sprinting

Red Trolley Classic

The Red Trolley Classic is on the schedule and registration is open.   Its'  the first big race weekend for people in San Diego and really all of  Southern California.  I've been involved with this race since its first year in 2003, and I really do enjoy putting on the race.   I've managed to keep the entry fees the same, even though the costs have risen by 20% over the last several years.  Ambulance cost has gone up by about $400 since the race started, USCF insurance fees have gone up by about $600, officials fees by about $200,   and San Diego City  traffic control costs have gone up by about $1500 over the last several years. ( from $300 a few years ago, to $1800 this year)  Fortunately the costs of the toilets and dumpsters, Ralph Elliot's announcing, traffic control equipment, and other costs have stayed relatively the same over the years.  Still, these increases mean that race entry fees  will go up  by a few dollars next year.    It also means that we have to  give some serious thought to the categories that we have racing.   The cash, and time outlays are quite significant, and I am putting my own money on the line.   We  already lose money all morning  by running the collegiate races, which have relatively small fees and mandated low entry fees.  We had to make the decision a few years ago to cut out the junior races, as we can't afford to lose money on those as well.   The women's field has been the smallest field over the last several years, and if the women's race does not have enough entries this year, we may have to eliminate that category as well.    It is simple  fact that  revenue needs to be generated to cover all the costs of putting on the race.  I would love to help support women's racing, but  I simply can't afford to take money out of my own pocket to make that happen.  So please women racers.... please come out to the 9th Annual Red Trolley, so that  we can have you there for the 10th! -Sean

You may want to read my post from last spring explaining:  Why it costs $10,000 to put on an industrial park crit.

Racing at the Top

As the team manager for the Ranchos DET Team I have the opportunity to share in the challenges and successes of cyclists who ride at the top tier of amateur racing. One of the Riders I work with now is Bryan Larsen. He started out the year as a category 2 and has recently gotten his upgrade to category 1. Category 1 is the top of the amateur ranks. Bryan is a full time student and getting his upgrade has taken lots of hard work, focus, and balance. Bryan was recently invited to participate at the Sacramento Gran Prix as part of a Composite Team. Below is a race report of the Sacramento Gran Prix. The Sacramento Gran Prix was a Pro-Am event held on may 16th 2010 the same day the Tour of California finished in Sacramento.

Sacramento Grand Prix write up:

Hometown. Hometown crowds and friends. Same Course as the Tour of California circuit. And Money. What other reason do you need to be motivated, nervous, and excited all at the same time? And I think nervous was an understatement, as I was more nervous before this race than I had been since national championships back in 2008. My nervousness was only amplified by my crash last week at the Long Beach Grand Prix while still in contention for a descent place.

I’ll walk through a couple key points from the race:

50m in: Crash. 1 lap+50m in: crash. 2 laps: crash. Etc etc etc No joke, There was a crash at the start. And while receiving a free lap the rider(s) proceeded to take down half the 170 racer group moving at 34mph on the following lap while trying to reintegrate themselves into the pack. They ended up giving about half the pack a free lap and let them start riding prior to the front end of the groups arrival at the pit, which means I went from about 15th place to 85th place in a second.

