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Ambassador Spotlight: Gareth Downey

By 27 February 2023Snowy News 2023

Up next ambassador Gareth shares his tips tricks and advice ahead of the 2023 Snowy Classic.

The second Snowy Classic is on April 1, 2023. Can you tell us what course you’ll be riding and how your training has been going?

I’ll be riding the Maxi Classic again this year. It was a fantastic route and I really enjoyed the challenge posed by the distance and the amount of climbing. I also loved the descent from Perisher – what a great reward for all the effort.

After experiencing the alpine climbs and particularly Beloka at the inaugural Snowy Classic, how are you preparing for the epic climbing at the 2023 event?

I’m not sure if being up Beloka previously is any advantage. Fear of the unknown has just turned into fear! I am simply trying to block it out. Perisher on the other hand was a great climb for me and I’m looking forward to having another crack. I had been hoping to get to the mountains this summer for some training but it hasn’t happened yet.

Not many of us have the benefit of living near long alpine climbs, how do you get vertical metres into your legs in more urban environments?

We’re fortunate to have some good climbs in Canberra, although not quite on the scale of the Snowies, but repeats are key for my preparation. Find that punchy little climb in your suburb and do a whole bunch of repeats with a mix of seated and standing efforts. And there is always the smart trainer.

Your advice for riders thinking about the Snowy Classic but yet to register?

I think a lot of riders are much more capable than they think they are. You will find a bunch to sit in and get some free speed, allowing you to cover much more ground than you would riding solo. I’m not going to lie, Beloka is tough, but it does end and there is a load of recovery before Perisher which, is mostly a ‘friendly’ gradient and the scenery is worth it. There is still plenty of time to train and even if you are a little bit under prepared,  the occasion, atmosphere and other riders will get you through.


OK, five quick questions-

1. Your weekly kilometre, training hours or altitude targets?  I usually end up around the 350km mark, Its not so much a target, rather the outcome of the bunches I like to roll with.

2. Your ultimate Snowy Classic bike and set up? I’ll be riding my Scott Foil. Not the lightest, but I expect to be on my own after Beloka so the aero set up will be handy

3. What’s your preferred nutrition hydration for a 60 to 100km training ride?  I keep it simple, a bidon with some electrolytes and a couple of snacks. I carry a gel but never use it!

4. Coffee before, during or after a ride? Yes, all 3 makes it a really good ride

5. Top recovery tip? I’ve been loving my massage gun that I got for Christmas.


Join Gareth in Jindabyne this April 1st – Register now!

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