You Are Part of the Problem

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Really? You’re the “shortcut”? Guess what? There are no shortcuts. You are however part of the problem. The problem of telling people that there are shortcuts in the first place.

 

That image of “Shortcut to fast” flashed up on the heading of the website of a prominent coaching company that I went to today.

I want to state that I have a lot of respect for the individuals behind this company and have attended seminars that they have presented. Just because I respect someone though doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything they say. And it doesn’t mean that I am going to buy what they are trying to sell. And it doesn’t mean that I am not going to call them out on something that, well, quite honestly pissed me off.

I just couldn’t move beyond this statement of “shortcut to fast”. I couldn’t move beyond it and I couldn’t let it go. Because it’s bullshit.

There are no shortcuts.

Let me repeat that.

THERE ARE NO FUCKING SHORTCUTS.

There are no “hacks”, there are no “magic pills” or “seven minute wonder workouts” and there sure as hell are no “shortcuts”.

There is however the understanding that real achievement requires effort, it requires hard work, it requires accepting hard as normal, it requires attention to detail.

But most people don’t want to hear those things. They want to hear that there are “shortcuts”.

And that ultimately is the problem.

And if you are trying to sell “shortcuts” then you are part of the problem too.

“Fitness is strength and conditioning, but also strength of character. Cheating and shortcuts produce visible insecurity. Genuine accomplishment looks and feels different. It cannot be faked.” – Mark Twight

“It’s a fucking bike race so we’re bringing it” – Heidi Franz reports from VOS

"...it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it."   - photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

“…it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it.” – photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

 

Recovery Starts Immediately - so EAT UP!  -photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

Recovery Starts Immediately – so EAT UP!
-photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

Bike Racing is Hard....

Bike Racing is Hard….

Tête de la Course athlete Heidi Franz opened her 2018 race account in Arizona this past weekend at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Here is her race report:

 

Valley of the Sun 2018 Race Report

For the first time, I wasn’t starting my road season with a of couple relaxed Collegiate road weekends with friends, or the classic Tour De Dung road races out in Sequim, WA. In the words of Rally Sport Director Zach Bell, we were now “100% Pro”, through and through, and that’s just how this season would start.


Sara Bergen, Gillian Ellsay, Summer Moak and I were sent to The Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Three of us had never done it before, just as three of us had never raced together as teammates. The purpose was to set a precedent for the rest of the season in terms of communication, coming up with a plan, and sticking to it. Using the weekend to get our race legs back on and get back into the road mindset allowed us to ease into the season with low pressure. But of course, when we line up at the start to race, it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it.

Stage one is a time trial, basically a flat 14 mile out-and-back. We set warm-up camp in our sweet VIP parking near some desert brush and Porta-Johns, and began the day. Gillian would go off first, Sara second, myself third, and Summer fourth. As the Phoenix/Scottsdale resident, Summer knew this race well. There was little wind to speak of, so it made for a less than complicated effort.


There were reports of Sara Bergen rocket-shipping herself around the course, absolutely steamrolling the competition and landing securely in 2nd, 13 seconds behind Leah Thomas. I…went a little slower, but that’s fine. Always critical at first, I had to remember that it was my third TT ever on an actual TT bike. So, I was content . Summer put down an absolutely amazing personal best time, putting her in 5th. Gillian put out a super strong showing in 10th. With me in 13th, the whole team was starting in the top 15 in GC. We could start to scheme our cards for the road race the next day.

Tibco missed out on the top 6 in the TT, so we expected a fireworks show from them to get something up the road. What we didn’t really expect (or count) was that 10 women would all go on the attack from that team. 10!!! We had planned for Gillian and I to cover moves early on that could be dangerous, but that meant following anything that had UHC and Tibco in it. Needless to say, we were busy! No breaks were sticking, and the pace was incredibly high. With one men’s field passing us left and right (literally) and our peloton catching some straggling men on the last lap, the finish was decided in a decent manner of chaos. We were setting up for a bunch sprint, and Sara and Summer were to follow wheels and help each other position in the last km. If Gillian and I had anything left, we would try to help. Little did we know, those weren’t just dudes up the road, but a break from our peloton. Lauren Hall ended up taking the win for UHC and Allison Jackson in 2nd for Tibco. Far enough down on GC, they didn’t change the top 15 very much. Sara was still solidly in 2nd. So, how to make up 13 seconds in a criterium….? Hmmm.

