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The Warm-Up: A Critical Start (with Maghalie Rochette)

cyclist riding stationary trainer

Cyclocross is an intense sport, requiring 100% effort from the starting gun through the finish tape. For nearly an hour we ask our body to respond to the constant balance of effort and recovery and this requires preparation. So when it comes to warm ups you may be left wondering: How long? How intense? What should I be trying to accomplish? When to start and finish your warm up? What does a ‘cross warm-up look like?

Explore the answers to these questions with Specialized/Feedback Sports Cyclocross Superstar (and recently crowned Canadian and Pan-Am Games Champion) Maghalie Rochette. 

Why Do We Need to Warm Up? 

MR: The main goal of the warm-up is to prepare your mind and body for the demands of a race. Your routine should be long and intense enough to warm you up, but not wear you down. Cyclocross races start really fast, so you need to work hard enough in the warm-up so that when the starting gun goes off your body isn’t left in complete shock. 

I like the warm up to feel like it “opens up” my legs, lungs and heart so my body is ready and accustomed to the effort when the race starts. There’s a textbook of physiology going on in the warm-up, and although I’ll spare those details the objective is to feel like you’re ready to hit the front and stay there!

How Do You Prepare Your Mind?

I find that the warm-up is also a time to get into a good mental space – a time to get into your own bubble and get acquainted with (and enjoy) the effort that’s coming. I listen to music when I warm up. I have a few different playlists with different kinds of music, depending on the mood I need to be in. Sometimes races call for being aggressive and sometimes you simply need to smile and have fun. Either way, I listen to music that makes me happy and find this will get my mindset where I want it to be.  

This is also a good time for visualization. I do pre-rides of the course earlier in the day. David and I find the most challenging points in the course during this recon and my warm-up is a good time to recall these strategic points and what’s needed to perform at my best.

The mix of physical and mental preparation is what truly makes up a warm-up routine!

David is the coach, the mechanic, and the guy who makes it all happen – setting up the trainer is part of the deal!

 

Does the Weather Affect Your Warm-Up? 

MR: The basic structure of my warm-up does not change, though I do adapt it depending on the temperature, or other factors that may affect how I feel. For example, I don’t deal well with extremely warm weather. I tend to over-heat very quickly, so I have to be meticulous when racing in the heat. If it’s hot outside, I’ll change my warm up drastically. 

One of the things I’ll do differently on a hot day is that I’ll skip the trainer and will instead find a road to warm up on – the wind in my face is refreshing. I’ll also shorten my warm up and often I will even skip the “build up to threshold”. I may just go out to spin and do a few short sprints with full recovery between each to make sure my legs are opened up, but that my heart rate doesn’t get too high. It’s difficult to bring your heart rate down in the heat, so there is no reason to bring it up super high before the race starts.

Alternatively, the trainer is amazing when the temperature is really cold! That refreshing breeze from riding the road isn’t so refreshing anymore!  

Fatigue – does your training plan affect your warm-up?

While I won’t divulge the details of my training, there is an ebb and flow to a season’s preparation. Fatigue happens. Fresh legs happen. Some days you feel great, and others you don’t. I remember at the 2018 Bern World Cup, I started my warm up and my legs felt sluggish.  That particular day in Switzerland I felt like the best strategy was to diminish the intensity of the warm up. I did the same routine, but I turned it down 10%. Turns out it was the right call, because I felt amazing during the race. 

There are days where the best way to deal with heavy legs is to do a few solid efforts, and then you start feeling better. Other times, I know my legs are tired, so I just decide to spin easier for a longer period of time before I start the efforts. Pay attention to where you are in your training to decide which is better. 

Unfortunately there is no magic, pro cyclocross racer, top-secret solution to this problem. Making the right call takes time and experimentation and every rider at the start line of a World Cup has gone through the process of refining their most effective routine.

The best advice I could give is to record everything in your training log afterwards. You can write how you felt during the warm up, how you decided to adapt your typical warm-up, and how you felt in the race afterwards. Trial and error is your best friend…

The Details – Give Us the Specifics!

