CYCLOCROSS: In 10 Muddy, Beer Stained Steps

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Written by Craig Randall on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Rob O'Dea

1. Dirt + Speed: It’s no wonder many cyclocross races are given the “gran prix” moniker; these suckers are fast and typically circle a short course. Think of it like a road criterium with less chance for limb-thrashing road rash and a propensity for powerslides.

2. Hand-ups: What makes cyclocross such a different animal is that it’s as much about intensity as it is hijinx. “Hand-ups” come in a few varieties; beer hand-ups are when fans place sudsy beverages in the hands of speeding-by racers. It’s like a road race’s feedzone but with a rock n’ roll twist ‘cause these drinks ain’t for hydration. Another common hand-up is cold hard cash. Want the riders to ‘up the pace and incite some chaos? Extend a $5 bill over the course tape and watch these workingmen earn their keep.

3. The hole shot: because they’re short, cyclocross races typically start in a fury with riders sprinting from a wider start line to narrower single track in an effort to snag the coveted hole. Making the hole shot ever more important is that the bulk of a cyclocross race occurs on a narrow course, impacting your ability to pass. Bury yourself to get the hole shot – it’ll hurt but you’ll have great position and, besides, pain is what beer hand-ups are for (see # 2).

4. Call-ups: Cyclocross racing’s most contested race happens before the start gun even fires. The announcer’s “call-up” effectively determines your start line position. If you’re outside of a 1st-through-3rd row call-up you’ll spend your race yo-yo’ing off the back and fighting for thirtieth place. Secured an early row start? Your race will include a fight for the hole shot and a good chance at stealing the ‘w.’ Call-up position is generally determined by your previous racing success (points) or if you’re just a memorable character. Being weird, or being a local, or being well known because of previous race heroics will definitely help your chances of a stellar call-up. But sometimes announcers are just biased. Deal with it. Or just get faster.

FasCat Coaching - Interval Question

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With the permission of Frank Overton from FasCat Coaching here is an entry from the FasCat Coaching blog.

From: James Jung
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 5:10 AM
Subject: Interval Question

Hey, Frank,

Love your stuff on Had a quick question about intervals. I just got back into cycling last summer after nearly 10 years away from the sport. I’m 30 now. As a teenager I was a junior expert mountain biker, did some junior road races and a lot of weekly rides with cat 2s and 3s. I was pretty quick. After easing back into things last summer, losing 50 pounds (I was not healthy in my absence from the sport!) and buying a new bike, I’ve been riding about five days a week since early April. I typically hit Central Park in the morning for an hour to an hour-and-a-half, then do 5 hour + ride every Saturday. I just wrapped up 10 days in the Italian and Swiss Alps (was here for vacation) and logged in lots of long rides. Yesterday I did a 105 mile tour that went over two big passes (one being Passo dello Stelvio) and rode hard. Now that I am returning to the States, I want to start incorporating more intensity into my rides (as well as more miles) but don’t really know where to start. I’d like to be in race shape by the end of July or August (for hilly races in northern New York state and Vermont). Got any advice for a born-again rider?



Colorado Altitude Bike Training help from Tyler Hamilton

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Thanks to Tyler Hamilton at Tyler Hamilton Training for sharing with us this tip on Training at Altitude if you are not from here...listen up visitors or new arrivals.

Thinking about the beautiful ride I’ll be leading up Independence Pass this weekend during the Outside In Aspen event got me thinking about cycling at altitude.

It’s important to take into account the physiological toll an increase in elevation takes on everyone’s body. I was quickly reminded of the grueling impact of pushing myself at elevation on Memorial Day. A full day of ski touring at 12,000 to 14,000 feet took its toll as I dragged myself up Torrey’s Peak. Believe me, intense exertion at high altitudes is tough on even the most seasoned athletes.

To be clear, when I use the term ‘cycling at altitude’ I’m not referring to a predetermined height above sea level. I’m simply talking about working out at an elevation your body is unaccustomed to.

Guest Article - Low Back Pain, Cycling and the Iliopsoas Muscle

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**This informative article is written by Matthew Gibble (Colorado Registered Massage Therapist), Feedback Sports Road Racing team member, and owner of Raining Faith Massage who we are very happy to have as a new team sponsor in 2010. Yes, that is Matthew showing example stretches towards the bottom of the article.**

It’s that time of the year when many cyclists are getting increased time on the bike in preparation for races which are just a few months away. If you’ve taken a break or are significantly increasing the length of your rides the body requires a little time to adjust to that flexed trunk and hip position we maintain while riding. Quite often a rider will feel the urge to get up out of the saddle and try to stretch the low back to gain some comfort. You know the stretch, it’s the one where you’re pulling your abdomen toward the bars and stem.

The muscle that is affected is actually two muscles, the Iliacus and the Psoas. Sometimes they are lumped together and called Iliopsoas. Few people know about them until they have the kind of pain where they can’t quite stand up straight or have a “kink” in their back.

The Psoas is located on the front of the spine, specifically the lumbar vertebrae L1-L5. The Iliacus fills an area called the iliac fossa which lies in the pelvis. The two muscles converge to attach to the femur which makes them primarily hip flexors. They also perform some other minute movements of the hip as well as maintaining that curve in our low back called the lordotic curve; essentially pulling the spine toward the front of the body.

Pre-Season Training for Beginner/Intermediate Road Racer

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Learn other coaching tips from Colorado Cycling Coaches

Once again Ben Ollet of Ollett Coaching has provided us with a Pre-season Training Plan. Ben has published other great training plans for us like Training for a Successful Cyclocross Season: The Basics. Ben knows his stuff, he is the coach for Georgia Gould, Barry Wicks, Heather Irmiger and Amy Dombroski... that's a pretty good list. If you've never had a coach before or a plan then you REALLY need to consider it and don't wait until a few weeks before your great event! Chris Carmichael is correct in saying, "Don't just train, train right!" Contact Ollett Coaching today and tell him you saw this on 303cycling! Now on with the
Pre-Season Training Basics for the Beginner/Intermediate Road Racer

Pre-Season Training Basics for the Beginner/Intermediate Road Racer

Training for a Successful Cyclocross Season: The Basics

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If you don't have a coach or a training plan than you need at least 1 of the two. Getting a racing plan can make such a big difference in your fitness and success, just be sure to alter it for your own type or get one of the great Colorado Coaches to help customize one for you.


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