The Tour de France starts with a flat time trial. We catch up with time trial artist Taylor Phinney to get his top advice. Simon Richardson talks with time trial artist Taylor Phinney.
Squire and Holcomb Weather The Storm And Take Crusher In The Tushar Titles
The Crusher in the Tushar course and Mother Nature combined to throw everything possible at the 600 riders that lined up for the seventh edition of the event that starts in Beaver, Utah, located at the base of the mighty Tushar Mountains. For the third straight year, Robbie Squire (Felt-Assos) crossed the finish line at Eagle Creek Resort with arms raised, taking the win and $1,000 payday that comes along with it. First-time Crusher rider Janel Holcomb (Mavic) took the women’s win and her equal share of the prize money, covering the 69-mile course that includes 10,000 feet of climbing in just over 5 hours.
This year was no different from previous editions in terms of how many top riders made the trip to Beaver in order to experience the Crusher. The start list was a who’s who of top pro racers from mountain biking, road cycling, and cyclocross. Riders included Todd Wells, Keegan Swenson (Cannondale 3Rox Racing), Ben King (Team Dimension Data) and Jamey Driscoll (DNA Cycling), in addition to the full men’s podium from last month’s Dirty Kanza 200. On the women’s side, Holcomb had to contend with last year’s winner Melinda McCutcheon (DNA Cycling) in addition to current pro Larissa Connors (Team Twenty20/Felt).
Warm weather was forecast for the day, so when riders departed downtown Beaver at the start everyone was anticipating some of the hottest conditions in the event’s history with temperatures expected to reach up to 90 degrees at the midway point in Junction. From there, the real challenge would begin with an ascent of Col d’ Crush. A slight tailwind made for a hot climb back up into the Fishlake National Forest’s Tushar Mountain range where the high altitude brought the relief of cooler temperatures. Riders were warned not to take their hydration lightly and feed stations with water and First Endurance were found about every 10 miles on course.
But, before the day was over for most riders, the heat wouldn’t be the only weather challenge as a mountain thunderstorm settled in over Eagle Point Resort that sits at an altitude of nearly 10,500 feet. First hail, then rain and wind welcomed all but the very first finishers, bringing a chill to the finish line but hardly diminishing the celebrations for those who had just finished the Crusher in the Tushar. It simply added another element to the Crusher challenge.
Women’s winner Janel Holcomb had this to say post-event, “’I’ve been fortunate to attend a lot of amazing events over the past few months and I was in awe of the volunteers and support of the Crusher community. Climbing Col d’ Crush was made possible and enjoyable because of the people cheering, the kids who ran alongside me asking if I wanted Coke, water, mix or a snack. I had to smile and say thank you at every kind act of support, and those smiles were a gift that fueled me through to take the win.”
Another Crusher first-timer, Michael White, came in with some different ambitions than those looking to race the event, he simply wanted to challenge himself and ride somewhere new. He told us, “Of all the cycling events I’ve enjoyed, there are few locations that rival both the beauty and brutality of the Crusher. The course is incredibly challenging, the landscape is stunning, and the support staff was first-class from start to finish!”
©Credit: Christopher See
Robbie Squire (Felt- Assos)
Todd Wells (Todd Wells)
Keegan Swenson (Cannondale 3Rox Racing)
Jamie Driscoll (DNA Cycling)
Leroy Popowski (Juwi Solar)
Ben Blaugrund (Juwi Solar)
Ryan Steers (Giant Co-Factory Off-Road)
Andy Dorais (Contender Bicycles)
Janel Holcomb (Mavic)
Melinda McCutcheon (DNA Cycling)
Breanne Nalder (PLAN7 DS)
Larissa Connors (Team Twenty20/Felt)
Jen Luebke (DNA Cycling)
Allar and McCabe Grab Pro Criterium Wins in Downtown Louisville; 8 Amateur Road Champions Crowned
Louisville, Ky. (July 2, 2017) – A full slate of 12 categorized events in the downtown Museum Row section of Louisville concluded the four days of racing for the Amateur Road National Championships presented by Papa John’s and the Professional Criterium National Championships. Spectators were treated to a six-corner course with the start/finish on West Main Street, that twisted past the Ohio River and landmarks like the Muhammed Ali Center, Kentucky Science Center, and Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.