I like to keep my warm-up pretty short. 

During a race day I’ll probably ride on the course 2-3 times, which amounts to about 30-45min of riding time before I actually start the warm-up. I think it’s important to keep that in mind when creating your routine…you don’t want to end up riding two hours before your race has even started (especially if you only train an hour at a time).

Traveling to Europe for a World Cup campaign means we do without a lot of our conveniences, like a warm-up tent!

 

Here’s what my typical cyclocross pre-race warm-up looks like: 

**I do this warm up on the Feedback Sports Omnium trainer. I prefer the Over-Drive version, because it offers progressive resistance the harder you go. This allows you to pedal hard without spinning out. We have some competitors who use the Zero-Drive, and some who use both, depending on where they are in their training!

10 minutes easy

5 minute build up (from tempo to a little over race pace)

2 minutes easy

3 x 30 second build up (from race pace to fast)

2 min easy

Immediately after I finish the trainer session I eat a gel with caffeine. At the start grid and I do one quick start of about 5 seconds. That short sprint is also an opportunity to finalize your starting gear.

I feel like this warm up (less than 25 minutes total) is enough to open me up, but it doesn’t leave me fatigued.

Practice Makes Perfect

As I mentioned, we are all different, so my warm-up routine may not work for you. However, I encourage you to find one that you like and practice it in training to see how it makes you feel. I’ve done the same warm up for the last 7 years, so I know this one works for me. It can get boring to do always the same thing, but at the same time, it brings tranquility and confidence. My body knows this effort and my mind is confident this is getting me ready to perform. 

 

Thanks Maghalie! If you’re unsure of whether to use a trainer or rollers check out Maghalie’s article on that very subject. If you’d like to get to know David Gagnon, Maghalie’s coach, partner, and mechanic a bit better read this quick Q&A here.

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Heraclitus and the Purple Tiger

woman holds time trial bike on shoulder

There’s an ancient quote from a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher that (roughly translated) states, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”  (Heraclitus of Ephesus).  It alludes to ever-present change as being the fundamental essence of the universe. You’re probably wondering, “Why would Feedback Sports start waxing poetic in a blog post?” Well, let us tell you. It seems a fitting quote to an athlete who is dubbed, “The Purple Tiger”. Rachel McBride is one of our supported pro triathletes . She’s one of the strongest cyclists on the world circuit and below she writes about a recent special win…in her hometown. As athletes we often run the same trails, race the same courses and often compare our past life vs. current while doing so.  Rachel may not be stepping in the same river twice, but she’s certainly swam there more than a few times.  Find out what it was like to take the podium in her hometown for her 3rd IRONMAN 70.3 win in Victoria.

Ironman 70.3 Victoria CHAMPION!

I have to admit, I was really surprised to run myself onto the top step of the podium at IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria, as my main focus right now is on full distance IRONMAN racing this year, and I headed into this local favourite on tired, un-tapered legs. This is a very special race for me: 2 years ago I hit this pretty much “hometown” start line as my return to racing after 13 months off from injury. My family, including young niece and nephew, were on the sidelines cheering then and of course again this year. Getting a high-5 from my 4 year old nephew was definitely the highlight of the day. 

This race was a fun experiment in seeing what I can do with some fatigue and some risk taking in a strong women’s field. I have been bested in other races over the years by the top contenders on this start line. My race strategy was to go out strong and consistent to try and best those speedy women.

I started the day off with another game-changing swim, coming out of the water only 8 seconds down from speedy swimmer Spieldenner whose feet I’d lost about halfway through. On the bike I quickly took the lead, but world record holder Annett caught me 50km in, and I just couldn’t keep on her. She’s a beast on that bike! She put three and a half minutes on me heading into T2. So I put my head down and went out at that just-so uncomfortable half marathon pace for 2 gorgeous 10.5 km laps on the Elk Lake trails.

