The Weekly Fix!

July 17 2014: During the second week of the Tour de France Lev and Chris talk to Larry for a “behind the scenes” look at stage racing from the team and rider perspective!

Five years and two months after my last race at the National Sports Center Velodrome I returned to the races yesterday.
I hurt my back on Monday and while it was certainly on the mend the advice I had been given was no low cadence/high torque/rough terrain racing for a bit. So that put Buck Hill MTB night out of the question. Still wanting to get an intensity workout in I opted to head up the to track and see how I would do.
First event was the 12 lap Point a Lap race. The field was stacked with lots of strong guys in attendance and I figured it would be a fast night of racing but this first race was pretty eye opening. Fast from the gun I was barely holding on for the first half of the race and pretty much totally dropped for the second half of the race. After getting pretty blown out I decided I was going to need a bigger gear for the next race.
Next up was the Minnesota State Championship Scratch Race - 80 laps, 20 kilometers. The race started fast again but would then settle down for a few laps before the next surge. I was better with the bigger gear but it was still a lot of work. Numerous times throughout the race a gap would open in front of me and I would think “there they go” but each time was I was able to put my head down and close the gap. I remembered this from years ago. Even at its worst, if you have some fitness and stay patient eventually you will be able to close the gap down. I was no place near contention by the end of the race but was able to stay on lap with the group for the balance of the race which was satisfying.
The final race was the Miss and Out, which one might be able to do OK with fitness wise since this can be a tactical race instead of a pure fitness event. But the pace started fast once again and I was knocked out pretty early. Not unexpected really.
It was a fun night of racing and it was good to be on the boards again. But the drive up to the track in rush hour and the inability to fall asleep once home due to the late night racing reminded me of why I have not missed the racing so much for the past five years.
I’m sure I’ll be back up there yet this season.

Five years and two months after my last race at the National Sports Center Velodrome I returned to the races yesterday.

I hurt my back on Monday and while it was certainly on the mend the advice I had been given was no low cadence/high torque/rough terrain racing for a bit. So that put Buck Hill MTB night out of the question. Still wanting to get an intensity workout in I opted to head up the to track and see how I would do.

First event was the 12 lap Point a Lap race. The field was stacked with lots of strong guys in attendance and I figured it would be a fast night of racing but this first race was pretty eye opening. Fast from the gun I was barely holding on for the first half of the race and pretty much totally dropped for the second half of the race. After getting pretty blown out I decided I was going to need a bigger gear for the next race.

Next up was the Minnesota State Championship Scratch Race - 80 laps, 20 kilometers. The race started fast again but would then settle down for a few laps before the next surge. I was better with the bigger gear but it was still a lot of work. Numerous times throughout the race a gap would open in front of me and I would think “there they go” but each time was I was able to put my head down and close the gap. I remembered this from years ago. Even at its worst, if you have some fitness and stay patient eventually you will be able to close the gap down. I was no place near contention by the end of the race but was able to stay on lap with the group for the balance of the race which was satisfying.

The final race was the Miss and Out, which one might be able to do OK with fitness wise since this can be a tactical race instead of a pure fitness event. But the pace started fast once again and I was knocked out pretty early. Not unexpected really.

It was a fun night of racing and it was good to be on the boards again. But the drive up to the track in rush hour and the inability to fall asleep once home due to the late night racing reminded me of why I have not missed the racing so much for the past five years.

I’m sure I’ll be back up there yet this season.

USA Cycling Minneapolis Talent ID Camp Wrap Up!

Our first Minneapolis Talent ID Camp was a great success. The campers had some great experiences and we have a good structure in place for a great week in Minneapolis for the years to come!

Day one of camp saw the camp participants arrive at the University of Minnesota, get registered and set up in their dorm rooms. We also took a short ride around Minneapolis and met to discuss the camp schedule and expectations for those attending camp.

Day two was spent outside working on important road skills. Cornering at speed and identifying the “racing line”, working on 90 and 180 degree cornering, and braking drills were all covered in depth. And the campers were introduced to the great game ever invented: Garbage Ball!

Day three was testing day. Camp participants were put through the USA Cycling 5 and 20 minute power testing protocol to determine their current power output abilities. Campers who had never been though a power test before were surprised at how difficult this kind of testing can be! The testing was conducted on a fixed trainer but following the test the participants were allowed to try out rollers, some for the first time! We also covered important recovery techniques like proper post event hydration and nutrition. All participants were also given the opportunity to try out compression boots to help with recovery! Later in the day the campers were able to take advantage of a US Anti-doping Administration webinar to learn the importance of clean sport. The day was capped with a Skype call featuring former USA National Road Champion Jade Wilcoxson who discussed her history in the sport and answered questions from the camp participants.

Day four was a full day on the road. A long ride to the west side of the Twin Cities was followed by paceline technique practice. Campers were then put through bottle and musette handup drills with lots of practice to fine tune this ability. Once back at the University campers were treated to a mechanics seminar by Calvin Jones of Park Tool. Calvin used his long history in sport to entertain the campers and educate them regarding the importance of keeping their bikes tuned and ready to race. Later in the evening we took a road trip to the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities to the National Sports Center Veldrome where camp participants were given their first opportunity to see live track racing in action!

Day five was back on the road practicing motorpacing skills and learning how to deal with vehicles during a race situation. Campers were taught how to draft behind the moto safely and learned the benefit of using a moto for their training. The afternoon was spent back at the University with each camper going through a Functional Movement Screening in order to identify any imbalances or weakness in their core movements. Problems caught early and corrected will help prevent injuries in the future. The evening was spent with Jordan Cullen of the Hagens Berman U23 Professional Cycling Team. Camp participants enjoyed Jordan’s stories and asked lots of questions about life as a professional cyclist.

It was a very busy camp but everyone had a great time and learned a lot! We are already looking forward to the 2015 USA Cycling Minneapolis Talent ID Camp!

See all the photos from the camp on our Facebook page here!

The Weekly Fix

July 2 2014: Lev and Chris go motorpacing with Larry!