Erica Allar (Demorest, Ga./Rally Cycling) earned her third national title of the year on Sunday, taking the Women’s Pro/ Cat 1/2 championship. She broke away early in the race wtih Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas/Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank), building a 40-second lead over the 55-rider field and overcoming a race delay caused by a late crash. Allar, who won two collegiate national road titles in April for Piedmont College, outdueled Stephens, the 2017 pro time trial silver medalist, for the win in 1:16:13. With six laps to go, Irena Ossola (Santa Fe, N.M./SAS-MACOGEP) attacked from the field and closed much of the gap to the leaders, finishing six seconds back for third.
“I’m really just so excited. Stephens is such a strong rider and great competitor that she was certainly one of the marked riders. I just happened to be there when she decided to go. Lucky for us, we had full teams. My Rally team rode really well,” added Allar about the attack sticking for the win. “It’s my first elite criterium national championship, and it’s something I’ve worked hard to get. What an honor it will be to wear the national championship jersey this next year.”
The Women’s U23 criterium championship was won in the same contest by 19-year-old Skylar Schneider (West Allis, Wisc./ISCorp powered by Progress), who finished fourth overall in the Women’s Pro criterium. Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Rally Cycling) was awarded the silver and Payten Maness (Flower Mound, Texas/Papa John’s Racing p/b TREK) received the bronze.
Travis McCabe (Tucson, Ariz./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) captured his first professional championship in a sprint finish for the Men’s Pro race. Most of the 65-minute contest was dominated by Brandon McNulty (Phoenix, Ariz./Rally Cycling) and Ben Wolfe (Niantic, Conn./Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), who created a sizeable gap for more than 20 laps. McNulty tried a solo attack with four laps to go, but was chased down by McCabe and 13 other riders from the peloton on the final lap. Eric Young (Boulder, Colo./Rally Cycling) and Ty Magner (Griffin, Ga./Holowesko l Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear) took the second and third, respectively.
“The last lap was all-out racing. It was full gas all the way up the back climb, and I opened up the sprint with 200 meters to go, out of the corner, and held it to the line. I put my head down, and didn’t know until about 50 meters to go, and then I had a good feeling that I was going to take it. It felt great,” said McCabe, who last donned a Stars-and-Stripes jersey in 2013 when won the Men’s Cat 1 amateur criterium championship.
One of the fiercest breakaways of the day was put in by Men’s U23 national champion Thomas Revard (Carmel, Ind./Bissell-ABG-Giant). The 20-year-old attacked 30 minutes into the 75-minute slugfest and held a significant lead for 21 full laps, winning in a time of 1:12:49. Six chasers could not get any closer than 58 seconds. From this group, Noah Granigan (Cape May Court House, N.J./CCB Velotooler) finished second and Zachary Carlson (Indianapolis, Ind./Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team) was third.
In the Men’s Category 1 criterium, Ben Renkema (Greenville, S.C./SC Competitive Cyclist) improved upon his third place finish last year and grabbed the gold on Sunday. A large pack of 16 riders finished with the same time, 1:14:09, with Renkema crossing the line first. He was followed by Hogan Sills (Terre Haute, Ind./Bissell-ABG-Giant), who finished second for a second consecutive year. Brandon Feehery (Knoxville, Tenn./Crit Life) followed in third.
