Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review; The Sufferfest, The Wretched

I was fortunate enough to get an early hook up for the new Sufferfest “The Wretched” and I took it for a spin last night…or should I say, I was ingested partially digested and regurgitated as a wincing, quivering, sweating blob of Sufferlandrian pride after 50 minutes on the Trainer.


With IMAZ in the rear view mirror it is starting to become time to turn my attention to the future but it was also nice to crack out Thor; my Cervelo R3. Thor has been in cryogenic suspension aka my ECO travel bag since returning from Canada in August, left unassembled to avoid temptation! Once assembled he was on the trainer and we were good to go after a couple of false starts of lining up sensors etc to ensure my Garmin and TrainerRoad were correctly working and I was off.

As with all the newer Sufferfests there is a storyline that runs through the training, this one is that as a past Champion you have fallen from grace and have been couch surfing for the last year. With a free ride into this year’s Tour, alas all those Cheesy Puffs have taken their toll and instead of keeping the edge nice and sharp, it’s blunt, rusted and chipped! Time to saddle up, shut up and climb up!

The ride itself consist of four climbs, the first is folded into the warm up and is accompanied by a throbbing narrated assault on Box Hill (of 2012 road cycling Olympic fame). I actually found the original online so consider this a teaser…

After this warm up…yes this is the warm up you are presented with the full assault of 7 hours of European climbs to be completed in 35 minutes along with footage from this year’s Tour de France. The second and third climbs are a steadily increase incline ergo effort and end with a sprint finish with all the usual suspect in the mix; Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas Voeckler and Cadel Evans.


Oh so pretty, oh so painful…note ski lifts!

The final climb is by far the longest and actually translates into a low cadence high wattage steady effort that lasts just under 10 minutes but had me cranking out just under 300 watts, put into real numbers this equates to something around 21-23mph at a cadence somewhere in the mid 70s and good mix of climbing seated and standing! In between each climb you get to spin off the lactate with some quick 100rpm spindowns and there are a few false flats thrown in for good measure. At the end your treated to easy spin down and a doughnut…ok I was joking about the doughnut!

There is a upbeat music track that accompanies the visual with a good mix of indie rock and dance music to keep you motivated along with the usual on screen prompts; when distilled down these equate to STFU and HTFU. A newer “dashboard” was introduced in There is No Try and this is replicated in The Wretched which give clean and clear instructions on effort (RPE) and cadence.

For illustration purposes I tracked my effort using TrainerRoad and you can see the level or “power” output below.


In Garmin Connect it looks like this;


I am a big fan of the Sufferfest training videos I was an fairly early adopter and starting using them in December of 2009. They represent engaging, intelligent training and for the price are quite possible the biggest bang for your buck, (pound or euro) that you can get.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere with winter looming around the corner along with crappy weather and shorter days it’s time to dust of the trainer…it only makes sense to have some fun with it along the way!

This video was provided free by the evil good folks at The Ministry of Pain of Sufferlandria, for other reviews of Sufferfests check them out under the Reviews tab above. If you would like me to review something drop me a line at

1 comment:

  1. I need to get my hands on this one. I have Downward Spiral, Hell Hath No Fury, The Hunted, Local Hero...all awesome.

    I hope you beat Chavanel...

    PS we are brothers in the R3. Mine's a 2007, but that frame is timeless.


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