Paris-Nice is decimating the peloton, with many GC hopefuls out of the race. The RBA crew is putting together our final preps for NAHBS in Sacramento! Welcome to the March 13th Mid-Week Report!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Covered in dust, the peloton whips its way around Siena at the beginning of the 13th Strade Bianche.
WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: THESE HABITS ARE HURTING YOUR TRAINING
Always looking for a hack
Disruption is great for creating new business opportunities, but the pursuit of hacks can get in the way of purposeful training. That’s not to say innovation isn’t important. New products and services have significantly changed the face of endurance training over just the last several years (Strava, Zwift, Peloton, etc.). My coaching methods have changed as well, but there are fundamental principles of training that haven’t changed.
Many times, looking for training hacks means looking for shortcuts. And there are not shortcuts in training. You have to do the work, and sometimes the most effective work is repetitive and not very exciting. Sometimes I spend considerable effort getting entrepreneurs to focus on the big improvements and the easy wins instead of being drawn to the next shiny gadget or software.
To put it in tech terms, athletes start out as a “minimum viable product”. The essential functions are there, but underdeveloped and full of potential. Wise developers use an iterative process to bolster the core technology and functionality before adding new and advanced features. They know the new features will only work if they are added to a strong and stable platform.
The vast majority of amateur athletes still have a lot of work to do to build the strong platform, and will experience the largest improvements in performance by continuing to work on the fundamentals. You’re at V3.0 and the growth hacks and “marginal gains” come at V10.3.
Always full gas
Many athletes are all-in on their idea and are often relentless in the way they pursue it. Time is of the essence because the pace of innovation is so fast your idea may be obsolete before you can go to market, or someone else will beat you to it. This mindset doesn’t always translate well to athletic training.
When it’s time to go full gas during intervals, there’s no problem. A moderate pace for an endurance ride is problematic. Not half-wheeling the rider next to them is something we often work on. And one of the hardest concepts to grasp seems to be the idea of going slower at the bottom of a climb so you can maintain a steadier pace and slow down less as you get closer to the summit.
Just because you can go faster doesn’t always mean you should. Sometimes going faster now, just because you can, hurts your performance in the near (and long-term) future.
Scoffing at rest days
Rest is absolutely essential to training. Rest days are non-negotiable. We can move them around to suit your schedule, but you can’t eliminate them.
As a coach, when I can help someone – and it doesn’t need to be an entrepreneur – get more rest and reduce lifestyle stress, they almost always experience a surge in improvement. Perhaps because it is happening in an environment outside of work or personal life, this sometimes results in an “ah-ha” moment. They start managing their energy and focus differently, giving themselves time to rest and restore their energy for both work and family.
BIKE TEST: CANYON GRAIL
By now, most of us know the story behind Canyon Bicycles. The fast-rising German brand is the brainchild of Roman Arnold, whose earliest days were spent growing up in a cycling family. Eventually, under the tutelage of his father, and along with his brother Franc, the Arnold family took their enthusiasm for cycling and opened their first bike business back in the mid-’80s.
A decade into Radsport Arnold’s existence, the Canyon name eventually emerged with Roman at the helm. In the two decades since, the brand has enjoyed meteoric success, owing not only to a price-conscious, consumer-direct sales model and a string of major race wins in every category of cycling, but especially its embrace of modern design cues and technology that have been the envy of the bike industry at large.
RECAP AND RESULTS: STRADE BIANCHE
France’s Julian Alaphilippe won a tight uphill struggle to claim an “unbelievable” victory in the Strade Bianche (White Roads) one-day cycling race run over 184km through the rolling hills and white gravel roads of Tuscany on Saturday.
The 26-year-old, riding for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, pipped Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang of Astana by just two seconds on Siena’s historic Piazza del Campo after 4hr 17min 14sec in the saddle.
Belgian Wout Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) crossed in third at 27sec, for the second successive year, in the race which begins and ends in Siena. Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas suffered a puncture, with the Welsh rider finishing in 12th position 2min 41sec behind the winner, as home hope Vincenzo Nibali trailed in at 8min 57sec.
