The last thing you want when you start your first criterium is to get dropped at the whistle because you could not get your pedal clicked in.  I have seen this with Cat 5, and seen Cat 1s screwing it up.  You must practice doing this quickly and then sprinting up to speed.  Don’t think just because you can do this when you start your ride or start at stop light, that you will not screw it up at the start of your first crit.  If you have Speedplay pedals then it will be the easier for you, but if you pretty much any other pedal system, you need to make sure that you have if dialed in.

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Here is what I do.

  1. As you roll up to the line, make sure you are in a lower gear.  I typically start in a 53×19.  This is low enough to get one rev as I clip in.  Then I am able to spin up to speed, and shift as necessary.
  2. As I am listening to the race announcements, I position my right pedal at about two o’clock.  My left leg is on the ground.
  3. When the race starts, I push off with my left leg and spin a half rotation with my right leg in order to get some speed.  As my left pedal comes to the top, I place my shoe on it and clip in at the bottom.
  4. With both pedals clipped in, I then crank up to speed or move around people that are still screwing around with their pedals.

In the video, I show a montage of crits starts that I have filmed.  Watch the dudes in front of me and you will be able to see what I am talking about above.  These are all Master Cat 123 racers, so these guys should be able to this well.  Watch how they have their pedal set at the start, they push off and then clip in.  It is not hard, but can be if you don’t have it nailed.

Ride Hard,

Steve

Start of 2012 Criterium Season!

I am ready to get some racing in this year, but this year will be a little different than my past years.  My off season this year was challenging for a variety of reasons. First, I bought a lake cabin so there has been a lot trips “up north” to play with my wife and [...]

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Fall Training

It has been a long time since I have written anything, but I have been busy since the racing season finished up with family stuff. A few people have asked me about my fall/winter training plan.  I am in transition right now.  I have finished up my break at the end of the season, and [...]

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Tour of Americas Dairyland 2011 Video Summary

This is a short iMovie of my ToAd 2011 just for fun. Ride Hard Steve  

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Madison Criterium – Tour of Americas Dairyland

June 26, 2011 Masters 123 I signed up to do the full http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/ in the Masters 123.  This week has been a lot of fun!  It has been a long time since I have raced this much (Thanks Love!).  I ended up 7th overall in my age group so I was pretty happy.  It is clear that [...]

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Downers Ave Criterium Tour of America’s Dairyland

June 25, 2011 Masters 123 I signed up to do the full http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/ in the Masters 123.  Downers Avenue was a race that I wanted to win, but I ended up getting sixth place.  I moved up to the front within the first 2 laps because the second corner makes the race hard.  Within the next [...]

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Fond du Lac Criterium Tour of Americas Dairyland

June 24, 2011 Masters 123 I signed up to do the full http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/ in the Masters 123.  Update, I did Greenbush road race but got dropped on the last lap on the last climb which was about 3 miles from the finish.  I tried to get back on but I was cooked.  I was going to [...]

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Waukesha Criterium Tour of America’s Dairyland

June 19, 2011 Masters 123 I signed up to do the full http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/ in the Masters 123. I ended up 8 in this race. This was a pretty hard race because the course was slightly technical.  It took me awhile to move up to the front of the race, and it was pretty hard sitting in [...]

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Thiensvillle Crit – Tour of Americas Dairyland

June 17, 2011, Masters 123 I signed up to do the full http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/ in the Masters 123.  I am hoping to do a daily post of each race and how I am feeling based upon how I trained. I ended up 23 in the race, but almost made the break.  After about 36 minutes the break had [...]

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Grafton Criterium Tour of Americas Dairyland

June 18, 2011, Masters 123 I signed up to do the full http://www.tourofamericasdairyland.com/ in the Masters 123. I ended up 8 in the race, but almost got taken down on the last corner by a guy who hit is pedal.  You will be able to see him flipping over on my left.  I posted a short youtube [...]