Spitting fire and getting Sara in a break was the goal for the crit. If not, set up Summer for the bunch sprint. The course was fast, 8 corners. Being the first crit of the season, I was pretty nervous, but just focusing on the plan would keep me from overthinking anything. The first half was great. We were riding safe, always towards the front and choosing our responses carefully, letting Tibco flyers go up the road if they wanted just to come back a couple laps later. We learned to save our matches for the really dangerous moves. Unfortunately, a serious crash 15 minutes in with a young 2020 rider neutralized the race for about 15 minutes. Starting us with 25 minutes to go, there was little time to get going. Each of us tried to move up and reshuffle the field with attacks and get Sara in position to take off. However, she was too marked to get away. Suddenly 4 then 2 laps to go, it was a rush to move Summer as far up as we could. Sara was in a decent spot and there was little more Gillian and I could do with such little time.
Stopping the clock at 35 minutes… Kendall Ryan took the win for Tibco in the sprint.

Overall, we came away feeling good. We raced well as a team for the first time, communicated well and knew when and where we needed it better. We raced hard and held our own, being a small squad of four against the powers-in-numbers. With a 2nd, top 15 for everyone, and Best Young Rider, we are happy and ready to do it again.

All our best goes to Zoe Ta-Perez’s recovery! Glad to hear she will be okay.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

– Heidi

STRENGTH TO ENDURE WORKSHOP AT THE SECT SLC

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Later this month I will be traveling to Salt Lake City to give a one day seminar on supplemental strength work for the endurance athlete at The Sect. Paul Roberts from The Sect will be assisting. We will cover theory, methods, practical applications and technique. The main focus will be on supplemental strength for cycling but many of the concepts are transferable to other endurance sports.

 

The Strength to Endure Seminar will take place on Saturday, February 17 and begin at 10 am. Registration is $100 for members of The Sect and $125 for non-members. Attendance is limited to 20 people and spots are already filling up so if you are interested I highly recommend you act fast. Email Paul Roberts at Paul@thesectfitness.com to get registered. If you have questions you can also email me at Joe@tdlccycling.com .

 

 

Heidi Franz Reports From Rally Team Camp

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride

 

Tête de la Course Cycling athlete Heidi Franz is racing for the Rally Cycling Women’s Professional Cycling Team in 2018. She is currently attending team camp in Southern California and sent in this report and awesome photos. Enjoy!

 

Team Camp Report
January 26, 2018

 

It might officially be the end of day six at Rally Cycling team camp, but for me it’s going on day 24 of rolling on the roads of Ventura County in the sunshine. Sorry PNW folk, I made it one sentence before rubbing it in.

 

Rally Cycling was kind enough to put up myself and three of my teammates, Gillian Ellsay, Sara Bergen, and Abby Mickey, in a house in Oxnard before our team camp began on January 21st.

 
Eat, ride, sleep, and repeat was our mantra for the build up to camp, with some intermittent game nights with some of the Rally men’s team. To be honest it was quite heavenly, getting to spend the day climbing my pick of any canyon along the Pacific Coast Highway, and make my way back to the beach along “The Flats of Despair”-not so heavenly. The teammates eventually started rolling in and schedules got dialed, and before we knew it the whole team was dressed in kit outside Pedaler’s Fork in Calabasas, waiting to be introduced to sponsors and VIPs as Rally Cycling for 2018. Then the party really got started.

 

The first couple days of camp have all the glamor. Our media guys were leap frogging back and forth, getting every possible action shot with every possible angle. Our superb soigneur Kelly is busy preparing an amazing lunch for us when we get back, and Zane our wonderful mechanic is ready for anything we throw at him. Even a fender. (Because of course I brought my fender to California.) For us riders it’s just a fun time to get to know each other while we suffer up some canyons. Not everyone is present at camp (Kelly Caitlin and Allison Beveridge at their track World Cups/camps respectively, Emma White preparing for Cyclocross World Championships… I am happy to keep bragging about how awesome my teammates are) but the first couple days are nice for getting a sense for where people are in their training, as we do long steady tempo and go our own pace up the climbs.

 

On our third day, director extraordinaire Zach Bell put together some breakaway/chase drills, controlling and pacing the gap between a small break and then attempting a catch. Sometimes it’s not just about catching the break, but controlling the leash and playing the gap to your advantage. The infamous “Camp Champs” loop in Malibu is where this all plays out. It’s about 10 miles long, along the ridge where the top of Westlake meets Mulholland, around to the top of Encinal and back to Mulholland- if you’re familiar with the area. On our second go around, myself and breakaway buddy K. Maine (aka Peanut) successfully held off a raging chase group of Sara Bergen (Iceberg), Sara Poidevin (Tiny Dancer), and Gillian (you guessed it, Gilligan) for 1.5 laps of Camp Champs- 1,500ft of climbing in 45 minutes over 15 miles. It was a solid day.

 

At this point, we are 17 hours into the week. We hear there is money on the line at the top of a canyon tomorrow, and our legs are getting tired. However, we are busy editing team photo projects and watching lots of Netflix, so hopefully we’ll be well rested for the onslaught ahead of us.

 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow along @rallycycling for all the fun.
Sending sunshine wherever you are,

Heidi

 

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RallyCats Roll

 

So many bikes.....

