Tour of Americas Dairyland – Waterloo

Masters 35+ 123 -  This was a nice course and a great day for racing (no rain!).  The TOAD organization is doing a great job organizing the races again this year.  Mentally, I was not in this race and I was not happy that I did not attack in the last 20 minutes of the [...]

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WI State Criterium Masters 123

This was not the best criterium for me because of the short but steep hill (not easy at 190lbs), but this was a great crit course.  I suffered up the hill because each time up it I was hitting over 1000 watts with a peak of 1309.  I had planned to attack with 1.5 laps to go [...]

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Practice Criterium May 18 2010

This video is the Madison weekly Tuesday night practice criterium.  My race ended after about 45 minutes when I broke two front spokes.  I was very luck I did not crash since the wheel would not even spin.  I was in a break with 4 or 5 guys.   I was looking back and Paul was looking [...]

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Willy Street Criterium Pro12

Willy Street Criterium, Madison WI May 16, 2010 Here is my power file info and the graph of the Pro12 race.  I added a yellow dashed line at 300 and 1000 for the power, and a blue dashed line at 25 and 30.  This race shows the changes in speed and the power spikes that [...]

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Willy Street Criterium Masters 123

Willy Street Criteirum, Madison WI May 16, 2010 Here is my power file info and the graph of the Masters 123.  I added a yellow dashed line at 300 and 1000 for the power, and a blue dashed line at 25 and 30.  This race shows the changes in speed and the power spikes that [...]

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My Criterium Training Update

My training has continued to go well.  I had a hiccup because I was stuck in Europe for an extra week during the volcano ash.  I was able to do some mountain biking during this time period but basically I had two weeks were my training was less than ideal.  I planned for one week, [...]

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Madison Practice Crit May 4 2010

Here is a recent video of the May 4, 2010 Madison WI Practice Crit.  I was in a break early in the race for about 25 minutes, which cooked me for the rest of the race.  I got a great workout in and it was a great night for racing. Give it a second to [...]

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What type of Fitness is Necessary to Finish a Criterium Race?

Criteriums are different from road racing in that they require high amount of repeated power output lap after lap.  Some course might have peak power outputs at multiple corners per lap because of the accordion effect.  The graph below is a 5 min slice from a 60 min P12 criterium.  In the yellow power line, [...]

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What Makes a Great Criterium Racer?

To finish a criterium, a racers needs to have a high fitness level that is specialized around repeated high intensity, but to be great a criterium racer you need have a fighter mentality.  You must take be willing to take risks that such that you will do whatever is necessary to win.  The drive to [...]

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Training Blocks – the key for you to get better!

I am a big believe of training blocks for criterium training because these better match how your body reacts to training.  If you try to follow the old training block based upon the 7 day week, you are not going to achieve your optimum performance because you will either go too hard without getting the [...]

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Conserving Energy in a Criterium

I was reviewing the video from the Master 123 race while I am stuck in a German hotel with no English TV…not even CNN. It was clear to me that I was following a strategy early in the race….conserve energy. I started in the back contrary to my normal advice, but I know this course [...]

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First Crit of the Year

Last weekend I did my first two races of the year at the Great Dane Velo Club (http://www.gdvc.net/) Criterium #1 on April 11.  Next Sunday is another crit on the same course, but I am stuck in Europe because of the volcanic ash!  It was nice to get the legs moving fast.  First, I raced [...]

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First Crit with new POV camera

I am still playing around with this but here is my first video from with my POV camera mounted on my handlebars.  I have not had a chance to cut his down so this is the full 60 min crit.  It is a big file so if you have a slow connection speed it will be [...]

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Your First Crit – How to not waste your money

I have been getting a lot of questions about doing a crit for the first time.  Here has been my answer: Criterium racing can be expensive but it can also be very hard on your ego!  First you tell all of your friends and family that you are “bike” racer or that you are going to do [...]

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Okay, I am an addict!

So,  I must admit.  I am addicted to my Powertap.  Late last Friday night, I was getting my bike ready for the year (new cables, chain, cassette, brake pads, bar tape, and a good cleaning) when noticed that my bottom bracket was shot!  Here is the problem:  I needed to ride early in the morning [...]

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You Crashed, Now What?

Criteriums can be risky.  There is one rule in bike racing and even more so in criterium racing:  You race, you crash.  It is more of a matter of when and how often.  Lance Armstrong crashes even though he is a highly protected, experienced, and valuable bike racer.  What causes crashes?  Here is an incomplete [...]

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How to Sprint in a Crit

Like all skills in bike racing and criterium racing, sprinting requires practice!   If you have positioned yourself correctly for the final corner, then you  are ready to sprint for the win! Timing KEY:  Jump hard when you start your sprint.  You need to get a gap….separation is critical.  You want to make it harder for [...]

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Sprinting

Knowing the situation One thing for sure in a Crit:  There will be a sprint (unless you have soloed in for the win).  The finishing sprint should never be a surprise if you have been paying attention.  Most races are either a fixed number of laps or fixed time plus X number of laps.  Then [...]