The Men’s Junior 17-18 criterium saw 126 riders on the downtown circuit. Colby Lange (Edwards, Colo./LUX/Stradling p/b Specialized) surged to the win in 57:49. In a five-rider chase group, teammate Riley Sheehan (Boulder, Colo./LUX/Stradling p/b Specialized) captured second place, just ahead of Denzel Stephenson (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling), one second off the pace.
A gold medalist in the road race on Satruday, Alijah Beatty (Washington, Iowa/Northstar Development Cycling) also claimed the criterium championship in the Women’s Junior 17-18 race. She edged out Megan Heath (Alpharetta, Ga./Rally Cycling Devo), who claimed second place for a second day. Heath was the best of 13 riders trying to reach Beatty, and Paige Shumskas (Pipersville, Penn./Fearless Femme Racing) was third overall.
For a second time in two days Megan Jastrab (Apple Valley, Calif./Swami’s Junior Development Team) edged out Katie Clouse (LIttleton, Colo./Visit Dallas DNA Cycling) for the championship jersey in the Women’s Junior 15-16 division. The winning time was 31:00 for Jastrab, with Clouse and 17 other riders finishing with a one-second time gap. Emma Workowski (Kutztown, Penn./Maloja Pushbiker Future Stars) rolled across the line in third.
Of the 68 riders who started the Men’s Junior 15-16 Category 1/2/3 criterium, Tyler Reynolds (Pella, Iowa/Andrie Junior Development Team) outsprinted a pack of 44 riders for the national title in 44:43. Eli Husted (Austin, Texas/Hot Tubes Development Cycling) finished second and David Heath (Alpharetta, Ga./ Frazier Cycling Juniors) grabbed third.
Carmen Davidson (Byron Center, Mich.) added the criterium title to her road race title in the Women’s Junior 13-14 category. She edged Makayla MacPherson (Corona, Calif./Swami’s Junior Development Team) to the line for the win in a time of 31:57. Following MacPherson, Olivia Cummins (Fort Collins, Colo./Melton Design Build/GS Forza Cycling) finished two seconds back for third place.
Will Sharpe (Katy, Texas/Northwest Cycling Club) finished in 31:50 to capture a Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the Men’s Junior 13-14 division. Artem Shmidt (Cumming, Ga./Keenz Racing p/b Mission Source/NGCA) crossed the line with the same time for second. Riley Cotton (Longmont, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling) secured third in the field of 63 riders.
For a second day in a row, Lilly McLeod (Brooksville, Fla./Sho-Air TWENTY20 Development) took the top step of a Women’s Junior 11-12 event, winning the criterium in 21:23. Divya Verma (Breinigsville, Penn./T Town Elite) earned the silver medal, 14 seconds back. The bronze went to Claire Kudlata (Milwaukee, Wisc./ISCorp. Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI), who finished 20 seconds off the pace.
The top Men’s Junior 11-12 criterium rider was Wesley Haggstrom (Clemmons, N.C./Hearts Racing Club), who won a silver in the road race Saturday. He outsprinted Walter Rozek (Folsom, Calif./Reliable/Taco Bell Racing p/b Kinetic Cycles) in a time of 20:32. Jack Makohon (Heath, Texas/Rockwall Racing) earned the bronze, just four seconds back.
Brandon McNulty Wins U-23 American Time Trial Title
Junior World Champ Trades Rainbow Stripes for Red, White and Blue
2016 Junior World Time Trial Champion Brandon McNulty won his first Under-23 US National Championship title today, besting the competition with a time of 41:44 on the 34 km course around Taylorsville Lake State Park, KY. McNulty’s win showed grit and toughness after illness hindered his performance in last week’s US TT National Championships, and was another sign that the young talent is here to stay.
The Under-23 field today included the powerful Axeon Hagens Berman duo of Neilson Powless and William Barta, who finished 3rd and 4th in the Elite time trial event over the previous weekend. McNulty meanwhile struggled to a 22nd place result, feeling the effects of an illness which began toward the end of the North Star Grand Prix.
