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The 41 refugee thread

Old 08-12-10, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy
I should mention this just to annoy the big guys (or maybe to inspire you)

one of our local ex-pros is Mike Jones, who was on Healthnet during the years with Moninger, Frasier etc (see the movie Pro). He is a BIG guy. Over 200lbs at the moment, and at the height of his career he was still 180 and had very little body fat.

He is/was a climber though. Some of his best finishes were in the pro race at Tour of the Gila. Look it up.
He's pretty damn funny too....

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Old 08-12-10, 12:19 PM
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more gems

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Old 08-12-10, 12:32 PM
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I'm 5'10" 170 and have been working on my sprinting. I've been doing regular sets of Cavendish intervals: find a nice straight moderate downhill (an overpass works well for us flatlanders) and pedal easily but get up to launch speed and when you hit the bottom, go all out for 100m.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
I'm 5'10" 170 and have been working on my sprinting. I've been doing regular sets of Cavendish intervals: find a nice straight moderate downhill (an overpass works well for us flatlanders) and pedal easily but get up to launch speed and when you hit the bottom, go all out for 100m.
I love doing that, I just have to mind not to do it all of the time because on group rides I used to go all out on the moderate downhills much to the frustration of the others.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BasicJim
He's pretty damn funny too....

Red Dog brings back some good memories.
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Old 08-12-10, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by roadiejorge
I love doing that, I just have to mind not to do it all of the time because on group rides I used to go all out on the moderate downhills much to the frustration of the others.
We're going to yell at you.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:24 PM
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Speaking of sprinting, I've had something on my mind that's been bothering me.

On my weekly sprint training day, I am able to effectively hit around 36.5 mph on a very slight uphill. However, during the weekly practice crits, I have not once been able to break 30 mph on the sprint. Not a single time!

I have no power meter so I can't produce any quantitative figures to support my claims, but I'm confident it has to do with me messing up the gearing.

Do you guys walk the course before a race, and pick a sprint point/try to estimate which cog to spin?
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Old 08-12-10, 01:38 PM
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i like to have a go mark where i want my leadout to drop me off. my sprint is pretty short. if i can i like to ride the course finish to know where i want to be going into and coming out of the final turn, and count out 20 - 25 pedal bottoms (1/2 a revolution) to the finish, and find a visual cue to remember from that point. i also like to scout out which direction the wind is coming from, and which side of the finish stretch will likely be most "open" for moving around. it's bad to jump and try to come around someone on their windward side.

you're probably more fatigued at the end of a practice crit than you are during a sprint workout. ideally during a sprint workout, each sprint is contested with pretty fresh legs.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by roadiejorge
I love doing that, I just have to mind not to do it all of the time because on group rides I used to go all out on the moderate downhills much to the frustration of the others.
Originally Posted by caloso
We're going to yell at you.
nah, dropping him while he recovers is better
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Old 08-12-10, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdays
Speaking of sprinting, I've had something on my mind that's been bothering me.

On my weekly sprint training day, I am able to effectively hit around 36.5 mph on a very slight uphill. However, during the weekly practice crits, I have not once been able to break 30 mph on the sprint. Not a single time!

I have no power meter so I can't produce any quantitative figures to support my claims, but I'm confident it has to do with me messing up the gearing.

Do you guys walk the course before a race, and pick a sprint point/try to estimate which cog to spin?
always better to be undergeared & shift up than to be overgeared & shift down. when i'm going slightly uphill to hit 30mph, i probably start at 120rpm at 50x17, go up to 15 and then 14. by the time i hit the 13, im turning over at 95-100rpm
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Old 08-12-10, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdays
Do you guys walk the course before a race, and pick a sprint point/try to estimate which cog to spin?
I usually ride backwards on the course in a gear that I think is reasonable for a sprint. Slight uphill, 12 or 13T. Flat, 12T. More than slight uphill, 14T. Add a tooth if lots of wind. I'm assuming I jump at a lower speed, like 30 mph minimum, 35-38 mph as a high start speed.

I used to use the 20 rev mark as a guide on where to jump.

Many years ago I spent a few long trainer sessions counting pedal revs in Tour stage finishes. What I learned is that most of the stages are won by guys going in the wind for 8-12 revs. The last stage, where no one is worried about racing the next day, they go about 20-24 revs.

I decided to shorten my goal sprints to about 10-15 revs. It's a bit short, but for someone with a jump, it's reasonable. It's worrisome but the first big race I did I placed really high and I only went 10 revs or so. In the Prospect Park cam, I sprint for like 3 revs because I got boxed in - I think I got by one guy in that "sprint".

