the famous stage across L’Alpe d’Huez and spent six to seven hours on the bike seat every day.
– It’s no doubt that this is good training. I used a heart rate monitor all the time and I’m not afraid that this isn’t hard enough, said Hjelmeset.
There was no time for rest following the return to Norway on last Friday. The national team’s on-snow camp started at Sognefjellet the same day.