With the racing season drawing ever nearer, the weather still shows no sign of easing off the snow, sleet, ice and cold. That winter training plan – made in the balmy conditions of late autumn – is now looking to have been wildly optimistic. So with miles on the road becoming a rarity, it looks like we’re going to have to bury our simmering resentment of the dreaded turbo trainer, and get in some quality cycling time within the comfort of the living room/spare room/kitchen/garage/fully-specced-custom-designed-luxury-bicycle-chambre.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been ‘enjoying’ the ‘delights’ of the Sufferfest training videos – one hour workouts that mash together cycling footage from pro cycling into lung busting intervals. ‘Fight Club’ is loosely based around the 2009 World Champs, with inspirational images of squeaky Aussie Evans charging to victory, and the quite frankly intimidating sights of Spartacus ripping up the TT course. ‘The Downward Spiral’ incorporates the spring classics, so you can dream of pounding over the cobbles like Big Tom Boonen. Unfortunately when those 60 minutes of cycle-based torture are over, your reward is not the fawning adoration of Belgian cycling fans and a couple of lines of Columbia’s finest, but the sobering sight of your sweat pooled on the floor and a blank computer screen blinking back at you.

A highly recommended way to suffer your way through the winter on your bicycle.

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