Now, since my jump is non-existent, I need to go back to the 20 rev distance.

For race vs training sprints, I can tell you the following:
1. In races, I rarely break 1200 watts peak in a sprint. But usually my peak power comes from an early acceleration (first or second lap). My sprints tend to be 1000-1100 peak in races. I won a Tues Worlds (race, not a ride) leading out and holding 900w. I couldn't believe no one came around me.
2. In training sprints, I've gone 1550+, 1300-1350 regularly. My record sprints usually come at the end of very long, very hard rides (4-5 hours long, which for me is long).
3. Leadouts are 800w for the easier ones. The real ones are at full sprint, 1200w jump, 1000 watts for 20+ seconds. I have yet to do a real leadout because I haven't had a teammate on my wheel at the right time.

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Old 08-12-10, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich
nah, dropping him while he recovers is better
That happened with the group I've been riding with last year when I sprinted on 9W (downhill section by the CNBC building) and popped on the small incline by the gas station. As the rest of the riders rode by the group leader says "not bad, but what are you going to do now?". Needless to say I sat at the back for a while to recover.

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Old 08-12-10, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing
I usually ride backwards on the course in a gear that I think is reasonable for a sprint. Slight uphill, 12 or 13T. Flat, 12T. More than slight uphill, 14T. Add a tooth if lots of wind. I'm assuming I jump at a lower speed, like 30 mph minimum, 35-38 mph as a high start speed.

I used to use the 20 rev mark as a guide on where to jump.

Many years ago I spent a few long trainer sessions counting pedal revs in Tour stage finishes. What I learned is that most of the stages are won by guys going in the wind for 8-12 revs. The last stage, where no one is worried about racing the next day, they go about 20-24 revs.

I decided to shorten my goal sprints to about 10-15 revs. It's a bit short, but for someone with a jump, it's reasonable. It's worrisome but the first big race I did I placed really high and I only went 10 revs or so. In the Prospect Park cam, I sprint for like 3 revs because I got boxed in - I think I got by one guy in that "sprint".

Now, since my jump is non-existent, I need to go back to the 20 rev distance.

For race vs training sprints, I can tell you the following:
1. In races, I rarely break 1200 watts peak in a sprint. But usually my peak power comes from an early acceleration (first or second lap). My sprints tend to be 1000-1100 peak in races. I won a Tues Worlds (race, not a ride) leading out and holding 900w. I couldn't believe no one came around me.
2. In training sprints, I've gone 1550+, 1300-1350 regularly. My record sprints usually come at the end of very long, very hard rides (4-5 hours long, which for me is long).
3. Leadouts are 800w for the easier ones. The real ones are at full sprint, 1200w jump, 1000 watts for 20+ seconds. I have yet to do a real leadout because I haven't had a teammate on my wheel at the right time.

cdr
I'm the exact opposite, I just wing it.

As for race vs training numbers, mine don't tend to differ all that much. My highest ever 5s was from a very short track style race (on my road bike) up against a two time collegiate crit champ - in other words, the competition always gives me a few extra watts, even if I'm tired.

At the end of long, fast races (p/1, 75+ minutes) my 5s tends to end up in the 1250-1300 (bit over 20w/kg). Shorter races I can always get over 1300 with a bit of motivation.

When I do sprints in training, 1300-1350 is typical. So like I said, not much change.

If you're seeing big drops in races, it's probably an issue of 60s-5 minute power, not sprint power. That last minute/lap is killing you, and killing your sprint.
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Old 08-12-10, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy
Do you know or can you get in touch with Brice Jones? Wondering about his post in cyclingnews about the Elite Nationals in 2002. It's gone now from the site.
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Old 08-12-10, 02:51 PM
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Thanks for the help.

I'm positive that you're right about my 60s-5 min power, Ze.

On another note (sorry if I'm hogging here), another huge concern of mine has been my power on thoroughly flat routes.

A few times a week, I ride with a few close friends of mine who started cycling at the same time. They took it more seriously, and one of them is a Cat 2 currently, while the other two are Cat 3's. As you can imagine, these rides are killers for me. All three of them are immensely stronger than I am, and are built differently from myself.

I'm not at all surprised that they drop me like a fly on the flats, however, my confusion comes with the fact that I always catch them on the climbs. The route we run is a loop, which is almost completely flat, but with one 2 mile climb that averages about 7%, with some very steep points that top out at 13%.