I was stoked to see my pace staying strong and consistent. Coming around after loop 1, I got an incredible boost from the crowd support (and my precious high-5!). In fact, I’d taken 90 seconds out of Annett’s lead and powered on to narrow that gap even more. I built confidence as I saw my km splits getting faster on the 2nd round and finally took the lead with 3 km to go. Once again it was an emotional run down that finish shoot, 2 years later in such different circumstances, to take my 3rd IRONMAN 70.3 win.

What’s Rachel’s favorite Feedback Sports product? The Omnium of course.

“My Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer saved me while travelling to race on the other side of the planet. In my lead-up to Ironman South Africa, Cape Town’s notorious winds started gusting at 100 kmh – too dangerous to ride outside. I am so thankful for the Omnium as it allowed me to get my workout in, despite the inclement weather. No matter the weather, traffic, road conditions, etc. the Omnium Portable Trainer is easy to travel with and ready in seconds so you can get your training in on the road without any worry or disruption. I’m never leaving home without it again!”

Find out more about Rachel at www.rachelmcbride.com.

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Three Tips to Enjoy and Leverage the Offseason – Chris Mayhew

photo of calendar

~Originally posted Jan 24, 2017 – via Cyclocross Magazine /Chris Mayhew

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Coach Chris Mayhew heeded his own advice and took a brief break from cyclocross season’s efforts, but the author, racer and coach is back. Whether you raced 2017 Nationals, have road or mountain bike goals or just hope to improve on this past cyclocross season, coach Mayhew of JBV Coaching has some helpful tips to make the most of the offseason…

What should I be doing? It’s a question I’ve been getting almost every day from new clients, friends, and clients just coming off cyclocross season. Most of us are pretty driven and like to feel like we’re doing work every day so this time of year can feel discomforting. It’s a long way from next cyclocross season but sitting around isn’t something most of us are good at. I have three suggestions that will get you through the next couple of months till the weather breaks.

If you went to Nationals this year, congratulations. That was one for the books, no matter how your individual race went. If you did go, chill out for a month and don’t feel obligated to do anything but eat and relearn the names of your loved ones. Come back to this column in a month or so. It’ll be here.

Conditions varied in Hartford, but if you raced there, coach Mayhew says a break from training is unconditionally mandatory. photo: Snowy conditions greeted racers to start today's racing. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Men 30-34. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Conditions varied in Hartford, but if you raced there, coach Mayhew says a break from training is unconditionally mandatory. photo: Snowy conditions greeted racers to start today’s racing. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Men 30-34. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

If you didn’t go to Nationals then you probably ended your season sometime in mid-December. What’s your next goal? Many people race only cyclocross, so they’re not competing until August or so. Some people race mountain bikes or road during the offseason and will be racing around April in colder climates, or sooner if you live in areas like California, Texas or Florida. If you’re planning on the latter, my first suggestion is to get on some sort of organized plan (created by you or a coach).

Plan out your offseason training and workouts to slowly build back fitness. photo: Justin See

Plan out your offseason training and workouts to slowly build back fitness. photo: Justin See

The journey from offseason to race shape takes three to four months and you’d do well to get started on that now. That’s particularly important if you plan to race on the road, which is not a lot of fun if you aren’t in razor sharp form, unlike mountain bike racing and cyclocross. Keep in mind the words “journey” and “fitness,” I want to circle back to those in a bit.

“If you did go, chill out for a month and don’t feel obligated to do anything but eat and relearn the names of your loved ones. Come back to this column in a month or so.”

If your main goals for the summer are simply to ride, have fun or do Jeremy Powers’ Grand FUNdo, you have a bit more time on your hands, which is nice. That means there’s less pressure on you to get into shape now when riding often means riding indoors or outside in less-than-desirable conditions. What should you be doing with that time? I’d encourage you to do two things:

One is to do things you haven’t done at all, or want to get back to. Cycling takes place all in one plane of movement and involves relatively few muscles. Anything you can do to develop strength in muscles long ignored (or never developed) is great. Plus, your training load is low right now and shouldn’t be focused on cycling, so you can do things that would normally leave you too tired for cycling. Start lifting weights, do CrossFit, go running, go swimming.