“Brandon was sick last week and had a rough go in Knoxville on Saturday,” explained Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “It’s remarkable that he recovered so quickly and was able to win against such a tough field of riders.”
The wishbone course around Taylorsville Lake featured over 1800 feet of elevation gain and constant rolling terrain, requiring riders to deliver constant power to the pedals. Barta set a new standard when he crossed the line in 41:56 with Powless and McNulty still out on course. The bronze medalist from last weekend came up just short of Barta, 12 seconds in arrears. McNulty meanwhile was proving out on the course that he had overcome his illness, eclipsing Barta at the mid-race time check. After the finish, Brandon’s time stood fast and he claimed his first U-23 Championship with 12 seconds to spare.
Asked how it felt to lay down a winning performance today following his earlier setback, McNulty replied, “It felt great! I knew that if my body was able to come around for today I would have a solid shot at the win. I also knew my form was good coming off of some big efforts at the North Star Grand Prix, and everything just came together today. I’m very happy to take home the jersey and continue to bring home national titles for Rally Cycling.”
McNulty and teammate Curtis White will have another chance at stars and stripes tomorrow morning in the 177 km U-23 Championship Road Race. Despite being outnumbered by larger teams, the pair could still prove formidable given McNulty’s strength from the breakaway and White’s speedy finishing kick. The race circuits will be nearly flat, running laps around Cherokee Park in Louisville.
US U-23 TT National Championship | Men
1. Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling)
2. William Barta (Axeon Hagens Berman)
3. Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman)
4. Geoffrey Curran (Axeon Hagens Berman)
5. Ian Garrison (Axeon Hagens Berman)
6. Connor Brown (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)
7. Brendan Rhim (Holowesko | Citadel)
8. Christopher Blevins (Axeon Hagens Berman)
9. Ezekiel Mostov (Aevolo Cycling)
10. Stephen Bassett (Silber Pro Cycling)
Knoxville, Tenn., June 25, 2017 – – Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./Team Velo Concept) made it two for two at the 2017 Pro Road & Time Trial National Championships in Knoxville by winning the road race on Sunday. Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./Aqua Blue Sport) won his first Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the men’s road race.
The women covered eight laps of the 7.9-mile course for a total of 63 miles, punctuated by a steep climb on Sherrod Road reaching a maximum gradient of 14 percent. Neben won with a solo attack on the eighth and final lap by doing what she does best, time trialing to the finish. The newly-crowned women’s time trial national champion won by 30 seconds ahead of the chasing pack of 64 riders. She finished in a time of 2 hours, 49 minutes, 34 seconds.
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Sunweb) won the reduced bunch sprint in Old City Knoxville to secure second place, 11 seconds behind Neben in a time of 2:49:45. It was the third year in a row that Rivera has finished as the runnerup in this event. Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) finished with the same time as Rivera in third.
“Today was beyond my expections. So, I’m excited for my team, Team Velo CONCEPT, to be able to represent those guys. I just came out to ride hard and play hard. I felt really good about being out there. So, it’s a special day,” said Neben, the reigining UCI ITT World Champion. The only other woman who has won multiple national titles in road cycling championships in one year was Allison Powers of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling in 2014, when she captured all three U.S. pro championships in road cycling – road race, individual time trial and criterium.
The attacks came early in the women’s race, with Monica Volk (Kempton, Penn./Rally Cycling) Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Abby Mickey (Aspen, Colo./Colavita-Bianchi), Holly Breck (Santa Ynez, Calif./Sho-Air TWENTY20), Emily Newsome (Ft. Worth, Texas/Team Elevate) and Jen Tetrick (San Francisco, Calif./Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) getting up the road on the first lap.
This group of six rideres extended their advantage to more than two minutes and 30 seconds with six laps to go, when Elevate’s Emily Newsom, Texas state time trial champion and 12th yesterday in the individual time trial, attacked. Newsom was solo for almost four laps and slipped back into the peloton. From there, counter-attacks flew, but Neben was the one who took control on the final climb up Sherrod Road and timed her break perfectly.