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WKO+ Performance Management Charts

As a continuation from my post about my training, I though I should also share how my 3on/2off looks on my WKO+ Performance Management Chart.  I think it can useful understand how to use this chart and what it can tell you.  I have included in this post my PMC and my 3day graph over the same time period [...]

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Update on my training progress

The last few workouts have been a great progression on my max power output.  I have been concentrating on intensity and sprinting during the last few training blocks.  As I mention before, I have been doing 3 days hard and 2 days off for 4 cycles and then rest for 5 days.  This works well because I travel internationally once per [...]

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The break is established, How do you win?

The Break is Established, How do you win? First of all this is not a team time trial because you are trying to achieve  two objectives:  Stay away and win.  Obviously, the problem is that the other guys might or might not have the same objectives.  Once the break has established itself, you need to start thinking [...]

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You are in a break, now what?

Your in a break, now what?  Okay, you are now in a break and the break has a small gap, now what?    You have one task to do when you get into a break:  THINK. Is the break building a gap fast enough?  Is the pack chasing? How many guys are in the break?  Who is [...]

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Criterium Attacking

Do you attack? First you need to have a race strategy.  If your race strategy is to win by sprinting at the end, then don’t attempt a breakaway.  In fact you will want to sit in as much as possible and have your teammates chase down all of the breaks.  If you want to be [...]

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Hard Intervals Work!

I have always been in favor of hard intervals because they work.  Here is a great article about the benefits of hard intervals:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311123639.htm and http://jp.physoc.org/content/588/6/1011 Ride Hard Steve

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Moving up in a Criterium Pack

In a Crit, if you are not moving up, you are moving backward because everyone is moving up.  If you can’t see the top 5-10 riders, then you need move up.  This has to be a key focus for the whole race in order to make the crit easier.  If you find yourself near the back [...]

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Accordion Effect?

I wanted to further illustrate the accordion effect in a pack and why you should not ride in the back.  For this example, I will assume that this is a CAT 4 pack which might average 25 mph per lap, and the corners are rather tight and technical, i.e. not a sweeping corner. Below you [...]

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How to make a criterium easy?

Criterium Rule #1:  Start on the front row at the start Criterium Rule #2:  Stay in the top 25% of the pack Criterium Rule #3:  If you are not in the top 25%, move your ass up! Here is the reason for the rules.  First, the race does not happen in the back, so if [...]

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Are you pack fill?

Let’s face it, there is only one winner in a criterium but there might be 50+ other racers in the race.  Everyone dropped 25-40 bucks to race so that the top 10 can get the prize money.  In addition, you dropped 1,000 to 3,000+ for your bike, 50+ for your annual license, 200+ for your [...]

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Criterium Training Workouts

Training and fitness are only part of being able to race criteriums, but without the right types of fitness you will not do well in criteriums.  Criteriums also require tactics, skills, luck, and aggressiveness. In order to improve the physical systems involved with Criterium racing, you will have to suffer and suffer a lot.  Growing [...]

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Criterium Training

Criterium racing requires skills, tactics, strategy, luck and fitness. Today, I want to focus on the fitness aspect of criterium racing. In Tour de France racing, the races are long and day after day. To train for the Tour de France you need to ride 5-7 hours a day for years to build a huge [...]

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Criterium Courses

 The course that criteriums are run on can make a drastic difference in your performance from race to race.  One weekend you might have no problem hanging in and racing, but then the next weekend you might be suffering the whole time and get dropped.  The more technical the course the hard it will be, and the [...]

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Criterium Point of View Races

I have found that it is rather cool to see the different POV criterium races that people have filmed.  I thought I should share my collection of them: http://www.youtube.com/user/criteriumcoaching I have recently purchased a POV camera (http://www.vholdr.com/contourhd/helmetcam?q=contourhd/overview).  I will start posting my own videos once the racing season starts up. Ride Fast, Steve

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Your First Critierium

There is nothing more exciting than lining up for your first criterium.  The first crit is an interesting experience because you will find out quickly whether you will love crits or had them.  Usually there is no in-between.  I had a great first crit and I have loved racing them for the last 20 years, and I hope that [...]

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Cornering – Pedaling

You have to be able to pedal through corners to make it as a crit racer.  In the early USCF categories 3/4/5, it is not as critical but to make it as cat 1/2 racer and even as masters racers (which are mainly old pro/1/2 racers) you must be able to pedal through corners or else you [...]

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Cornering – Equipment

Cornering - Equipment Having pedals that provide for a large lean angle when pedaling around a corner is critical.  The pedal below is close to the ground but there is plenty of room. The racer below is pedaling through a corner and is most like right the edge of hitting the ground.  It is important to be [...]

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Cornering Part II – Cornering in a Pack

When you are riding by yourself, it is easy to determine when to start a turn and when to end a turn.  However, when you are in a pack when you start and end a turn is determined by the people around you.  Many times you might not be able to see the corner so your ability [...]

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Cornering – Part 1 Introduction

Cornering is a key skill that must be learned by any new criterium racers.  New crit racers are quickly shelled out the back if they don’t know how to corner.  Even if you have good fitness if you can’t corner, you will not be successful as a crit racer.  There are many other skills but being able corner is [...]

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