Registered for the 2018 Swisse People’s Ride? To help you prepare, here are 10 spectacular training rides in the region. Plus, Cadel’s tips for getting the most out of the event.

There are a few reasons why Cadel Evans – Australia’s only Tour de France winner – spends thousands of hours riding along the world-famous Great Ocean Road.

The sheer magnificence of the scenery; the variety in the skills needed from climbing and cornering in the hinterland to enduring long stretches of open road; and the challenges of the conditions to name a few.

“Living in Barwon Heads I always start my rides out through Thirteenth Beach – it doesn’t get much better than that. I love rolling through Torquay, Jan Juc and onto Bells Beach, it’s a stretch of road and coastline I’ll never be able to ride enough.”

From there, Cadel said there are many ride options. “You can head further down the coast through Anglesea and onto Lorne if the legs are good, or following the Swisse People’s Ride route through Moriac and Ceres and back into Geelong.

“Alternatively, you can simply turn around at Bells and head back through Torquay and Barwon Heads.”

In this Great Ocean Road Cycling Guide there are 10 training rides mapped out for cyclists of all abilities. See the ride maps, elevation, standard and safety tips for each route.

1. North Geelong Bay Tour (34.4km)
2. Barrabool Hills Tour (72.8km)
3. Tour de Bellarine (104.5km)
4. Bellarine Bay Tour (80.9km)
5. Barwon Heads Tour (63.9km)
6. Torquay to Lorne Tour (135.2km)
7. The Great Ocean Road Tour (144.7km)
8. Lorne to Apollo Bay Otways Tour (129.9km)
9. Otway Rainforest Tour (103.2km)
10. Geelong Criterium Track (2.8km)

Like any skill, practice makes perfect, said Cadel. “The more we ride the better we get and, ultimately, the easier and more enjoyable something like the Swisse People’s Ride will be.”

Cadel suggested heading to the Geelong and Surf Coast region for a few day trips – or better yet, a weekend – to start building your cycling endurance and familiarising yourself with the local conditions.

“Ideally, if it’s possible to do your chosen ride distance in training a week or more before the Swisse People’s Ride, it will be more enjoyable on the day,” he said.

If that’s not achievable, riding half of your chosen distance at a solid pace is recommended.

On the day of the event, pay attention to the wind and temperature forecasts. “In the case of a warmer day, hydration will be crucial. “Because of the airflow whilst riding, perspiration is evaporated quickly and often unnoticeably; this can deceive your judgement of how hydrated you really are,” said Cadel.

“Most of all, get ready to enjoy the fantastic comradery between all riders challenging themselves do their best, to find their own personal greatness. I find it inspiring.”

Download your free copy of the Great Ocean Road Cycling Guide and start planning your training rides.