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Madison Practice Criterium with New Biketelemetry.com data

Here is my first attempt with a new data screen setup from http://www.biketelemetry.com.  I think you will find it pretty cool. Once I get a GPS, I will be able to integrate some of their other exciting features.  To get the data output, you upload a .cvs file from WKO+ and then play around with their [...]

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Fitchburg Crit Race Report

I finally have my video camera problem solved after contacting Contour.  I when I switched over to a Mac earlier this year, I did not understand that you have to empty the trash with the camera connected.  It was not enough to just delete the files off of the camera like I did on the PC.  [...]

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May 31 Practice Criterium

May 31, 2011 I have been having trouble with my camera stopping 30-40 minutes into a race.  I tried a new memory card, and it looks like it might have fixed the problem, i.e. the whole race recorded. There were not a lot of guys racing tonight and it was windy (but warm).  The race [...]

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Criterium Last Lap Tactics

First you must understand that the last lap is completely different from all other laps in the race. The last lap is anarchy and chaos compared to the nice and orderly previous laps during the criterium.  I will lay out a few strategies that you can use to win.  These strategies are mainly appropriate for [...]

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Willy Street Criterium Masters 123

May 15, 2011 The course was not actually on Willy Street this year but was on the old practice crit in Fitchburg.  There were 15-20 mph head wind down the long finishing straight.  I spent the most of the race ensuring that I was out of the wind down the finishing straight which meant that [...]

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Practice Criterium Last Lap

Here is the full last lap with the picture (front) in picture (rear).  It was under 40F so there were not a lot of people and it was freezing cold.  I was leading out Dan for the finish, and I was trying out my rear mounted Replay Xd camera.  The rear mount and the front [...]

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The Sprint

Here is a short video of the finish for this weeks Practice criterium.  It was under 40F so there were not a lot of people and it was freezing cold.  I was leading out Dan for the finish, and I was trying out my rear mounted Replay Xd camera.  The rear mount and the front [...]

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To get a break…you need a Gap

Here is another short video about attacking the field in a Criterium.  Get a Gap! Ride Hard Steve  

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Pedal Through a Criterium Corner

One of the scary things to learn to do in criterium racing is pedaling through a corner.  Here is short video about pedaling through a criterium corner.  If you have speedplays, you have to lean really far to hit your pedal.  I actually hit my shoe before I hit my pedal. Ride Hard Steve  

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Criterium Cornering

I was playing around with iMovie.  Here is a short fun little video about criterium cornering. Ride Hard Steve

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GDVC #2 Criterium Masters 123

April 17, 2011 This race went much better for me.  I was attacking or blocking, and my power output was much better.  Pat got off in the break about halfway through the race, and Chris and I were blocking for the rest of the race.  I attacked with a few laps to go but died. [...]

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GDVC #1 Criterium Masters 123

After a lot of screwing around with my new MacBook, I finally got this video to post.  The race was okay for me considering I was still getting over a cold.  The break was established at the first corner with Chris attacking and then Bob, Billy and another ISCorp guy bridged up in the next [...]

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Staying on a wheel in Criterium!

I am going to keep this short since I hope to be able to post a new race video tomorrow. It is that time of the year.  Many people are preparing for their first criterium race ever, and this advice is for those newbies. YOU MUST STAY ON THE WHEEL IN FRONT OF YOU.  Completing [...]

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Red or Blue?

There are always decisions in life.  Each decision sets a direction and determines what you focus your time and attention towards.  There is a scene from “The Matrix” where Morpheus shows Neo two pills. “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill–the story ends, you wake [...]

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Crashes Happen – Just ask Mark Cavendish

In Criterium racing (and bike racing in general) crashes happen.  I was watching Gent-Wevelgem (http://www.cycling.tv  is great) while I was riding the trainer Sunday morning.  Sean Kelly was commenting how far back Mark Cavendish was in the back, and then like fate, there was a crash right in front of Mark.  Nothing to bad, but just enough to [...]