PREVIEW NAHBS 2019
Okay, so you say you’re a bike geek? A bike lover? A cycling aficionado? Well, if so, don’t say you haven’t been given ample warning. During the second week of March the North American Handmade Bicycle Show will be returning to Northern California for three days only. And this my friends is where you will not only find some of the most beautiful people, but better still, some of the most beautiful bikes in the world.
For over a decade frame builder and show founder Don Walker has hustled his ass around the nation trying to promote the ancient craft of handbuilt bikes. And every year, no matter what the destination of the roving show, he’s been able to outdo himself from the previous year. The Sacramento venue has twice already provided the biggest crowds in the show’s history and this year should be no different.
2019 WORLDTOUR TEAM BIKES
With the WorldTour season charging ahead at full speed, many teams are sporting new rigs for 2019. Here’s a look at the best road bikes we saw Down Under.
RECAP AND RESULTS: PARIS NICE STAGE 4
VIDEO: STEEP HILLS
VIDEO: TREK CLAIMS THEIR NEXT RELEASE WILL “CHANGE CYCLING FOREVER”
VIDEO: THE CRIT ON OUR FRONT LAWN IS COMING, CBS CHUCK PONTIUS CRITERIUM
GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE SERIES STARTING MARCH 30, 2019
Gran Fondo Hincapie is a series of events that welcomes riders of every skill level for a weekend of riding and celebration of all things cycling. Join current and past professional cyclists, weekend warriors, and first-time riders on routes planned and tested by George Hincapie himself. The Hincapie family currently hosts events in Greenville, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Fort Worth, Texas; and Boise, Idaho; with plans for continual expansion to other areas across the United States and the world.
FRANK SCHLECK TO ATTEND MALIBU GRAN FONDO MARCH 16, 2019
The Malibu GRANFONDO will once again start and finish at the world renowned and luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of Westlake Village. The course offers up a balanced mix of rolling farmlands, flat and scenic Southern California Coastline and an epic climb with panoramic vistas atop the Santa Monica Mountains.
Three fully stocked, gourmet rest stops at 31 kilometers, 77 kilometers, and 119 kilometers, with the 10 Speed Coffee Truck on course after the final KOM climb at 134 kilometers.
As part of the Gran Fondo National Series, the CLASSICO course will include two to three timing sections for series points calculation and determination of Malibu GRANFONDO overall winners. The final miles of the GRANFONDO offer participants the added challenge of riding for King and Queen of the Mountain (KOM/QOM) times as they push toward the summit finish.
The clock stops at the top of the mountain so riders can enjoy a neutralized descent back to a post-ride luncheon at the Four Seasons.
Winner of two Tour de France stages and the Amstel Gold Race, five-time National Road Race Champion of Luxembourg, and third-place overall finisher of the 2011 Tour de France, Fränk Schleck will be taking part in a number of events during the Malibu GRANFONDO weekend, including the Challenged Athletes Foundation Reception on Friday night, the Malibu GRANFONDO on Saturday, and the Saturday evening wine reception.
Registration for the ONE-DAY Malibu GRANFONDO (March 16) and the TWO-DAY Complete Experience (March 16-17) will increase on Wednesday, February 27. Registration for both events will close on March 10, and there will be no day-of registration.
MAMMOTH GRAN FONDO REGISTRATION OPEN NOW
The Mammoth Gran Fondo takes riders along the east side of Yosemite and the High Sierra with incredible views of the Sierra Nevada, Mono Lake, and White Mountains. 75% of the Gran Fondo route is closed to through traffic matching the incredible scentery with the appropriate calmness. Other highlights include: free event photos, all three distances timed, Signature Event socks, 6 Feed Zones with Full SAG/Tech Support, After-Party with Food/Beer/Live Music in the Village at Mammoth!
Is there an awesome event happening closer to you? Send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org