Training with the Pros

Training with the Pros

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Training with the Pros, it sounds like fun but it can’t be. Pros are genetic freaks; they put more kilometers on their bikes than any of us civilians do on our cars each year, they ride around whole countries at an average speed greater than 40km/hour and they can dish out such Rule V style day-after-day-after-day. We all dream about it but we don’t have it.

In an earlier life I came close to landing my dream job in Monaco with the IAEA. Serious people counseled me not to take the job, they said it was a bad career move. How could I explain to them I didn’t give a shiet if it was a bad career move, the chance to live, and more importantly to be a cyclist near San Remo and La Madone was all I cared about?  Yet I knew if I even saw Tom Boonen or one of the many Aussies who call Monaco their home out on a training ride, I would only be seeing their lycra-clad asses disappearing up the road. Could I at least catch up to Stuart O’Grady to chat him up for a minute before my inability to talk and breathe would force me to lie and say I was turning right HERE?  Maybe I could drink beers with the Aussies, I could keep that professional pace, actually no, I would get dropped there too.

Oh that job fell through and my dreams of  commuting into work on Merlin on the Cote d’Azure disappeared like those watery mirages on a hot highway, but I digress. I have some good and funny direct video evidence why training with the Pros would be a cruel lesson in our mortal failings. One such Pro is Ted King, an American racer living the dream; he is based in Lucca, riding for Liquigas, riding in support of Ivan Basso and Peter Sagan. He is tough, he has finished every Giro d’Italia he has started. He broke his collarbone this summer racing in Philadelphia when his front wheel dropped into an inexcusably lame drain grate (thank you very much, oh third-world infrastructure that defines the USA).

To bring his training back up to speed he did the 200 on 100 with fellow Pro Tim Johnson and amateur racer Ryan Kelly. The 200 on 100 means 200 miles on Route 100, riding North to South from the top to the bottom of the state of Vermont, the Green Mountain State. Unless you are Marcus, 333 km seems like an impossibly long ride to do at once, I would be in broom wagon long before the end of such madness.

And by madness I refer to the 338 km at 34.1 km/hr average speed with 3,197 meters of climbing thrown in for good measure.

[vimeo width=”620″]http://vimeo.com/27367910[/vimeo]

Video credit to Chandler Delinks

 

// General // Routes

  1. @slow eddie
    Perfect! I am turning the Big Four-Ohhhhhh this January. At least someone will be near my age on the ride!

    We are still looking at mid week 12-14th of June sometime. Which of those days would work best for you? We have not nailed the date down yet but would love to soon so we can all plan accordingly and I do not see any reason why we cannot accommodate you if one of those days is better than another.

  2. @Mikael Liddy

    Shall come to review this video in a couple of weeks time when I take on what will be my first “proper” century. 100k organised ride that starts at least 10k’s away (there’s my warm up) and finished about 55k’s (and one solid set of hills) away from home.
    Will easily be my longest ride so far & a little research has shown that over the past 4 years the lowest temp has been 34c. If I survive I shall provide a report.

    Some reflections after completing the ride yesterday.

    Beautiful day riding on a very well organised event for the main 100k ride including a crack at a climb that gets used a couple of times in the TDU queen stage, then a nice 50k push back through the hills with a mate to get home with both in agreeance that speed was well and truly secondary to getting home…

    Feeling pretty good today with the legs suprisingly fresh & only a little stiffness in the neck & shoulders really reminding me of the 163k’s covered yesterday.

    1st ever century important stats: 162.9km covered, 5:57:29 riding time, 1,752m vertical & a fuck-ton of fun.

  3. @Mikael Liddy
    Nicely done!!! Excellent effort! Sounds like a truly great day and a strong ride.

  4. @Buck Rogers
    Yeah was a great day out, gonna shoot @frank a proper write up to see if he wants to put it up here.

  5. @Mikael Liddy
    well done indeed Michael – I assumed you were a seasoned veteran at this malarky with your tastic Stava contributions – nice one – looked tough, so the time is very respectable indeedy

  6. @Dr C
    Nope, became a “cyclist” as opposed to a guy who rode for fitness & commuting occasionally about a year ago, haven’t looked back (metaphorically, tis always best to look out for the metal death machines) since.

  7. @frank

    Found this late, but Frank you’ll be happy to know that only Mt. Washington is ranked higher in the book “Best Cycling Climbs in the US”. Check it out here.

    Of note, #4 is a cruel bitch of a climb as well. For your viewing pleasure: Horseshoe Meadows Rd. The actual ride starts from Lone Pine, CA at 1136m and climbs to the thin air at 2895m. Beautiful view, glorious pain.

  8. I just got on an actual racing team and we’re having a training camp in St. George, UT the first weekend of February. I’m pretty stoked. It’s about as close to “being pro” as I’ll ever get.

  9. @Cyclops

    I just got on an actual racing team and we’re having a training camp in St. George, UT the first weekend of February. I’m pretty stoked. It’s about as close to “being pro” as I’ll ever get.

    Congratulations @Cyclops! That’s fantastic. What’s the race calendar looking like? Should we keep an eye out for you at RVV and PR (peaking in 2 months…)?

  10. @Bianchi Denti
    Don’t think I’ll be making it across the pond but I’m pretty excited for 2012 as far as racing goes. Frank wont like this but since I just turned Cat 4 and I had some extra cash I hired a coach – Kai Applequist of the Continental Pro team Exergy out of Boise Idaho. It’s pretty cool being coached by a pro racer that was racing right next last year’s Tour podium in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge a couple of months ago. I’m the kind of guy that just needs somebody to say “do this” and I’ll do it. I can already tell a big difference in just a little over a month.

