Luís Fernandes
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Luís Fernandes
09:34 - 04 January, 2023

Luís Fernandes é ciclista profissional desde 2012, atualmente ao serviço da Equipa UCI Continental Radio Popular Paredes Boavista.

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1 - Luís Fernandes, what does Serra da Estrela mean for you and going up in competition, in addition to the good performances, namely in the 2022 Tour of Portugal?

Answer: since I can remember watching cycling and going back to Portugal I always remember Serra da Estrela, a mythical and very prestigious stage for those who manage to win and that is what moves me and motivates me to try to do it every year best. 

2 – Living in the District of Setúbal, I assume that you train a lot in Serra da Arrábida. But this one has neither the altitude nor the distance of Serra da Estrela. What additional training do you do to be able to face Serra da Estrela with such a good performance?

Answer: many people don't know, but preparing a climb to Serra da Estrela (Volta a Portugal) often starts in January, where, in 2022, I did an internship in the Algarve, in Monchique, at the beginning of the season. Then, with competitions such as the Volta ao Algarve, the Grand Camino and a few more races during the season, they give some competitive pace until starting to prepare 100% for the Volta. That passes for 15 days in Serra da Estrela at 1500m of altitude. Then it goes through the Joaquim Agostinho trophy and 21 days in Sierra Nevada at 2300m altitude.

3 – Also because you climb well, but you're not a natural climber, because you're good in all terrains, an authentic complete cyclist, right?

Answer: yes, it can be said that I climb well and I was faster than I am now, but that must be because of the age you lose that explosion. As for the time trial, it was never my strength because of the lack of specific training and because of characteristics I've been trying to improve.

4 – What training tips can you give the Granfondo Serra da Estrela participants to train over these 6 months until the day of the race – June 25, 2023?

Answer: You don't have to do long climbs to climb Serra da Estrela, you can do accumulated training, with 15 to 20 minute climbs at an uncomfortable pace, twice a week with three repetitions, such as "for example: climbing the Arrábida, taking the Secil climb, go down through Convento and Figueirinha and go up the Secil climb again. As we say, going around the Serra - 2 to 3 laps.”

5 – In 2023, we will have the Vide – Torre climb in the Granfondo distance, 30kms at 6%, passing through the mythical Adamastor, after overcoming other climbs along the route that are also hard, but less extensive. For an amateur athlete, what tips can you give in terms of effort management during the ascent?

Answer: Eat well before starting the climb but also throughout the climb, hydrate throughout the climb, maintain a pace at which you are uncomfortable but know that you can handle the entire climb. And enjoy the climb and the landscapes! :)

6 – At the highest point of the Tower, we will have 1993 meters of altitude. Personally, do you currently feel any effect of altitude when climbing Serra da Estrela?

Answer: Yes, usually the first few times we feel a lack of oxygen, which is why I always adapt for 10 to 15 days in Serra da Estrela at 1500 meters altitude and then another 21 days in Sierra Nevada at 2300 meters altitude so that we have the best preparation and recovery to face these ascents to more than 1800 meters in altitude 

7 – What tips can you give our participants to overcome possible effects of altitude? Let us stress to our participants that these effects will never be serious, perhaps some breathing difficulty, which can hinder performance on the climb, but it is part of the challenge of climbing to the highest point in mainland Portugal!

Answer: The effects will never be completely limiting, to manage the effort in order to keep the heart rates stable, as well as the breathing throughout the entire ascent. 

8 – Thanks Luis for your shares and, if possible, we would love to have you on the 25th of June 2023 in the match, alongside our participants!

Answer: I cannot promise to be present given the calendar of competitions that I will have, but I am delighted to be the Ambassador of Granfondo da Serra da Estrela 2023! Good test!

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