It happens every Spring - the first few group rides of the year brutally reawaken the realities of the highly variable nature of racing. What are the neuromuscular differences between hard constant efforts and group races?
Best of 2016: You feel ready. You have done the training, the hours of riding and zone specific work to fully prepare your body for the onslaught to come. But is your bike as ready as you are? Go beyond just cleaning your bike to see how to make sure your bike is well-prepped for your race or Gran Fondo.
Toolbox: The first of our 'Best of 2016' articles is a Do It Yourself Training Camp Toolbox by Matt McNamara, one of our most popular reads in 2016. Lucky are the few who get to venture south to bask in the sun, ride the fresh new kits and explore the unexplored roads on offer at camp. Why don’t you plan a camp for you and your team? Here are some suggestions.
“Analytics” is the buzzword in many sports today, involved new ways of analyzing player effectiveness and team performance in dynamic team sports like baseball, football, and hockey. While power analysis now dominates training ideas in cycling, can we use analytics in cycling and especially in sprinting?
A season review is a vital learning tool for athletes who want to consistently improve their performance. Why? When you know and can access the strengths and weaknesses of your annual racing performance and the training that supported it, you can use the knowledge gained from them to improve your plan for next year.
Face it: cross hurts! Not only does it require strong mental and physical toughness, it also requires a rider to be able to implement both skills and tactics while going full gas. This means we need some highly specific training with lots of time spent focused in the high intensity range.
Ask a coach about “winning” and he might cite threshold power, great tactical acumen, or the importance of a strong team; each an important element without question, but what else goes into the equation? In the end it often comes down to mental focus and the ability to sort out the irrelevant.
Summer is the season of big rides for both pros and amateur cyclists alike. How does one fuel these big efforts, and how good are we at maintaining energy balance throughout multiple days of hard riding?
One of the pieces of advice given most often to riders trying to get faster is to ride with people or groups that are faster than they are. And it’s pretty good advice, because faster group rides motivate us to go harder and longer.
Sprinting is a primary component of cycling for racers and recreational riders alike, but it's often neglected in training programs. Base miles are in the bank and functional threshold power (FTP) has been raised, and with race season kicking off, it’s now time to build some speed.
Once you know your own or your team’s racing schedule and you have analyzed the course, the next step is to put the actual team together and a plan for the race. What are the moves that define a well-oiled team versus a chaotically random team of individuals?
Last week at the Tour of Qatar, Team Katusha offered viewers a day to day primer on the value of a solid team plan executed to perfection, netting 3 stage wins in the process. Read on to learn how you and your teammates can begin to emulate the sort of selfless racing on display by the big dogs.
We are a week into La Vuelta and an upcoming major appointment is the 39 km TT on September 9. While the non-contenders will generally be treating it as a semi-rest day and take it as easily as it is ever possible in pro cycling, the GC battle will be massive here. But are there fundamental differences in pacing strategy between elite riders and lower category riders?
Practice? Remember when you were young(er) and you went to practice? In team sports like basketball or football, you go to practices and spend upward of 70-80% of your time focused on improving your skills. Now you train, right? What’s the difference?
The past three weeks we have broken down the different stages of a bike race, many of them hidden from the viewer at home as they often happen before the TV cameras go live. Today's grand finale takes a look at the final knife fight for the line...
Many pro races, whether a Classic like the Ronde or most stages of Grand Tours, begin in a very predictable fashion of a long “suicide” break. Most of the time, these breaks never have a chance of making it to the finish. But sometimes, as Dirk Demol will tell you after winning Roubaix in 1988, such breaks can pay off big time.
The first part of our bike racing anatomy series took us from the stress of the roll out through to the initial breakaway getting away and the peloton settling in for possibly a long day of cat and mouse. Today we look at how the pack decides to let the break go or not, or what happens if a catch is made...
Tactics and strategy in bike racing comes down to predicting how a particular race event might play out, and then deploying the best plan to achieve your team’s objectives. Some riders will go through years of racing without ever truly understanding the anatomy of a bike race, so let’s use our magic divining rod and read some tea leaves to understand the black art of deciphering bike races.
One of my favorite yet most frustrating things about racing is how hard it is to win. There are so few sports that rank with cycling as far as all the things that must align to capture that elusive victory. It is crucial that when cyclists start to race, they learn how to win races.