The offseason is a great time to try something new, like Crossfit, says coach Mayhew. photo: Artic Warrior / Justin Connaher

The offseason is a great time to try something new, like Crossfit, says coach Mayhew. photo: Artic Warrior / Justin Connaher

Get started on a yoga program or increase your practice by a few days a week. All of those things encourage strengthening and involve movements you’d never do in cycling, which are good things. Moreover, they let you check that box of “doing work” every day which is good for any athlete’s head while developing a sense of self outside of cycling. A lot of us can get depressed around this time because we’re not riding and that can be related to not getting your endorphin fix from exercise. So get moving in some form that’s not cycling.

Second, I realize that we do like to ride our bikes, and so if you are going to ride your bike, there’s one workout I’d encourage you to incorporate at least once a week: threshold training. The classic version of this workout is two efforts of twenty minutes each at lactate threshold, functional threshold power, or however you choose to anchor your intensity level schema or want to define fitness. If you don’t have an anchor, think about doing a steady time trial for 20-30 minutes and riding at that pace in that manner. (Pro tip: start the effort easier than you think you should and try to increase the effort a small bit every five minutes) I think 2×20 minutes is something to work up to. Start with smaller blocks, but no shorter than 8 minutes. Do 2×8 and add a few minutes to each block every week. When you get to 2×20 then you can think about adding intensity to the workout rather than minutes.

Trainer work isn't fun for many of us, but doing threshold work now will pay off later in the form of fitness, speed and results. © Cyclocross Magazine

Trainer work isn’t fun for many of us, but doing threshold work now will pay off later in the form of fitness, speed and results. © Cyclocross Magazine

This work is not that exciting and can be somewhat laborious. But it’s the flour to build your cake in the analogy for which I am so fond of using (see Hiring a Coach and Training for Gravel, Embracing Offseason Training and Turning Down Volume and Upping the Power for key steps to that recipe). It takes a long time to build threshold power, on the order of several months, so you’ll need to do a lot of these, which means you should get started now. This is a workout I think you should do 40 weeks out of the year, give or take.

The hard part about riding your bike right now is that you’re at the beginning of your journey back to regaining fitness you once enjoyed. And for weeks or months of doing threshold workouts, or any ride, you’re not going to be where you were. A lot of people tend to get really down about how fat or out of shape they feel during this time. What they’re doing is comparing where they are or “should be” to where they are right now. I would really encourage you to avoid that mindset. Focus on where you are now and embrace it. Spend your mental energy on figuring out what you can do today, to work towards your goal. No single workout will make or break your season. It’s a large body of work, over weeks and months, that matter.

Think about what you can do today and be happy with yourself when you do that thing. Do you get mad at yourself because you’re not on vacation right now and think poorly of yourself? Or do you figure out a plan of where and when you can go on vacation, look forward to that, and make sure you pack everything you want for that vacation? Look forward to the journey and doing the work. If you’re just looking for results, you won’t last long in this sport because those are far and few between. If you can learn to love the journey and take pleasure in it, you’ll ride your bike for as much of your life as you want to.

“Spend your mental energy on figuring out what you can do today, to work towards your goal. No single workout will make or break your season.”

I think actor/DJ Idris Elba has some good words here in that regard:

Lastly I’d tell you that even if you could get into August form tomorrow, somehow you’d spend all of February thinking you should be fitter or leaner. Learn to be happy where you are and learn to love making small steps to another place, day in and day out.

Have your best cyclocross season ever with all of our Training and Technique Tuesday pieces here from coaches Mayhew, Adam Myerson and Kenneth Lundgren and others. Can’t get enough? See our Cyclocross Academy and Cyclocross 101 articles here. Mayhew expects to contribute Training Tuesday installments every two weeks in the offseason. 