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My First Bike Race

I thought I should share this from USA Cycling:  My First Bike Race.  I discussed the same topic for criteriums last year.   Please join Kristin Dieffenbach, PhD and USA Cycling Level 1 coach as she helps you begin the road to success as a bike racer.  Join us for a Webinar on April 19 The aim [...]

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How do you know if your base training is working?

Base training is a funny thing.  You want to go hard but you know that you should go long and easy to build your base aerobic fitness.  But how do you know if are going hard enough to make a difference on your base or if you are going too easy and just wasting your time with junk miles?  Or [...]

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Will Spring Ever Come?

Lately, I have been writing a lot about my training, and I will continue this trend today.  Soon I will get back to writing about criterium tactics and team tactics.  I thought I would share my Performance Manager Chart so that you can see the effects of my winter training.  (Warning:  If you don’t use [...]

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VO2 Test #2

On Feb 4, I completed my second Metabolic and VO2 max test with Angie Sturtevant from Specialists in Sports Performance in Madison WI (www.VO2test.com).   Click here for more on the testing by Angie. I would highly recommend Angie if you are interested in this type of performance testing. My first test by itself was interesting but not helpful.  [...]

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My workout for the next few months

Right now, I am experimenting with stallouts after my 2×30 min LT efforts.  I recently read about these in the book by Bill Edwards, Progressive Power Training.  I am doing two variations of the stallouts based upon my modification of his idea.  The first stallout is aimed at the anaerobic energy system.   I set a computrainer [...]

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This Is Your Pain!

Watch this clip and think about how approach your interval training, are you attempting to escape from the pain or are you fully aware of how your body is reacting to the intervals?   This is one of my favorite clips of all time. Sometimes, I start to feel like the lactic acid hurts too much….This is [...]

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My 2011 Training and Racing Schedule

As an example of how to plan, I thought I would post my planning sheet for my 2011 season.  I started with my racing and training goals for 2011, then added my known obligations for work and vacations.  I have a relatively challenging travel schedule which includes 10-12 international trips per year, so it is [...]

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Have you planned for 2011?

Now is a great time to set your training and racing plan for the 2011!  When I am setting a training and racing plan, I always first consider the following key aspects: What are your major “A” races, i.e.  What are the races that you want to try to win?  What are the races that you will do [...]

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20 min plus FTP Intervals

I wanted to share some thoughts I have had while working on raising my FTP.  I have been doing a lot of longer intervals (20-30 min) which has been mentally interesting for me.  I started my effort to raise my FTP after masters nationals in beginning of August because I have been struggling at the [...]

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Criterium Racers

Here are what I call the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Criterium Racers (thanks Steven Covey): 1. Detailed Goals You should have 3 Racing goals and 3 training goals, and no more than 3.  Your goals need to be SMART Specific Measurable Attainable, Realistic, Time bound Your coach can help you set SMART goals. 2. [...]

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FREE Winter Training Videos

This is a reminder for those of you that ride the trainer in the winter.  I have the following videos that are all about 60 minutes in length for FREE viewing.  Here is a little secert…turn off the volume on the video tool bar (some day I will learn how to video edit), next click [...]

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FTP Improvement around the web

I thought I would take a look around the web to see what people say about their Functional Threshold Improvements.  Here is a sampling of  what I found. http://www.computrainer.com/rm_inc/Stories/williammangar.htm http://theroadtocat2.com/2010/05/13/threshold-power-estimation-test/ http://www.findingfreestyle.com/passive-technique-blog/breakingthroughhowanathletetookhis40kttfrom5531to5139in1-year http://www.bikesandbeansnb.com/?q=node/19 http://lowcadence.com/tag/functional-threshold-power/ http://www.bikebeerbbq.com/my-latest-ftp-test-results/ If you know of any others  that are interesting please let me know. Ride Hard, Steve

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Metabolic and VO2Max Testing

On July 7, I had a Metabolic and a VO2 max test.  I worked with Angie Sturtevant from SSP Specialists in Sports Performance in Madison WI (www.VO2test.com).   Check out the link to see more from Angie about the testing:  http://www.cycleops.com/expert-articles.html?view=entry&category=training&id=205:metabolic-efficiency-testing.  I decided to have the metabolic testing done after reading a book by Bob Seebohar, [...]

