A Guide to Conquering the Tour of Fire and Ice on Zwift

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Written By James Quilter

Passionate cyclist and content creator

Zwift’s “Tour of Fire and Ice” is a challenging course that pushes the limits of your endurance and determination.

As you transition from the scorching heat of the Volcano to the biting cold of Alpe du Zwift, you’ll need every ounce of strength to conquer this challenge. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to tackle this route effectively.

So, let’s clip in and start the journey.

Understanding the Route

The Start – Through the Volcano

The Tour of Fire and Ice begins with an explosive start at the Volcano banner. Here’s where you set the tone for the entire ride. Pacing is key, as you want to conserve energy for the climb ahead.

Transition – To the Alpe

As you exit the heat, you’ll transition through a variety of landscapes before reaching the base of the Alpe du Zwift. This is the calm before the storm, so take this time to hydrate and mentally prepare for the climb.

Climbing Strategy

Pacing Your Effort

The climb up Alpe du Zwift is where the real test begins. Pacing is vital – start too fast and you’ll burn out, too slow and you won’t hit your best time. Find a wattage you can maintain and stick to it.

Check out our Alpe du Zwift guide, written by someone (ie me) who has also ridden the actual Alpe d’Huez.

The Power of Cadence

Your cadence can make or break your climb. A steady cadence that you can maintain without overexerting yourself will ensure you reach the top without hitting the dreaded wall.

Indoor Training Tips

Setting Up Your Space

Riding indoors means controlling your environment. Make sure your space is well-ventilated and you have plenty of water at hand. Comfort is crucial for long efforts like this.

Choosing the Right Equipment

On a climb-heavy route, every second counts. Use a bike frame and wheelset in Zwift that are optimized for climbing. The right gear can make a significant difference in your ascent.

Nutrition and Hydration

Fueling Your Ride

Long rides require proper fuel. Have easy-to-digest carbs available, and start fueling early to maintain energy levels. Remember, by the time you’re feeling hungry or fatigued, it’s often too late.

Staying Hydrated

Sweat loss during indoor training can be substantial. Drink regularly throughout the ride. Electrolyte drinks can help replace salts lost through sweating.

The Descent – Reaping the Rewards

Enjoying the Downhill

After reaching the summit, the descent is your victory lap. Use this time to recover and enjoy the views. Your avatar handles the descent, so you can catch your breath and celebrate your achievement.

Post-Ride Recovery

Cool Down

After such an intense effort, a proper cooldown is essential. Spin your legs out at a low intensity to help flush out lactic acid and prepare your muscles for recovery.

Stretch and Recover

Once off the bike, take the time to stretch. Focus on your quads, hamstrings, and calves. If you have a massage gun or foam roller, now is the time to use it.

Conclusion

The Tour of Fire and Ice on Zwift is a formidable challenge that will put your climbing legs to the test. But with the right preparation, strategy, and mindset, it’s a mountain you can certainly conquer. Remember, it’s not just about the physical effort – it’s about the triumph of pushing through when the going gets tough. So go ahead, give it your all and savor the satisfaction of a climb well-ridden.

Want more routes? Check out our guide to the Watopia routes you ‘have’ to do.

FAQs

What is the ideal bike setup for the Tour of Fire and Ice on Zwift?

For climbing, you’ll want to use the lightest bike frame and wheelset available to you. The Zwift Insider website has a list of the best climbing equipment based on in-game tests.

How can I measure my effort on the climb?

Use a heart rate monitor or a power meter to gauge your effort. Aim to stay at a sustainable percentage of your FTP or within a heart rate zone you can maintain.

Is it better to stand or sit during the climb?

This largely depends on your personal preference and where you feel strongest. Some riders alternate between standing and sitting to engage different muscle groups and relieve pressure.