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Race-Day Warm-up with Amanda Nauman

cyclists ride stationary trainer

Though we all know that warm-legs are fast legs… it’s can be hard to know where to begin. You might wonder, “Should I use a bike trainer or rollers?” How hard should I go before a race?”, “For how long?”, “Should I do intervals?”, “Why is my skinsuit so tight?”, “Is my number pinned properly?”.  While we can’t really help you with the last two questions, we did find some experts to share what works for them in terms of the first four.

We asked our friends, David Sheek (Carmichael Training Systems Coach) and Amanda Nauman (known to friends and the cycling community as “Amanda Panda”) of Team SDG – Muscle Monster for some general preparation tips and a warm-up plan to help anyone maximize their race-day potential.

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~From Amanda and Dave~

Our friends at Feedback Sports have really stepped up the game with a solid range of traveling goodies that are also amazing products to have in any garage. Whether traveling to Europe or chasing events around the United States, Feedback has made it easier to be prepared at home and on the road. A few of our favorites are the Team Edition Tool Kit, Omnium Portable Trainer, and Sprint Work Stand which all fit into the bottom of our cases for travel.

Being Prepared: Pre-Event Warm-up

A pre-event warm-up is designed to increase muscle core temperature, start the body’s cooling processes, and activate energy systems. Here’s a step-by-step guide to activating your body for a great performance using the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer.

Warm-up

It’s pretty common for a warm-up routine to be 45-60 minutes. You need to spend some time at lactate threshold and throw in a few high-intensity efforts to activate the processes related to producing and processing lactate, but you want to do as little as possible to achieve those goals. A generic warm-up includes 15-25 minutes of spinning, 5-10 minutes at LT, and two 1-2 minute VO2 max efforts. Variations of that will typically get the job done. A long warm-up is likely to generate more heat so weather and other variables are taken into consideration.

The nature of your event also plays a role in your warm-up. If your event is going to start out relatively slow, like a road race, then you can minimize the warm-up activities. If the event is going to start hard, like a cyclocross race, then it’s important to activate your energy systems and lactate processing systems.

Variations on the Weather

There is a fine line between activating your body for a great performance and hurting your performance through overheating in your warm-up. After warming up some higher energy systems, your muscle temperature and core temperature are elevated and primed to race. In warmer temperatures it is recommended to cool down for about 10 minutes before going to the start line to avoid any chances of overheating. In cooler temperatures it is recommended to add clothing layers and maintain that elevated core temperature en route to the start line.

Go to the Start Line

If you’re going to be standing on the start line for a long time before you start, as is often the case with cyclocross races, you’re going to be standing still. In this scenario, try to go to the line wearing enough clothing or layers to stay warm. Plan to hand your clothing off to someone with a few minutes to the whistle.

The focus on staying warm during and after a riders’ warm-up routine pays off because you will be ready for action right from the start. Keeping your core temperature at an optimal level enables you to start faster, get to the front of the race, and stay there.

Taking the proper steps to activate all your energy systems through a proper warm-up, all starts with the right trainer routine. It’s difficult to find an event that allows for sufficient open road to correctly hit the warm-up zones that your preparation requires. Traveling with the Feedback Sports Omnium Over-Drive guarantees the freedom to create and execute a routine around an ideal warm-up that will set you up physically and mentally for success.

TimeCTS ZoneRating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 10-Point Scale
10 minEndurance Miles (EM)4-5
2 minTempo6
2 minEM4-5
2 minTempo6
2 minEM4-5
2 minSteady State (SS)7-8
2 minEM4-5
2 minSS7-8
2 minEM4-5
1 minClimbing Repeat (CR)8
2 minEM4-5
30 secPower Interval (PI)9
2 minEM4-5
30 secPI9
5-10minEM4-5
Off Trainer – Head to Startline
10 min Active Cooling2-4

*Amanda is currently rocking the cyclocross and gravel scene. She and David clearly know a thing or two about race-day preparation. Thanks for the tips, David and Amanda!  We’ll see you (and your Feedback Sports Race Day Essentials) at the Cyclocross Nationals in Kentucky! #pandapower

