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Zoe Birch Completes The Cape Argus Cycle Tour!

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In March 2014, our Head of Orthopaedic Physiotherapy, Zoe Birch, completed her first major international cycling event:  The Cape Argus Cycle Tour.  In this post, Zoe shares her experiences of her phenomenal achievement.  

I have just completed my first major international cycling event. I flew over to South Africa to race against 35,000 other cyclists in the Cape Argus cycle tour.  In the intense heat and hilly terrain of South Africa, training for the 110km cycle was vital.

For those who have met me already, it may have already been a common sight for me to arrive to your treatment sessions on my bike. My daily commute to patients via bicycle definitely helped my training by getting my body used to tackling high mileage.

If it had been available to me, I would have also regularly trained in a gym setting in order to develop and strengthen the key cycling muscles (I.e. Glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves) and a strong core. These are vital components for long distance rides, as you may know from previous cycle training or by looking at footage of pro cyclists.

Nutrition is also vital both prior and during races. Lots of journal articles, forums and discussion boards recommend carbohydrate loading for the 2-3 days prior to a big event, and then during the race. Around 20g of carbohydrates every hour is recommended during riding via either protein bars, energy gels or snacks like flapjacks or bananas.

Utilising all the training opportunities I could, and having about a month’s worth of pasta in the space of 48 hours, I managed to cycle 110km in 27 degress heat in 4hours 35mins!  I was ranked in the top 3rd of all the women competing in the event and the top 50% of all 35,000 riders, all whilst raising over £1000 for my hometown charity Basingstoke ARC Cancer Research.

I was thoroughly proud to have completed the event and the views were absolutely breath taking!  I highly recommend the ride around Cape Town, which is hosted next March in 2015.

To find our more about the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, visit: If you are training for a big cycling or sports event, our specialist sport physios are able to see you at work or at home to ensure you perform at your best!  Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email us at

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