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My FTP Improvement Plan

As you know, I am a big fan of training with power, and FTP (Functional Threshold Power) is a huge part of training with power.  As I have gotten older, I have found that there is no such thing as an off season.  When I was younger, I would not start training until the snow [...]

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The Sufferfest!

The weather in Wisconsin is turning cold and the hours of daylight are shrinking…now the trainer rides are starting.  I am always looking for cool videos to help enhance my basement suffering.  I recently came across some reasonably priced and very well done training videos from http://www.thesufferfest.com.  I recently downloaded Fight Club and Angels.  Fight [...]

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4 Brick Walls of Cycling

There are basically four brick walls in cycling (or any other sport for that matter).  These walls are hit when you go all out.  You hit the first wall during the first 10 seconds of an all out sprint.  Your legs just won’t go faster and the your power drops off quickly.  Your body is using an [...]

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My Training Goals 2011 season

Last year I spent a lot time working on my anaerobic and sprint power, and I made huge gains from the start of the year.    Start Finish Increase Max 1322 1627 23%  30 sec 703 1011 43% 1 min 501 744 49% 3 min 386 456 18% 5 min 364 385 5% 20 min [...]

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1981 Athens Twilight Criterium Documentary

I loved these clips from Clate Sanders’ 1981 Athens Twilight Criterium documentary.  It is funny how different but the same the racing is.  Ride Hard, Steve  

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What happens to my body when I increase my LT/FTP?

Now is the time that I start to adjust training plans to build my athletes’ FTP/LT.  My athletes have spent a lot of time focused on their top end speed and power, but now is the time to build the base for next season.  Besides, “why do I have to do these long intervals?”, One of the [...]

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Ten Points – A Great book about starting to crit race

Ten Points by Bill Strickland I recently read this book (okay I listened to it on a recent 8 hour car ride by myself to a race), but I enjoyed the journey he takes you through.  I think you would enjoy this book.  Ride Hard, Steve  Here is some info from Amazon: Of the eight million dedicated cyclists in this country, just [...]

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Masters National Criterium 40-44

USA Cycling Masters Nationals Criterium, Jeffersonville Indiana, 40-44, Saturday August 7 2010   I did what I planned to not do.  In my last few races, I have been too active early in the race, and then I am too spent when it really matters.   In the first 12 minutes, I worked my way up [...]

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Superweek Kenosha Criterium

Masters 35+ 123 Superweek Crit This was another new crit for Superweek, and I loved it.  It had a lot of turns and was flat.  It was another hot day around 90.  About half of the field finished the race.  I attacked with 2.5 half laps to go, but there were three guys up the [...]

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Superweek Lake Geneva Criterium

Lake Geneva Superweek Criterium:  Masters 35+123 I had a pretty good day.  It was around 90 and sunny during the race so heat was a major fatigue factor.  In addition there was a headwind on the uphill on the backside of the course.  I sat at the back for 20 minutes, and then I did [...]

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Madison Practice Criterium

Here is the June 29, 2010 Practice crit.  It was a great night for racing and reasonable fast criterium.  

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Downers Ave Criterium- Tour of America’s Dairyland

Masters 123 Downers Ave      I love this criterium.  I spent too much energy staying upfront early in the race.  I faded and slipped backwards towards the end of the race.  Then worked to move up but again I was not positioned for the finish.  The second corner on this crit was key.  When I was at [...]

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