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Training Tuesday: Avoiding Common Mistakes in Your Indoor and Outdoor Preseason Riding

cyclist riding omnium portable trainer
~Originally posted Feb 6th, 2018 – via Cyclocross Magazine / Chris Mayhew 
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Hopefully you’ve taken some time off since your last race, be that Nationals or the last race of your local series. If you’ve been really good, you’ve actually found another activity to occupy your time. At some point you’ll be drawn back to riding bikes, hopefully because they’re fun for you and because you enjoy riding and the process of training. I have been counseling clients about some common mistakes to avoid, and I am working on not repeating some myself. Let’s see if we can shorten your learning curve a bit with this article.

Moderate Your Indoor Training

First, whatever you are doing, do it in moderation. You’ve probably been off the bike for a while and you may be doing other activities like strength and mobility training. Don’t go from two weeks of relative inactivity to ten plus hours of on and off-bike work. You’ll be fresh and motivated enough that you won’t feel the effects of such a steep ramp up immediately. But eventually it will catch up with you, often in terms of an overuse injury like IT band issues or a strained back.

Ease into whatever you are doing and start with very modest goals. For the first few weeks back, I just like client to “check the box” X number of days per week. Be that cycling, yoga, weights, whatever, just be active for an hour a day for X days a week, say three to five. From there figure out a modest, sustainable increase in that activity level and stick to the program.

Weight lifting for cyclocross offseason, cyclists.
photo: Barbell by Mark_K_ on flickr.

Whatever offseason work you are doing, Coach Mayhew recommends an hour a day, three to five times a week.

Next, there are the particulars of indoor and outdoor riding. If you are riding indoors, I have three recommendations for you. One is, again, to limit what you’re doing. If you’re on rollers (which are great!) or a non-Zwift connected trainer, you’re burning mental matches every time you get on. Keep that to a minimum; you’ve got many months to get in shape.

My general recommendation is no more than three times per week, no more than an hour at a time. If you’re on a Zwift-compatible trainer, training is less of a drag and I’d say three to four times per week. But there I would caution you against always racing. There’s a lot to be said for diminished intensity right now and not always going to the well with fight or flight.

Our tester putting down the watts in testing the Feedback Sports' Omnium Trainer. © Cyclocross Magazine
© Cyclocross Magazine

Trainer workouts are good, but don’t overdo it and tax yourself mentally.

Whatever you’re doing indoors, GET A FAN. Clients of mine are probably chuckling at this point as I am constantly banging the drum on this. For every one watt of power you are generating, you are dumping three as waste heat. So even at 100 watts, which is a very easy pace for almost anyone, you’re generating 300 as heat. That blotchy skin you get is blood pooling below the skin in an attempt to cool you. That blood should be going to working muscles, but it’s not.

In addition, you’re sweating buckets to cool but there’s no air moving over you to carry the heat away. What happens without a fan is that the same effort feels harder and harder when it’s actually not and your ability to produce power diminishes. Get the biggest fan you can blowing directly on your core. This is another reason to limit indoor workouts. Those fans can only do so much, and it’s a losing battle. Hours and hours on a trainer mean more compromised cooling.

*Click here for the rest of the article (and you’re going to want to read the rest).
Massive thanks to Coach Chris Mayhew and @cxmagazine.com! 

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Red Hook Crit – Team Specialized/Rocket Espresso

As die-hard cycling fans, it should come as no surprise to read that we have long-pined over attending the Red Hook Crit. The lights, the city, the fans, the spectacular crash footage, etc. But rather than make the l-o-o-o-n-g drive from Colorado to Brooklyn, (CA to NY if you count that we just got back from Sea Otter) we’ve opted to partner with Team Specialized/Rocket Espresso to represent our products instead.