So many bikes…..

 

Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll

Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll

 

Another Canyon.....

Another Canyon…..

 

PCH Rally Cats

PCH Rally Cats

 

 

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 6

 

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Most Combative Rider on Stage 6! photo pulled from @RideArgyle IG feed

Logan Owen made his World Tour debut this week at The Tour Down Under in Australia. Logan made the most out of his first stage race as a World Tour rider by getting into the breakaway on the last stage, a 90km circuit race in Adelaide. He was named the stage’s Most Combative Rider. Here is Logan’s recap of the stage:

 

We had a 90km Circuit race on tap for today. The plan for the day was to get Will in the break and for me to help Mitch and Scully in the sprint. Will gave it everything in the first few laps to get into the break but it just didn’t work out. I started to follow moves and accidentally ended up in a move that got a decent gap. That group broke apart leaving an Astana rider [Truls Korsaeth] and me off the front. A guy from Trek [Laurent Didier] then came across. Both of them stopped working so I attacked and just went solo. Eventually a Dimension Data rider [Ben O’Connor] came up to me. He was going full gas to get the time bonus on the line with 7 laps to go. I told him that I wouldn’t work with him until after the sprint because it didn’t benefit me or the team to waste my energy and help him get time bonuses to move ahead of our GC leader. Either way he was going to get enough to leap frog Canty in the GC so I didn’t even bother sprinting. Once he got his bonus seconds we began to work together going flat out. Eventually with about 4 laps to go I attacked because I figured this would be my best chance at winning the stage. Eventually I got caught with a little over 2 laps to go (8km) and then just hung on for dear life.

 

In the end I got the Most Combative award and a trip to the podium. I was really happy with this because it was a cool way to cap off a great week of racing with the EF-Drapac p/b Cannondale boys. I learned quite a bit this week including that WT racing is very controlled and can be really easy until it gets ridiculously hard at the end of the stages. All in all it was a great week of racing for the whole team!

 

Thanks for reading.

 

– Logan

 

Logan is now headed to Girona for team camp. Check in next week as Logan will be filing a couple of posts from camp.

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 5 – Willunga

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Logan Owen is making his World Tour Debut with his new team EF Education First at The Tour Down Under. He has been sending in updates on his race. Here is his recap of Stage 5 – the penultimate stage that finished on Willunga Hill:

 

We had the iconic Willunga Hill on tap today. This stage usually decides the GC for the race. Our goal was to put our two GC guys in the front going into the final time up Willunga Hill and try for the stage win. We looked after our GC riders really well all stage long, kept them out of the wind, kept them hydrated and everything. The whole team made it over the first of two climbs up Willunga. We were able to keep or GC riders near the front and protected coming up towards the crosswind section that goes for about 5km into the base of Willunga. Will and I moved Simon and Brendan up to the front before we made the left to the crosswind section. We hit the cross wind section with the four of us on the front and we slammed the race into the gutter. Will, Simon and I did some pretty long pulls going flat hoping to put the other GC contenders on the back foot. We were able to do some damage to what was left of the bunch and we were able to drop Brendan off at the base of the climb fairly fresh. At the end of the day he just didn’t have the legs to go with the attack that Richie Porte put in on the climb but we couldn’t have raced a better race as a team. Hats off to Richie on his stage win. Everyone knew when and where he was going to attack and he was still able to get the win.

 

The Tour finishes tomorrow with a 90 km circuit race which will most likely end in a bunch sprint.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

– Logan

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stages 3 & 4

 

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Logan Owen and Brendan Canty try to stay cool in the shade and on top of one of the many team coolers

 

Logan Owen is currently making his World Tour debut with his new team, EF Education First, at the Tour Down Under. Logan has been sending in updates on his race. Here is his recap of Stages 3 and 4:

 

Stage 3 Report: It’s hot.

 

Stage 4 Report: IT’S HOT!!!

 

Seriously though, it has been really hot the past couple of stages, especially coming from a Pacific Northwest winter straight to summer in Australia. The team gave me a really good heat acclimatization protocol which I did prior to coming here but even with that, when the temperatures inch towards triple digits Fahrenheit …. Because of the heat the race organization shortened stage 3 and  for stage 4 they pushed the start up 1 hour.

 

Stage 3 my Garmin was reading close to 50 celsius. We spent most of the day riding what would seem super easy on paper but was actually an uncomfortable pace because the temperature was so high. It’s so hot it feels hard to just breathe. There was one section of road that we rode past that looked like it had melted away. My objective for the day was to make sure that our GC guys were in the front for the final 2 km because it was a pretty technical finish and we didn’t want to lose any valuable time if there were any splits. The entire squad did a great job putting them in the front and none of our leaders lost any time.