I'm not well rehearsed on the specifics of strengths and weaknesses in cycling, so I'm a bit lost at what this means. Furthermore, I've been trying to transfer some of my climbing prowess into straight up power, so I've been hard at work with intervals. I'm doing them without a pm, so I only have my pre to quantify my efforts. If I continue doing this through winter, will I see noticeable gains next season? Or are there just things that I'm not going to be good at?
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Old 08-12-10, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Do you know or can you get in touch with Brice Jones? Wondering about his post in cyclingnews about the Elite Nationals in 2002. It's gone now from the site.
if I can get in touch with Mike... he's been hard to reach lately.
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Old 08-12-10, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdays
I'm not at all surprised that they drop me like a fly on the flats, however, my confusion comes with the fact that I always catch them on the climbs. The route we run is a loop, which is almost completely flat, but with one 2 mile climb that averages about 7%, with some very steep points that top out at 13%.

I'm not well rehearsed on the specifics of strengths and weaknesses in cycling, so I'm a bit lost at what this means. Furthermore, I've been trying to transfer some of my climbing prowess into straight up power, so I've been hard at work with intervals. I'm doing them without a pm, so I only have my pre to quantify my efforts. If I continue doing this through winter, will I see noticeable gains next season? Or are there just things that I'm not going to be good at?
IMO, it's mostly just a matter of training your weakness. I've always been a much more comfortable on the climbs but this season spent a lot more time not climbing, doing a lot of tempo/threshold on flat to rolling terrain, and I've gotten to be much more comfortable cranking out power on flatter ground.
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Old 08-12-10, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdays
Thanks for the help.

I'm positive that you're right about my 60s-5 min power, Ze.

On another note (sorry if I'm hogging here), another huge concern of mine has been my power on thoroughly flat routes.

A few times a week, I ride with a few close friends of mine who started cycling at the same time. They took it more seriously, and one of them is a Cat 2 currently, while the other two are Cat 3's. As you can imagine, these rides are killers for me. All three of them are immensely stronger than I am, and are built differently from myself.

I'm not at all surprised that they drop me like a fly on the flats, however, my confusion comes with the fact that I always catch them on the climbs. The route we run is a loop, which is almost completely flat, but with one 2 mile climb that averages about 7%, with some very steep points that top out at 13%.

I'm not well rehearsed on the specifics of strengths and weaknesses in cycling, so I'm a bit lost at what this means. Furthermore, I've been trying to transfer some of my climbing prowess into straight up power, so I've been hard at work with intervals. I'm doing them without a pm, so I only have my pre to quantify my efforts. If I continue doing this through winter, will I see noticeable gains next season? Or are there just things that I'm not going to be good at?
If you're just concerned about not getting dropped on the flats, experience and awareness are going to be just as important as raw power. Paying attention to wind direction and speed, looking for the wheels of the big strong guys, and knowing when to burn a match or two -- these will get a climber through the flats just as well.
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Old 08-13-10, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso
If you're just concerned about not getting dropped on the flats, experience and awareness are going to be just as important as raw power. Paying attention to wind direction and speed, looking for the wheels of the big strong guys, and knowing when to burn a match or two -- these will get a climber through the flats just as well.
Great points. It takes power to be able to climb at pace, so you probably have the power, and just need to refine these techniques and do some speed work. On these group rides, don't be afraid to go into the red, and don't be afraid to get dropped. Have an exit plan. Hang in as long as you can when they push the tempo. Start by tailgunning and working your way up to the front if and when you can. You'll only get faster by pushing yourself hard to get faster. A local weekly time trial can help you gauge your progress and build speed as well.
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Old 08-13-10, 07:10 AM
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I'm pretty small and light so I have to deal with this fairly often.

I have found that I am better off being aggressive and taking some pulls on the flats instead of hanging in the back. It helps to utilize your smaller frontal area as much as possible (read: chewing on the bars)

Time trial practice helps. I have even been in situations where big guys were complaining that they could not hold my wheel (probably due to the crappy draft they get when I am really low, rather than sheer power)

another thing to think about is (when a gap opens and you are on the wrong end of it)....

"it might hurt like a sonofa***** for a few seconds to push hard to close this gap but it will hurt more to get dropped and be alone for an hour"
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Old 08-13-10, 07:13 AM
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Carpediem,

Those videos are incredible, not to mention, addictive. I'm brand new to cycling and knew literally nothing about crits before watching your videos, so they have been truly invaluable. I had no clue the amount of strategy that goes into these races.

