Preparation

The Algarve Bike Challenge is already a reference in the internacional calendar of mountain bike stage race. Be a finisher and get the best result as possible while you fully enjoy this excellency event is for sure the main goal. It may be entirely achievable, but preparation and conditioning to tackle the race deserves careful attention and a good dose of respect. The challenging uphills, loose rocky trails and occasionally technically demanding descents in the characteristic Algarve region environment present challenges. Look over the next few paragraphs to ensure you are ready to enjoy the Algarve Bike Challenge to the fullest.

Fitness

Riders require a high level of fitness and stamina, with several hours in the saddle each day. Expect to be climbing 1500-2500m per day on a combination of tar, singletracks, doubletracks, loose rocky trails and gravel roads with a distance of 70-85km per stage. During each stage and throughout the weekend, pacing is essential.

Technical Skills

It’s also essential to keep a focused mind all through the ride. The singletrack sections are primarily fast flowing trails, but due to the nature of the terrain, there are some loose rocky technical sections – competent bike handling skills are essential, so get in some good practice, as well in riding tight turns.

Equipment

The type of bicycle to bring to the Algarve Bike Challenge is essential to fully enjoy this race. It’s recommendable a XC-Marathon mtb bike, light, hardtail or full suspension with around 100mm of travel and tubeless tyres for loose terrain (minimum 2.2” width). If you’re buying new, buy early and don’t make any changes prior the race. Have yourself measured and the bike professionally set up and ensure you schedule a full bike service at least two weeks before the race.

Teamwork

Your riding partner is your most important asset, and knowing one another’s strengths and weaknesses is important. Be sure to communicate, often! Agree upfront on a strategy and set goals, and remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

Checklist – Prepare your race

  • Hardtail or Full Suspension MTB XC-Marathon Bike
  • Tubeless or tubeless ready tires appropriate to loose terrain
  • Lights for the night prologue
  • 2-3 bibs / riding shorts
  • 2-3 team jerseys (according to the you and your partner have to wear matching cycling jerseys each day)
  • Rain jacket
  • Gear for hot and cold temperatures and every kind of weather conditions
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • MTB shoes
  • Cycling socks
  • Hydration pack
  • Arm sleeves
  • Several pairs of socks
  • Chamois cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Tools (including duct tape, tyre levers, spare cable, CO2 cartridges and/or pump, cable ties and multitool)
  • Bottles
  • T-shirts
  • Sweat shirt
  • Long sleeve
  • Jacket
  • Pants
  • Casual shorts
  • Warm jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Shoes (1x pair of casual shoes, 1x pair of slippers)
  • Underwear
  • First aid kit
  • Sun protector
  • Chamois creme
  • Credit card
  • Check your id card or passport expiry date
  • Check if VISA is necessary to enter in Portugal (non European riders)
  • Travel Insurance / Cancellation
  • Health insurance and third party responsability (the participation tn the race include personal accidents insurance only)
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