racing

The Card Up Your Sleeve, Part II

In Part 1 of The Card Up Your Sleeve, I wrote about the inevitability of sprint finishes in most Category 3, 4, and 5 races. Regardless of your natural ability, field sprinting is a mandatory skill to acquire if you plan on moving up through the categories. I mentioned two scenarios: when to wait for the sprint if field sprinting is your talent, and how to approach a field sprint if it's not. Here in Part 2, I'll discuss the latter in detail, and outline some approaches useful for a rider in any category.

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The Card Up Your Sleeve, Part I

For all road racers trying to upgrade from the lower categories, there's one skill that takes precedence above all others: field sprinting. Outside of pro/1/2 races, the dynamic tends to be to such that everyone is willing to chase down attacks, but no one is willing to counter-attack or work with a break they bridge up to. It's a vicious cycle; most races end in field sprints so no one wants to attack or counter-attack for fear of being tired for the field sprint, thus, the race always ends in a field sprint.

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Preparing For Pain

In my article "Why Do You Race?" I asked and answered the question as an exploration in motivation; as a coach it's not just my job to tell a rider what intervals to do or when to rest, but also to help them find the inspiration to climb on the bike day in and day out amidst the pressures of work, family, and the inevitable failures that come during a season of racing. It helps that as an active racer I struggle with the same issues as my clients, and spend a great deal of time trying to solve these problems for myself as well.

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Training In Training Races

As February comes to an end, many of you in North America racers will begin racing in the next few weeks, if you haven't already. Unless you spent the winter somewhere warm where the early season races actually mean something, most of you will start the year with a month or so of smaller training races to get your feet wet (often literally).

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Warming Up For Cyclocross

I’ve written about warming up before (http://www.cycle-smart.com/node/978), and certainly the information in my previous article applies to cyclocross. However, there are additional considerations when warming up for cyclocross that are unique to ‘cross, or at the very least, more important than they are for other disciplines. Course inspection is the primary additional concern that affects all other factors.

Where It All Starts: Dialing In Your 'Cross Start Technique and Training

Cyclocross is unique from most other cycling disciplines in that the field sprint comes at the start of the race rather than at the finish; you get your desert before dinner, as it were. Where you're staged on the line, the time it takes you to get into the pedals, the gear you choose, and in what position you make it to the first corner, transition, or obstacle can impact your entire race. You may find yourself in the lead group with no extra effort, or you may spend the day stuck behind traffic or crashes, battling to get up to the group you belong based on fitness.

The Philly File

Although I've been racing my bike "for a living" half my life, this year was my first as a professional, and thus my first chance to ride the USPRO road championships in Philadelphia. As a rider and a coach, I've been focused all season on trying to figure out what it would take for me personally just to finish this race, and how to train properly to reach that level of fitness.

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