With CX Natz coming so soon we needed one more big, fun day to revel in the beauty of a fall day while riding through sand & soft grass with our friends to really make sure we are ready to race in top form. Bridge City delivered on all accounts and the verdict is that we are all feeling prepared to ride fast and suffer-deep at Nationals.
Thank you to Erik Tonkin for optimizing the format for sharing USAC points, and great job to him, the course crew and Sellwood Cycle for introducing us to this new venue with a course that was pure joy to ride.
The course was a blast and it was interesting hearing how some thought it was good prep for Nationals and others disagreed — my take was that the power-sections and bumpy sections were excellent practice for Nationals because the radius of the turns and ability to stand up in a big gear to either rest or attack were very similar and go toward building explosive accelerations out of every turn– and the run-ups were good because we got to practice some high-speed dismounts. But the traction and rhythm of the course were very different.
All in all, those on the Team who raced reported feeling very strong and confident, and everyone looked smooth and controlled — so great work and keep it up for a few more weeks!
Why do we go up this hill as fast as we can? Because it’s a mystery that each rider must explore for him or herself. There’s no answer, only theories 🙂
The clock never lies; some perform better under pressure.
Motivation must come from within; it can be lonely out there.
The flow-experience is hard to find; once found it’s easier to recapture.
Faster is faster; regardless of heart rate or power.
Your mind must control the body; until it’s time to push through your barriers.
“Sometimes, when we train, we simply have to go out to meet the man with the hammer.”
— Laurent Fignon, two-time Tour de France champion
The Riders met the man with the hammer today. “I love this course because it’s really cruel if you don’t know what’s coming,” says Coach Bill. “It starts off steep so you either go 100% or hold back — and both can be a mistake or the perfect strategy depending on the day.”
Coach Bart Bowen reminded the Riders that a reasonable tactics is to start quick but ease in to the first few minutes, find a pace, then leave it all on the course for the final five minutes. Reminding them about how their controlled efforts felt on the trainers in his Studio yesterday they were able to visualize their pace and decide on a strategy.
Bryce had 1 min 26 sec faster time, which is over 7% faster — tha’s a great result and shows what happens when first-year riders find their flow and gain fitness and comfort on the bike.
Ian & Jake were very close in their final times and it’s a good indicator that both of them reported better feelings as the effort went on — this means we continue in the build phase and you’re right where you want to be!
If anyone had a negative time change that might be due to a mistake in my timing or a change you had to make (recovering from being sick) or maybe you did give 100% and were slower — if that’s the case then we’ll follow more tomorrow at practice about why and what to do about it.
For several years this has been our “Home Race” but with changes coming to the Alpenrose and Deschutes properties in the future it’s left us wondering what will happen to the courses as development pushes us out in the future… So we’re enjoying it while we can!
The new kits arrived just in time for pre-ride on Friday and we’re stoked with how great the quality / feel / colors turned out from Jakroo — and the chamois is excellent.
Saturday was Junior Series and everyone raced very well. Sunday was costumes and racing was secondary to having fun.
Ian Brown caused a commotion by attacking early in the Elite Men Race to lead for three laps.
Caiden, Henry, Peter, Jack, Kylie have all led the Junior Series for their age groups this season so they’ve been racing in the Leader’s Jerseys!
We helped out with the course crossings both days — thanks to the parents and riders who kept everyone safe!
Here’s why the our trip to the US Open of Cyclocross in Boulder is so important to our entire team:
Tanner, Sam and Elijah are now much more confident about their rankings and abilities compared to the other fast juniors who make this event a priority. We can extrapolate that out for each of you on the team to have a better sense of which riders you’ll be matched up against at Nationals so we can set more realistic expectations.
We talked to so many good folks involved with Cyclocross from Juniors to Pros and all of those conversations fuel our program and ensure we’re on the right track for success, plus, it’s really fun building those relationships because Cross is so supportive and welcoming that everyone really is cheering for all competitors and having a great day at the races.
The racing was really hard. The efforts these riders had to produce pushes their boundaries and when they return to practice you will see they have changed. Follow their lead, learn from their lessons and you, too, will change, grow and go faster!