The men’s road race Sunday afternoon took the riders on 14 laps of the circuit for 109 total miles. It took Aqua Blue Sport’s Warbasse 4 hours, 20 minutes, 45 seconds to secure the victory, outsprinting Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Axeon Hagens Berman) and LottoNL-Jumbo’s Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, MIch./Team LottoNL-Jumbo), who finished second and third, respectively.
“It’s insane. I’m still shocked and I’m going to be so incredibly happy to wear the jersey for a year,” said Warbasse, who competed in his first Professional Road Race Championship of his five-year career.
The three riders escaped in the latter part of the race, and gained a 30-second gap over a chasing group of pre-race favorites. Around the final bend to the downhill finish, the three-person sprint saw Warbasse coming out on top.
“I rode the course earlier in the week, and I knew that last riser (in the final kilometer) was where the race would be decided if it was a small group. I know I don’t have the greatest sprint and so I had to hit them (Powless and Vermeulen). I knew if I got enough of a gap on that downhill (at the finish) I might be able to hold them off. Yeah, I just put my head down and didn’t look behind and I was able to do it.”
The road race was highlighted by a steep ascent on Sherrod Road, with the first real break of the day taking place four laps into the event. Ian Garrison (Decatur, Ga./Axeon Hagens Berman), Sean Bennett (El Cerrito, Calif./Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis) and Daniel Eaton (Boulder, Colo./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) broke off the front, and gained a maximum of two minutes on the 146-rider field before getting reeled back by Holowesko-Citadel and Rally Cycling.
After multiple counter attacks and surges from the peloton, the winning break emerged. From there, no team could match the power of Warbasse, Powless and Vermuelen. After the trio crossed the line, Robin Carpenter (San Diego, Calif./Holowesko-Citadel) led a reduced field of 78 riders home for fourth place.
“We were all looking at each other at 400 meters to go. At that point, we were trying to figure out when to go,” added Powless, who finished third the day before in the individual time trial. “The first person to go had the big or best advantage in a downhill finish. I thought Alexey would jump on (Larry’s) wheel, but he hesitated and that’s all Larry needed and he took it to the line.”
In the women’s Under-23 category, 19-year-old Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Rally Cycling) repeated as the women’s champion for a second day, adding the road race championship to the individual time trial award she captured Saturday. White finished in the bunch sprint with Rivera and Winder in fifth position. Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich./UnitedHelathcare Pro Cycling) was second in the U23 standings, finishing 15th overall.
For a complete schedule, results, course maps and photo galleries, please visit the event web page. Follow the action on Twitter using #USPRO.
Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.) Team Velo CONCEPT – 2:49:34
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.) Sunweb – 2:49:45
Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif.) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – 2:49:45
Emma White (Delanson, N.Y.) Rally Cycling – 2:49:45
Janel Cole (Rockford, Mich.) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – 2:52:01
Skylar Schneider (West Allis, Wisc.) ISCorp powered by Progress – 2:52:01
Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich.) Aqua Blue Sport – 4:20:45
Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.) Axeon Hagens Berman – 4:20:45
Alexey Vermeulen (Pinkney, Mich.) Team LottoNL – Jumbo – 4:20:45
Images By Cathy Fegan-Kim
Knoxville, Tenn., June 24, 2017 – – Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./Team Velo Concept) and Joey Rosskopf (Decatur, Ga./BMC Racing Team) scored the first Stars-and-Stripes jerseys of the 2017 Pro Road & Time Trial National Championships. The race aganist the clock was held in Knoxville, Tenn. for the first time, the first for two days of USA Cycling road national championships.
Neben, the reigining UCI ITT World Champion, was the final woman in the field of 38 in the field to leave the starthouse in the revitalized Old City section of downtown Knoxville. She crossed the line in 30 minutes, 27.45 seconds for a dominating win. Neben, the reigning UCI women’s world champion in the ITT, redeemed her second place result at last year’s championships.
Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas/Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) earned silver, 31 seconds back in a time of 30:59.08, and Leah Thomas (Boulder Creek, Calif./Sho-Air TWENTY20) claimed bronze at 31:31.86. The professional women covered 14.4 miles, completing three laps of a 4.8-mile circuit in Knoxville.
“This course was tricky. There was really no rhythm or flow to it. Mentally, I had to ride it a lot more than physically ride it,” said Neben, a California native who said she was not used to the heat and humidity of eastern Tennessee. “It was a challenge to figure out how to pace it, and then factor in the heat. The humidity was hard. So to be able to factor that in and take care of the hydration, and then understanding there were three laps, and how important the second and third laps were going to be. I had to make sure I stayed in formation in the beginning, so that I could nail the second laps.”
Saturday’s event also crowned the women’s Under-23 ITT national champion, captured by 19-year-old Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Rally Cycling). White finished 14th overall in the women’s event.
Rosskopf outpaced his teammate Brent Bookwalter (Asheville, N.C./BMC Racing Team) and 34 other competitors on the four-lap course for the men’s title in the 19.2 mile event, winning in a time of 36:25.37.
“It’s the most satisfying win for me,” Rosskopf said. “I’ve never been this close to a national championship before, never been able to put together a good ride. Yeah, I’m super excited, a little unexpected.”
Bookwalter, in his 11th year with BMC Racing Team, took his second silver medal in the ITT (2013) and moved up from a fourth-place finish in the event last year. Twenty-one-year-old Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Axeon Hagens Berman) finished 17 seconds behind Bookwalter for third.
“I’m probably the least surprised today at his performance. He may be one of the most under-rated riders on the team,” added Bookwalter about his teammates victory.
On Sunday, the road races will begin for the women at 9 a.m., followed by the men’s road race at 1:15 p.m. This 7.9-mile circuit will be covered eight times by the women for a total of 63 miles and 14 times by the men for a total of 109 miles.
Images By Cathy Fegan-Kim
1. Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.) Team Velo CONCEPT – 30:27.45
2. Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas) Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank – 30:59.08
3. Leah Thomas (Boulder Creek, Calif.) Sho-Air TWENTY20 – 31:31.86
1. Emma White (Delanson, N.Y.) Rally Cycling – 33:02.93
2. Margot Clyne (Boulder, Colo.) Groove Subaru Excel – 33:32.28
3. Sara Youmans (Ketchum, Idaho) Therapueutic Associates Racing – 34:54.19
1. Joey Rosskopf (Decatur, Ga.) BMC Racing Team – 36:25.37
2. Brent Bookwalter (Asheville, N.C.) BMC Racing Team – 37:22.80
3. Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.) Axeon Hagens Berman – 37:39.76
For a complete schedule, results, course maps and photo galleries, please visit the event web page. Follow the action on Twitter using #USPRO.
Broadcast and Social Media
The Professional Road National Championships for women and men will be webcast on Sunday, June 25 on the USA Cycling YouTube Channel – https://youtu.be/t5VvWxLcYFI
The men’s 109-mile race on Sunday afternoon will be broadcast live by media partner WATE-TV, the local ABC affiliate, and provide highlights of the women’s 63-mile race.
Follow updates on Twitter @usacycling and #USPRO.
Intervals to Prepare for your next Gravel Grinder
By: Zack Allison, BSEd Source Endurance, Senior Consultant
Gravel riding and gravel racing is a unique cycling venture. With long durations like road racing but equipment similar to cyclocross, training for gravel races is different from other styles of events. By applying the same principles that guide us through all aspects of coaching- specificity and overload- we can design new workouts specific to gravel cycling to make you a faster rider.