This is great for the following list of reasons:

  • As previously mentioned, NY is far, far, far away from CO.  Our van is a go-getter, but that’s asking a lot.
  • This team is fast.
  • Think “fast” and then multiply it by 1,000 (as in “Eamon-Lucas-just-won-the-Pro-Men’s-Crit-at-Sea-Otter” type of fast).
  • The team will have coffee and beer for you to drink in their palatial tent while they intentionally pummel their bodies at the Red Hook Crit.
  • Having this fast team warm-up and cool-down on our Omnium portable trainers/rollers will be a touch more impressive than say…us warming-up under our tent and likely crashing during the first lap.


This isn’t insinuating that we’re slow with poor bike-handling skills or that our tent isn’t pretty, but you get the idea.

  • Most of us are Cyclo-cross and MTB racers. Crits are scary to us. We don’t know what to do with our hands.
  • Okay, now I feel badly for our tent. I didn’t mean it.  Our tent looks very nice and we offer plenty of fine Colorado craft beer options.
  • Seriously, our beer is the best.


But, I digress. 
If you happen to be going to the race, find the Specialized-Rocket Espresso tent and fuel up on espresso and/or beer.  And take in the beauty of the bikes, the racers, the venue and the crowd that’s made the Red Hook Crit what it is today. And if you can’t make it, Specialized will be hosting a livestream of the finals on Specialized.com.?

Roster: 

  • Aldo Ino Ilisec (Slovenia) – Team Captain, 2nd in the overall last year.
  • Eamon Lucas (USA) – Under 25 USA Crit champ in 2017, winner of stage 5 of 2016 Tour of Fuzhou.
  • Stefan Schafer (Germany) – 6day racer, winner of RHC Milano 2016
  • Alec Briggs (UK) – 6day racer and long time favorite in the RHC series.
  • Akinori Yamamura (Japan) – Pro cyclist.

Race Series: 

  • Brooklyn No.10 – Apr 29th
  • London No.3 – July 22nd
  • Barcelona No.5 – Sept 2
  • Milano No.8 – Oct 14th
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Proven at Paris-Nice / Stage 5

The Omnium is also being used right now at Paris-Nice by team Lotto Soudal…and it appears to be working.


Official Press Release from Lotto Soudal:
André Greipel sprinted to victory on the fifth stage of Paris-Nice! A big triumph for Lotto Fix ALL! The German champion beat Arnaud Démare and Dylan Groenwegen in the sprint.

With a distance of 199.5 kilometres the fifth stage, from Quincié-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Péage, was the longest one of this edition. It was the last chance for the sprinters this week and they didn’t want to let that slip. Not long after the start, six riders got away from the bunch. They had a maximal lead of more than five minutes. Thomas De Gendt was riding at the head of the bunch for many kilometres to control the gap. Twenty kilometres from the end, the peloton split in two because of a crash. André Greipel and Tony Gallopin were riding in the second and biggest part, together with GC leader Julian Alaphilippe. Soon, the peloton got back together. With 12.5 kilometres to go, the last four escapees were reeled in. In the last kilometres the roundabouts on the course created chaos during the sprint preparation. André Greipel got through these passages without any problems and was riding in an excellent position to start the sprint. His victory was very impressive, beating Démare and Groenewegen with more than a bike length.”

André Greipel: “It was the big goal to win a stage here at Paris-Nice against some of the best sprinters in the world. Arnaud Démare is riding very impressive at the moment. I’m glad I could beat him. Of course I was very disappointed on Tuesday when I only got seventh. I made a mistake and I was really angry at myself. We wanted to do better today and so we did. The last seven kilometres we had to fight against a strong headwind, so it was not easy to stay in front. Luckily, with the support from the team, I managed to get in a really good position for the sprint. The finish was slightly uphill and suited me well. I am very happy with this victory. The next days I’ll do my best to support Tony Gallopin where I can. Saturday will be a fight man against man and he is really good, I think he can win this Paris-Nice.”