One of the best things from the weekend was having friends and alumni hanging out with us the entire time! Katie Ryan (CU Boulder and raced Saturday), Sophie Russenberger (Ft. Lewis racing PRO Women), Joe Lukens (CU Boulder) and Henry Jones (Colorado College) were all there to encourage our riders and make it fun. Special thanks to the Rage Cycling Team for always helping us out with tent space and sharing their passion for developing juniors when we’re in Boulder!
This Cyclocross Race Predictor is quite accurate so you can check your ranking there to get a baseline sense of where you are nationally — even if the race is not predicted you can just go by their points scale, with lower being better.
Everyone Faster: There are fast Juniors in every age group for boys and girls and the level of riding is always creeping up so it’s important that our younger riders ride with our older more experienced riders to benefit from their lessons learned and application of skills.
U23’s = PRO’s: The pro men field was dominated by the U23 riders and it’s similar with some younger women making the top ten, so the positive way to see that is that younger riders are coming to the Pro ranks with very good skills and fitness because their programs and training are serving them well. But a negative reality is also that it’s very hard to make a living as a domestic pro right now and many “pro’s” are giving up after a season or two so the field is not actually growing year over year. Even talking with Lance Haidet after he won Pro Men on Saturday it’s a big concern of his for next season; once he’s finished with college he might have to get a real job and be done racing pro because winning races won’t pay his bills.
Tactics: Sam, Tanner and Elijah all used slightly different tactics for pacing, racing and warm up. There is no right answer, but what makes me proud is that they’re becoming more autonomous every race and can advocate for themselves by listening to their bodies, pushing their limits and reading the race from start to finish. All you must keep discussing your tactics and learn from other because often these things are not apparent until you verbalize it.
Our Reputation in Bend: Once again it’s clear we’re doing something right when it comes to skills and fitness that our riders have so don’t stress the details, just follow the plan, have fun, listen to your body and good results will come. I received many compliments from other team directors on how smooth, strong and personable our riders are. Your team’s reputation precedes you 😉 so enjoy it, say hello to everyone, be outgoing, make friends at the start line, and remember that the race is temporary but the friendships can last a lifetime.
George and Elijah drove our bikes out so that Tanner, Carrie & Sam and I could fly direct on Thursday to make logistics pretty simple and affordable. We arrived to freezing temps and snow in Denver.
Friday we slept in, ate good food, rode bike paths around town, watched the snow melt, fixed bikes, walked the track and had a really relaxed day. We discussed tactics and warm ups based on the course and picked some riders to mark and follow in the race.
Saturday morning, Carrie finished 3rd in her race! The rest of us took it easy and rode to the venue by noon, met up with Joe, Katie, Sophie and a few other Bend riders, then Tanner took 2nd in his race and Elijah was 5th and Sam 12th. Sam and Elijah won cash and Elijah earned 6 UCI points, which was the reason we wanted to attend. This allows him a much improved start position at Nationals. Sam crashed on the gravel coming into the finish so adding that impact to a very hard effort at elevation put him in a pretty big hole but he pushed through and recovered by the next morning. Tanner played his timing very well and out sprinted two Boulder locals at the line. Elijah had to dig deep after a mediocre start but because the top-ten were pretty spread out he rode a lot alone and didn’t want to push to 100% so he was ok getting out-sprinted for fifth. Course was dry, fast and lots of turns that shut down speed with a staircase that loaded everyone’s legs and lungs to the max. Direction reversed for Sunday which made the flat sections a little slower and loaded the hills & stairs all at the end just before the finish.
Sunday same schedule, Carrie placed 3rd again and Henry came up from Colorado Springs to help cheer. Tanner had a few more riders in front of him at the start but by the end of the second lap had passed most of them and was riding in 4th. He paced very well and had to give a very deep effort to push through being tired to keep his pace high. Sam’s plan was to smile at the start to stay calm, push a bigger gear on the flats and not blow up on the hills so he could push faster across the flats and it worked very well for him. He lined up 14th and finished 14th, which is what the race predictor said, but his improvements in speed and confidence were huge and he was much faster and consistent despite being a little tired from Saturday. Elijah didn’t have a call up, started 3rd row, and worked his way into 7th by the end of the first lap. Two top-ranked riders who had mechanicals on Saturday were fresh and on the attack. Second place rider from Saturday looked very tired and Elijah passed him on lap 3 and another to move into 5th. He managed another pass, moving into 3rd, but now he was absolutely giving 100% on the hills before the finish and rather than puke on the stairs he said he had to back off for a few seconds — so he finished a very amazing 4th and earned another 7 UCI points and almost $70 cash.