  11. @Cyclops

    Awesome, training camps! that’s pretty pro.

    Don’t tell @fronk but there’s a small financial agreement between my sensei/coach and I. Mine’s a nine times British Best All-Rounder. The difference in the short period of time I’ve been riding with him is amazing. Unfortunately work doesn’t allow me to get out with him as much as I’d like but even just having the phone and email contact is great.

  12. @Cyclops

    @Bianchi Denti
    Don’t think I’ll be making it across the pond but I’m pretty excited for 2012 as far as racing goes. Frank wont like this but since I just turned Cat 4 and I had some extra cash I hired a coach – Kai Applequist of the Continental Pro team Exergy out of Boise Idaho. It’s pretty cool being coached by a pro racer that was racing right next last year’s Tour podium in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge a couple of months ago. I’m the kind of guy that just needs somebody to say “do this” and I’ll do it. I can already tell a big difference in just a little over a month.

    I’m he same way. I am really disciplined about things that effect others. But if and when I have time to get into racing I would want a coach at a certain point. Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  13. I enjoyed this video very much. I may have to try this ride this summer, but there is no way I’ll do it in the rain. Nope.

  14. @Calmante

    I enjoyed this video very much. I may have to try this ride this summer, but there is no way I’ll do it in the rain. Nope.

    I’ll be in VT in June if you want to give it a go… that said, VT in June you are pretty much guaranteed a cold rain most days!

  15. @Calmante

    I enjoyed this video very much. I may have to try this ride this summer, but there is no way I’ll do it in the rain. Nope.

    Check out the 200 on 100 Cogal that we have set up on the Cogal page. It is in June so it is hard to find unless you page the calendar ahead to Jue nd click on the link on that months calendar.

  16. @Cyclops, @Chris

    @Bianchi Denti
    Don’t think I’ll be making it across the pond but I’m pretty excited for 2012 as far as racing goes. Frank wont like this but since I just turned Cat 4 and I had some extra cash I hired a coach – Kai Applequist of the Continental Pro team Exergy out of Boise Idaho. It’s pretty cool being coached by a pro racer that was racing right next last year’s Tour podium in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge a couple of months ago. I’m the kind of guy that just needs somebody to say “do this” and I’ll do it. I can already tell a big difference in just a little over a month.

    Why would I not like getting a coach? Getting a coach rocks! What I’d be against is getting a HR monitor, and wattage meter, not understand the numbers well enough to get them right, and then base your training on flawed data.

    Getting a coach or a trainer is brilliant. Rock!

  17. @Buck Rogers, @Calmante, @Anjin-san
    More on the 200 on 100 Cogal.

    By the way: Pronounce it Correctly: Kog’all. It is not – I repeat NOT – pronounced Ko’gol. Bicycles have Cogs, not Koghes. This is a time when understanding the language comes at your own detriment.

  18. @Chris

    @Cyclops
    Awesome, training camps! that’s pretty pro.
    Don’t tell @fronk but there’s a small financial agreement between my sensei/coach and I. Mine’s a nine times British Best All-Rounder. The difference in the short period of time I’ve been riding with him is amazing. Unfortunately work doesn’t allow me to get out with him as much as I’d like but even just having the phone and email contact is great.

    Cris late in getting back on this but is your coach Ian Cammish?? There is some bloke who has won 11(!) times recently but Cammish was doing it in the 80’s and I am sure his bikes were great but not as great and his average times of 26mph+ (and I am not using kph because, well you know, its Blighty) is just mind boggling.

    Of course the god of BAR is Ms. Burton if there ever was the definition of HARD she owns it!

    And for all you girls out there who do not know what Cris and I are talking about check it out cause these boys and girls are the nuts when it comes to dedication and HTFU on the bike.

  19. @Rob
    That’s him. Great bloke and no slouch on a bike even now.

    The BBAR ranks riders by their average speeds in individual time trials, over 50 and 100 miles (160 km) and 12 hours for men, and over 25, 50 and 100 miles (160 km) for women. Ian won it 9 times between 1980 and ’89 with a top average speed in 1983 of over 27mph. His national 100 mile time trial record (3:31:53 – 28.3mph!) set in 1983 is only a shade over 9 minutes slower than the current record despite being set on a regular road bike.

  20. @Chris
    Yes! Glad to hear he is going well and I bet you could do no better in a mentor. I used to read about him on stays in Blighty and always thought that the dedication to the bike was astounding. We are (as you know) not just talking about training hard but riding in the dark for most of the year with shit old school lights in all weather. I used to meet guys riding for training and typically they would commute something like 40 miles to and from work to get the miles in.

    And I do not care if someone has gone “9” mins. faster that time is just mind blowing. I have done similar with 99 other guys but thats like drafting a truck and my best time for a hilly 10 miler was 27 something… sad I know.

  21. @Rob
    I read somewhere that he’d not only commute to work but but go out lunch time for a quick 2 up 25 with a swift colleague . He never looks out of breath when we ride together.

  22. ‘trained’ with the pros today :)

  23. @2000dB awesome! what’s the story that accompanies that picture and your ride?

  24. @graham d.m.

    The pros were doing recon on the Mont Royal in preparation for the GPCM tomorrow.

    Did a couple laps with the Garmin boys, climbed a bit with Sagan, etc.  All the teams were pretty much there all at once, it was great.

  25. @2000dB that’s pretty sweet!

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