 

 

 

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The Omnium at the Spring Classics

Feedback Sports is thrilled to be supporting several Pro World Tour Road teams for 2017; Lotto Soudal and Trek-Segafredo.  Picture bike geeks like us, at the Spring Classics, watching the mechanics prep the racers with our products.  It’s quite a nerdy sight to behold.  Right this minute, in fact, Feedback Sports is excitedly shadowing Team Lotto Soudal at the 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico.  This is the first season that the Omnium portable trainers are officially in use with our Pro World Tour Road teams. It’s as if our child graduated as valedictorian and is off to the Ivy Leagues (only with bikes…or holding up bikes and racers and…you get the picture).

Below is the press release from our friends at Lotto Soudal showcasing the race along with some pictures from day one.  Enjoy!

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The 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico takes place from 8 March 2017 till 14 March 2017. In seven stages, the riders will cruise through the Italian landscape. This year, the punchers and the climbers will get a few opportunities to win a stage, but also the time trialists are getting a chance of a stage win.

Just like last year, the Tirreno starts with a team time trial of 23 kilometres in Lido di Camaiore. The second stage is the longest of this edition with 228 kilometres. The largest part is flat but there is a steep climb at the end. Day three is an opportunity for the sprinters. Because of the slight uphill road it’s not guaranteed there’s going to be a bunch sprint, a puncher can win too.

The fourth stage will be very important for the GC. There’s a monstrous climb at the end of the stage on an altitude of 1.675 metres. The fifth stage seems ideal for the punchers but you can’t write the climbers off for the win. The sprinters will get their chance the day after. This Italian race ends with an individual time trial of ten kilometres on a flat course.

Lotto Soudal will participate with Tim Wellens, Maxime Monfort and Tiesj Benoot among others. The competition for the overall victory will come from riders such as Michal Kwiatkowski, Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen, Thibaut Pinot and Bauke Mollema. The atypical winner of last year, Greg Van Avermaet also participates.

Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We have a team to ride a great Tirreno-Adriatico. We got for example Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens who are in great shape. There are some possibilities to achieve a nice result. We have two opportunities with Tiesj and Tim and two  with Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts. The big goal of this Tirreno is to conquer a stage win. We are going into the Tirreno to give everything we’ve got. We are not going to hide somewhere in the peloton. The Lotto Soudal team cannot do that every stage but we are picking up where we left off in the Strade Bianche.”

“The stages are similar to previous editions, so we know as a team what to expect. Just like last year we start with a team time trial. I belief we have a team to aim for the top five, that would be amazing. Day two is a course where Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot can exploit their abilities. There are hills and climbs on the route and the finish is uphill. It’s not very steep so we can definitely battle for the victory this day.”

“Day three is a sprint stage so we are going to take our chances with Jens and Jürgen. Day four is the toughest stage with a long steep climb. There is no plan yet for this stage. We are going to wait and see how, for example Tim Wellens, stands in the GC to defend his chances. During the fifth stage there is another chance for Tim and Tiesj. There is another steep uphill climb at the finish where they can exploit their abilities. Day six is also a sprint stage, thus a chance for Jens and Jürgen. We end the Tirreno-Adriatico with an individual time trial on a flat course.”

“Except for the big mountain stage we have more than enough chances to go for a stage win. The team is so strong that we can divide the pressure without one person getting all the pressure on his shoulders. That puts the riders at ease.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Tiesj Benoot, Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Nikolas Maes, Tomasz Marczynski, Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens.

Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Bart Leysen.

Stages

Stage 1 Wednesday 8 March : Lido Di Camaiore – Lido Di Camaiore (TTT) (22.7 km)
Stage 2 Thursday 9 March: Camaiore – Pomarance (228 km)
Stage 3 Friday 10 March: Monterotondo Marittimo – Montalto Di Castro (204 km)
Stage 4 Saturday 11 March: Montalto Di Castro – Terminillo (187 km)
Stage 5 Sunday 12 March: Rieti – Fermo (209 km)
Stage 6 Monday 13 March: Ascoli Piceno – Civitanova Marche (168 km)
Stage 7 Tuesday 14 March San Benedetto Del Trono (ITT) (10.5 km)