With about 8 laps to go a two place prime was announced and I wasn’t super far from the front so I decided I might give it a go and just start late and not dig too deep. I did start late and by the time I was starting to sprint Justin Williams was basically crossing the line while I rolled in securely in 2nd. We cruised back into the pack only to see lap cards one lap later. I got real nervous when I saw this for two reasons: 1) I had just done a sprint and only had 6 laps to recover now and 2) MORE CRASHES. Everyone thought they could win the race and were doing stupid things to try and get to the front which in turn only caused more pileups. A break went up the road with about 3 laps to go with Yahoo blocking for their rider in the break. The break was caught and Yahoo decided to do a Bahati style lead out while riding the inside straight before flicking riders to swing wide right before the turns before swinging back to the inside line. Coming on two laps to go, there was MAJOR crash in the last corner. It happened relatively close to the front and I could hear it not too far behind me. The following lap we were coming into those dangerous corners, 3 and 4 and the moto decided to try and neutralize the race but Yahoo and everyone else essentially went around him. There was no way we were being neutralized with 1.25 laps to go. People were still sprawled out on the pavement in corner 4 from the previous lap’s crash. 1 lap to go. And I’m sitting about 20th. WAY TOO FAR BACK! Crash again while a group of riders were pinched through a corner. Next corner: CRASH! Everyone wanted what only one person can have and that was a win at the Sacramento Grand Prix. I found myself flying into the last corner under Justin with a little heads up on my part he didn’t pinch me and as a result I let him role by me immediately following the turn. 500M to go. I’m 7th-ish wheel and glued to Justin Williams’ wheel. Yahoo was still at the front driving as hard as they could and I was out of the saddle almost immediately and before I knew it I was pinched by a Yahoo guy and forced me into the wind to the left of the rest of the leadout train which happened to be right when Justin jumped forcing me to lose out on that valuable accelerating draft. I had to push my own wind and continued to do so. I crossed the line 4th within ¼ of a wheels length from 3rd. I’m glad I stayed upright, in fact if you had asked me 5 laps into the race how I’d finish I would have said I was going to go down. Another note: I think I heard there were 5 or so crashes in the last 3 laps!

It was a neat experience racing on the same course as Cavendish would be winning later in the day as well as standing on the same podium step looking out with your hands up. Maybe one day a few years from now . . . well, it never hurts to dream ;)

Bryan is on the far right and Justin is looking back at him

Bryan is on the far right again

At the rate Bryan is going he will be in the professional ranks soon. Good job Bryan keep it up!

Cheer Coach Jesse

Usain Bolt vs Sean Eadie

Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive, but can a top track cyclists beat him? That was a question posed in the June issue of outside magazine. Most trackies know that a top track sprinter doing a 200M time trial will go almost twice as fast as a 100m runner ( both pretty darn close to 10 seconds, with the track rider going twice the distance), but the cyclists has the advantage of the standing start. The folks at Outside magazine went to Jim Martin, and former track racer and now one of the top cycling bio-mechanist in the world. Just do a google scholar search and you'll see. Jim has done extensive work in modeling performance, so from a theoretical perspective, he was the guy to answer this question.Jim took some power data from Sean Eadie, the 2002 match sprint world champion, along Bolt's 9.58 100M and ran the model. From a standing start, it makes sense that the longer the race gets the more likely the cyclist is to win, as the runners are already slowing down after 100M and the cyclists is just gaining speed. But it is a pretty close race at 100M. Who do you think won?

The answer is the cyclists by 0.16 seconds. Bolt pulls ahead at the start, but then Eadie Passes him at 89.7 meters. Jim's models are excellent, and can be be highly accurate, but when it comes down to 0.16 seconds, I think it could still be anyone's race. If those two men lined up at the starting line in top form, I wouldn't have much confidence in predicting the winner one way or the other. I would love to see something like this happen. It would be great or Gatorade, Red Bull, or a company like that could put on a race with Bolt and a top track sprinter.....maybe Chris Hoy or Gregory Bauge...Jaime Staff is known for heaving a blistering start, so he might be a good candidate. What do you think?

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the hardest things to access as an athlete is what part of training you should focus on. I have my athletes spend the majority of their time working on their strengths. If they are a talented sprinter, we work on making their initial jump stronger and their top end speed faster. If they are a talented time trailist, we work on pushing their threshold power or threshold heart rate up gradually.That is not to say that you shouldn't work on your weaknesses. For example, it is always good to work on your sprint. If you are a time trialist and you are in break up the road, you may have to sprint with your breakaway companions. However, you shouldn't spend inordinate amounts of time on things that only produce limited benefits.

If you would like to sit down with a Crank Cycling coach to discuss your potential strengths and weaknesses, drop us a line or send us an email.

See you out on the road.

Cheers, Coach Jesse