The downside (for my wife, and eventually, our bank account) is that you have me hooked and I can't wait to finish my base miles and start training hard for some races late winter/early spring if I'm ready by then. Is there a place where you have all your videos? Thus far, I've just used the search function, with varying levels of success. Thanks.
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Old 08-13-10, 08:04 AM
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Blackdays- as a rider who is much slower compared to others on the flat than on climbs I've gotten to do a lot of work on this.

Being aggressive about grabbing wheels helps. As does being good at drafting. In a race I will draft closer than on a training ride... it's more risk than I want to take all the time. One thing that took me a while to learn is to start accellerating as soon as I can see/hear a rider coming by. If I wait till he's in front I will have a bigger gap to close. The sooner you speed up the less work it'll take to get the wheel.
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Old 08-13-10, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Chef151
Carpediem,

Those videos are incredible, not to mention, addictive. I'm brand new to cycling and knew literally nothing about crits before watching your videos, so they have been truly invaluable. I had no clue the amount of strategy that goes into these races.

The downside (for my wife, and eventually, our bank account) is that you have me hooked and I can't wait to finish my base miles and start training hard for some races late winter/early spring if I'm ready by then. Is there a place where you have all your videos? Thus far, I've just used the search function, with varying levels of success. Thanks.
Thanks for the kind words.

For the helmet cam clips, I only have them on YouTube under the username sprinterdellacasa. If you want text descriptions of what I was thinking (or thought, if after the fact), you can check out sprinterdellacasa which is where I post my more lengthy thoughts (haha). I usually have a corresponding post for the helmet cam clip, and in that post I'll link to the text post. The text stuff is usually much more involved, has more details, and usually has more background info, like what I did to warm up (or not), thoughts going into the race, etc etc etc. It's a more complete description of what happened. Just not as interesting to watch.

For training, once you are good in a group ride, the best training for racing, I think, is racing. It's important to work on form, smoothness in a group (and predictability), and learn the etiquette involved in group riding, and that won't happen when you ride solo. You'll need to ride with experienced groups (even just one or two experienced riders), and once you're okay in that group making efforts, you can go race.

I have two? three? training crit videos. East Hartford (or Rentschler Field) and Plainville. It's more casual, smaller fields, not very cut throat (well, usually - see my Aug 12, 2009 post on the Rent race). Compare that to Somerville or Harlem and you can see the difference.

The Bethel Spring Series is really a training race series that some riders (like me) target as a season goal. So it's like a pro wanting to win a race in Feb - a lot of riders aren't in form yet. But since I promote the races, I end up recording them more consistently. They have names like Kirche and Ronde and Ris (babel translation of Bethel into other languages), Circuit and Criterium (odes to some early classics).

Now with the ContourHD helmet I record pretty much every race and every training ride. It's a matter of editing them - the clips take an enormous amount of time and mental energy. Initially, in 2007, I'd work on them Sunday night, Monday, and then try and post them by Tues or Wed. Now it takes longer. Although my wife really supports my racing, it's yet another thing to spend 3-4-5 hours a night for a week editing one clip. And then thinking it needs more work. I have races from this year yet to be edited. In fact, they have yet to be imported into iMovie (takes a few hours just to do that).

cdr
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Old 08-13-10, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01
You can practice cornering on your own. On your regular ride, pick a few corners (with no traffic) and try taking them a bit faster, by braking less, or not at all depending on conditions. Approach them at race speed ... practice taking them smoothly .. no abrupt changes in speed or line ..... mix it up ..... Imagine you have riders on both sides so you have to leave room during the turn. Accelerate (sitting & standing sometimes) as you exit the turn without swerving.
One thing that has helped me with my cornering is deliberate countersteering... I make an effort to actually turn the wheel the other way (just a little) before diving into the turn, and this gives me a lot more confidence with the turning.

Originally Posted by caloso
I'm 5'10" 170 and have been working on my sprinting. I've been doing regular sets of Cavendish intervals: find a nice straight moderate downhill (an overpass works well for us flatlanders) and pedal easily but get up to launch speed and when you hit the bottom, go all out for 100m.
Cool tip - thanks!
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Old 08-13-10, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso
I'm 5'10" 170 and have been working on my sprinting. I've been doing regular sets of Cavendish intervals: find a nice straight moderate downhill (an overpass works well for us flatlanders) and pedal easily but get up to launch speed and when you hit the bottom, go all out for 100m.
Please never call them 'Cavendish Intervals' again. They've been around since well before he has...
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