One of the things that makes gravel riding different is cadence and strength. On gravel roads of any kind you will find that the rolling resistance is greater. You feel more bogged down on gravel roads as your tires must roll over the bumps or through the loose gravel. This can cause a rider to feel bogged down in their cadence. When this happens over time, your core and back start to fatigue first, then your cadence gets slower and slower as your muscles start to fatigue and eventually you are just going slow. When putting together a gravel specific workout we will want to take this into account more than with road cycling where cadence choice is usually not dictated by the road surface.
The specific example above is a mixed road and gravel ride where the middle section is gravel and takes up about half the ride time. The yellow line is cadence and the green line is miles per hour. You can see a distinct difference in cadence between the paved and gravel sections. By just quickly applying a rough line of best fit we can see that although it’s not always necessary, we tend to use a lower cadence on gravel segments for stability on the bike and ride feel.
Threshold training. This comes up in every single aspect of cycling. If you have a high aerobic capacity and high lactate threshold power, you will be pretty hard to drop. Most gravel races on the gravel cycling calendar and most of your local events will have significant road portions with gravel segments throughout. The demands are similar metabolically to other cycling events so when we start to build our gravel workout we will take this into account and focus on threshold power training.
Now that we have a few major parts of the picture of how gravel cycling events differ from other cycling events, we can start to make a gravel cycling specific workout to make you faster for it. The workout plan below is one interval day that would be suitable for an athlete looking to improve their gravel riding. This workout alone may not set you up to win your local gravel race or ride but it’s a place to start. The workout is meant to be supplemented with other interval workouts, core workouts, and endurance riding. Make sure to talk to your coach about what your goals are, whether it’s gravel grinder specific or something else. This workout is written as a percentage of FTP so you can do a bit of math and apply this workout based on your Functional Threshold Power or Heart Rate.
Always warm up well before intervals!
Step 1: Warm up 20-30 minute endurance pace, 60-80% of FTP
Step 2: 10 minutes Subthreshold Big Gear, 85-95% FTP 50-65 RPM
Step 3: Rest, 5 minutes 45-60% FTP easy spinning
Step 4: 10 minutes Subthreshold Big Gear, 85-95% FTP 50-60RPM
Step 5: Rest, 5 minutes 45-60% FTP easy spinning
Step 6: 4 minutes threshold 100% FTP ( any cadence)
Step 7: Rest 1 minute 45-60% FTP easy spinning
Step 8: 4 minutes threshold 100% FTP ( any cadence)
Step 9: Rest 1 minute 45-60% FTP easy spinning
Step 10: 4 minutes threshold 100% FTP ( any cadence)
Step 11: Rest 1 minute 45-60% FTP easy spinning
Step 12: 4 minutes threshold 100% FTP ( any cadence)
Step 13: Rest 1 minute 45-60% FTP easy spinning
Step 14: 4 minutes threshold 100% FTP ( any cadence)
Step 15: Rest 1 minute 45-60% FTP easy spinning
Roll home or continue at endurance pace for extra miles. The 10 minute intervals could be a bit easier if you have a longer section of climbing in your region or on a gravel road.
Zack Allison’s affinity for cycling started when he was 14 racing on the East Coast and his enjoyment of the sport lead him to pursue his BSEd in Exercise Science from Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He currently races for Elevate Pro Cycling, a UCI continental men’s road team. Growing up in the sport with many great mentors, he loves to pay it forward, using a combination of education and race experience. You can often find him zooming around on Fort Collins’ many gravel roads or on its countless mountain bike trails. Learn more about Zack.
Flying into Northwest Arkansas, it’s easy to see why Arkansas is dubbed “The Natural State.” As my airplane flew over an expanse of green – emerald squares dotted with livestock, aqua lakes with spindly fingers, and most intriguing to me, lush forested hillsides. I knew that underneath those treetops was the reason I’d made the voyage to Northwest Arkansas: hundreds of miles of pristine singletrack.