No mechanicals, no bike exchanges, no complaints, no excuses. These guys handled themselves with grace, appreciation and respect that made this a super great experience.
When I first drove to Boulder in 2010 with a few juniors we had very little experience at that level, it was a huge deal just to pull off the trip, and we had respectable results but it ultimately set the stage for how we wanted to approach our training and goals — so to see it coming full circle with Sophie and Lance in the pro races, Henry (who finished 4th and 2nd there as 15-16 Junior) cheering on and helping the guys, I’m super proud of all of them for being such rad people and I’m glad they enjoy this sport that pushes riders through total agony into new realms of personal discovery, friendships and adventure.
All Youth, Juniors and Families are invited to come for a ride, enjoy some food & drinks and learn about next season’s offerings from Cog Wild and Cascadia Junior Cycling in partnership with Bowen Sports Performance.
Guided Mountain Bike Group Ride for Riders Age 10+ or any age with a Parent; adults welcome on the ride, too!
Gravel / CX: Juniors 10+ & Adults are Invited to Ride with the Cyclocross Team on CX or Gravel Bikes
RSVP for the Ride to Bill@CogWild.com with the Ages and # in your party
Reception with Food & Drinks open to Everyone: 5 – 6:30 PM
Everyone is invited to come meet the Coaches, Guides, Riders & other Families!
We’ll provide Veggie & Meat Burgers, Humm Kombucha, Deschutes Beer for 21+
Our Cyclocross Team will provide potluck sides and desserts to share
RSVP for food to Bill@CogWild.com with the # in your party
Meet the Coaches & Guides
Several coaches, staff and guides will be present to mix in on the rides and chat afterward. We’ll do intro & presentation around 5:30 PM.
Lev Styker, owner of Cog Wild
Bill Warburton, Junior Team Manager & Coach
Caleb Brackett, Enduro & Youth Coach
Bart Bowen, owner of Bowen Sports Performance
2020 Coaches will include Porsha Murdock, Tom Mazaitis, Cory Poulin, Landon Farnworth, John Frey, Holly Wenzel, Brenna Warburton and many other talented mentors. If you’re interested in joining the coaching or guiding team please get in touch.
Please share this invitation with any other families who might be interested in learning about our plans for next year.
Conditions were very nice for our Tyler’s Uphill TT this week with mostly firm dirt and luckily the snow melted…
10 Riders made an attempt. Those with experience were going for fastest time with overall highest average speed, while others might have been going for maximum suffering, or doing their first such individual timed event. No matter where riders placed it’s about improving our next attempt in November.
“I need to give everyone mad props on their willingness to do this,” says Coach Bill. “Suffering like this is an exploration into the unknown each time and while some riders crave this kind of effort others wish they’d skipped practice today.”
And the results are:
To compare (which is never fair since conditions always change) the fastest top 4 times we have on this 2.4 mile course are:
Henry Jones 11:42 in 2017
Ian Brown 12:34 in 2018
Jake Olander 13:05 in 2018
Gavin Bowen 13:08 in 2017
So how do you go faster on this course? Some possibilities include:
Get on top of a larger gear = more distance per pedal stroke
Push your efforts to go faster “over the crest” and “across the flats” to maximize time spent at a higher speed
Ease off on the steepest climbs so you don’t explode half-way up — work into the climb instead of charging the entrance
Vary your standing and sitting more — don’t get locked in doing only 1 technique
Look ahead and read the terrain so you can pump, select gears and get micro-rests or speed-boosts
Get a good 1 minute hard effort of 8 or 9 out of 10 before you start so you’re really ready to charge the first section
Breathe Out = Power Out. When you’re up into the red zone you MUST breathe out harder and faster to clear your lungs which are filling up from the inside.
Good posture. Use your strength to resist gravity. Use your mind to resist the pain.