 

Stage 4 was the first of back to back days that will decide the GC for the race. My job was to look after the GC guys and deliver them into the final climb in good position. Along with that I spent time getting bottles, which was much more difficult with a strong cross wind for most of the day.

 

Heading towards the climb, Mitch and I were looking after Brendan and keeping him in the top 10. Eventually I hit the front and gave a good turn to drop Mitch and Brendan off a little under a kilometer before the start of the climb [ed note: If you were able to watch the coverage you can see Logan at the front with about 17km to go]. At this point my job was done and I just limped home up the climb in the scorching heat. Both of our GC guys, Dani and Brendan, were active on the climb and ended up finishing in the front reduced group. This shows good signs for the stage up Willunga Hill tomorrow.

 

Thanks for reading. I am going to try and stay cool now…….

 

– Logan 

 

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Lots of water bottles and ice socks for the heat.

 

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A lot of trips were made to the team car for bottles to stay hydrated on another hot day.

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 2

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Logan talking with some fans prior to stage 2 of Tour Down Under

 

Logan Owen is making his World Tour debut this week with his new team EF Education First at The Tour Down Under. Logan will be sending in some brief posts about the race here. This is the second installment following yesterday’s Stage 2:

 

The profile for today was tough from start to finish. Plus it was really hot – 38 degrees C. The break went almost immediately again and Will (Clarke) made it into the move again. Will was able to win both sprint points out on the road which also gave him six bonus seconds. 

 

I looked after the GC guys again today. In the finale, I helped to get everyone into position at the base of the final climb up to Sterling. From that point I just rolled into the finish with one of the Bora guys. Overall my legs were good until it got really hot on the circuits – it definitely felt hard those first few times up the climb on the circuit. 

 

Time now to cool off and recover.

 

Thanks for reading. 

 

– Logan

 

Below is a screenshot of Logan’s file from the race.

Logan’s file from the stage. His peak 20 minute heart rate (highlighted) was 188 bpm and came towards the end of the stage as he was working to get his teammates into position for the finale.

 

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 1

Logan TDU

Logan getting interviewed prior to yesterday’s stage.

 

Logan Owen’s World Tour debut with his new team EF Education First was yesterday at the Tour Down Under. Logan will be sending in some brief posts about the race here. This is the first installment following yesterday’s Stage 1:

Overall it was a pretty chill day. The stage profile was such that it was more than likely going to end in a bunch sprint. A breakaway went very early on the stage and we had Will (Clarke) in it. Will was the last of the breakaway to stay away and was able to win the most aggressive rider of the day as a result. He also was second on the stage’s only KOM.

 

For the finale we just looked out for our GC guys and kept them safe and in position. All in all it was a good day and we were able to accomplish what we needed to on the stage. Stage 2 is going to be tougher. It has a hard finish circuit with constant short climbs on it and a drag that goes up to the final sprint. Anticipate a select uphill group sprint.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

– Logan

 

2017 in pictures – It was a very good year!

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I had the opportunity to ride and race in a lot of different places in 2017. From top right going clockwise: Rolling on the local roads of Kitsap County. Thursday night racing at Seward Park. USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships. Heading to the Col de La Croix in Switzerland. Training race at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in Sittard, NL. Turning a few laps at the Olympic Velodrome in Colorado Springs. Getting to race with the athletes that I coach is one of my preferred methods of coaching and plenty of those opportunities presented themselves this past year.

 

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For the third year I traveled to Europe with a group of juniors. This year it was with the USA Cycling Nieuwelingen Trip. Three weeks of bike racing school for 15-16 year old juniors based out of Sittard, NL. The kids raced six kermesses in three weeks and won five of them!

 

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Some takes from the four week UCI Coaching Diploma Course that I attended in August at the World Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland. Top Right Clockwise: The after effects of the the UCI protocol watt-bike test – Dr. G. Millet talks altitude training – The fundamentals of bike fit. – Testing aerodynamics on a velodrome. – A ride to Morgins with the WCC Team. – The Final Diploma. I was only the fourth American to ever take the course and I am only the second to earn the UCI Coaching Diploma.

 

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Continuing education was a big theme in 2017. In addition to the four week UCI course I also attended two other important gatherings in the fall, both in Salt Lake City. As chronicled earlier this year, I am no longer affiliated with Gym Jones. A number of former GJ instructors gathered together for a “Wake” of sorts and to discuss how to move forward together – keep an eye out for some joint seminars, podcasts and other really cool things in the future. I also attended a climbing for coaching seminar put on by Steve Bechtel and the crew at Climb Strong. I recently started working with some climbers and wanted to update myself on new climbing modalities. Steve and his crew put on a great three day seminar.

 

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Two of the athletes that I work with stepped up big time for 2018! Logan Owen has signed a two year contract with the World Tour Team EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale and Heidi Franz has signed with the Rally Women’s Professional Cycling Team! I am super psyched for these two and the big things coming for them!