Latest News in Cycling
- The Greensfelder gravel parking lot on the west side of Allenton road will be closed tomorrow (Sat 10/25/14) for Hayrides. You will need to park at the welcome center or in the lot on Henken road.
- This weekend is a championship weekend, with the Canadian Cyclocross National Championships and the infamous Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) both taking place. We’ll have ... The post SSCXWC 2014: How Did We Get Here? A SSCXWC History in Pictures appeared first on...
...view the full story & post your comments at our site: http://cxmagazine.com
- The first medals of the 2014 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships were claimed in Beech Mountain, N.C., on Friday, as menandrsquo;s and womenandrsquo;s division 1 and 2 short track cross-country competition took center stage.
The brands offering electrolyte drink mixes might have you thinking that hydration is a precise science. They use long words that you probably don’t understand — at least I have to look most of them up. But in reality, hydration is much more simple. In the real world, what we pour into our bodies revolves around a few things: what are we craving, and what tastes good, or in the case of many electrolyte mixes, what can we stomach. Luckily, there is a growing number of tasty and portable options available. Here is my go-to selection and how I use them.
Skratch Labs Hyper Hydration — $24.00 for 8 servings
$3.00 per serving
Skratch Labs launched its Hyper Hydration mix about a year ago. I first tried it during the PeopleForBikes Ride on Chicago, where I was logging about 100 miles a day, four days in a row, in the heat and humidity of midwestern summer. I would drink only one bottle of hyper throughout the day, while drinking about a dozen bottles of normal Skratch Labs Exercise mix.
The Hyper mix is not for average exercise, and it’s certainly not for sitting on the couch and sipping. Where I found Hyper to be most useful was not while on the bike, but before a hot race or intense training ride. It’s not the easiest drinking mix, though I had no trouble getting it down. Other tasters did not accept it as quickly, and drinking it while on the bike might be hard for some.
Hyper is packed with sodium. Packed. A single serving of Hyper has 1,700mg of sodium and 80mg of potassium. Comparatively, Skratch Labs Exercise mix has 180mg of sodium. In the real world, a serving of Lay’s Salt and Vinegar chips, which is about 28 chips according to Lay’s, has about 220mg of sodium. If you’re the kind of rider to finish a hot ride or race with salt crusted on your face and jersey, Hyper is for you.
Early in the fall, when cyclocross races are hot, and sweating is a given, I’ll drink a bottle of Hyper in the hour ahead of the race. Give it a try in training first. Yes, comparatively, it’s quite expensive, but this is a tool for intense training and racing, not just another electrolyte mix.
Best For: Before extraordinarily hot training rides and summer races
Like: Individual packets are great for carrying to races
Dislike: High price
Osmo Active Hydration for Men — $20 for 40 servings
$0.50 per serving
As far as application goes, the Osmo Active Hydration is one of the simpler products that I use. It has no caffeine, normal levels of electrolytes, and is easy to drink. It’s a product that I use on most rides, regardless of length or temperature. Even on really hot days, Osmo is still easy to digest, unlike more sugary electrolyte mixes.
The ingredients list is a bit daunting, as there appears to be just about everything imaginable in this stuff. I’m also not a fan of the size of the serving scoop. For the average 21oz bottle, Osmo calls for 2.5 scoops. I don’t like trying to think about what a half-scoop looks like compared to a quarter of a scoop — and yes these are things I think about. I would guess that Osmo’s scoop is smaller as a result of the smaller canister, so I am thankful that the canister doesn’t take up an inordinate amount of space. It’s small enough to throw it in a duffel bag on trips. I just wish a single scoop did the trick. Two and a half just seems arbitrary.
When VeloNews first tried Osmo a couple of years ago, the flavor was its biggest shortcoming, and while at that time, the Active mix was the easiest to drink, I’ve found that the latest iteration is even better tasting. Or perhaps I’ve just grown to like it.
Best for: Any day, regardless of temperature
Like: Easy drinking, travel-friendly canister, available in a women’s version
Dislike: Ingredients list is a bit daunting
Nuun Active Hydration — $24 for 48 servings
$0.50 per serving
Nuun Active Hydration is the easiest electrolyte drink to travel with. The 12-tablet canisters — there are four canisters in a pack — take up about the same amount of space as a bottle of ibuprofen. The taste is great, and it is not crazy expensive. There is always a bottle of Kona Kola Active Hydration in my backpack.
Nuun Active Hydration comes in a plethora of flavors, though my favorite is Kona Cola. For anyone who likes a nice flat Coke during a ride for its sugar and caffeine, this is the ticket. Most of the other Active Hydration flavors are caffeine-free, though the Kona Kola and Lemon Tea flavors carry 40mg of caffeine.
This is quite a bit more caffeine than the Skratch Labs Hydration Mix with Matcha and Lemons, which only has about 16mg. I like to use it during short efforts on hot days, like a criterium.
For day-to-day riding, Nuun hydration is tasty and easy to drop in to a bottle. Just be careful when you pop the top on your bottle the first time, that dissolving tablet tends to build some back-pressure in your bottle. It can scare you.
Best for: Traveling and on the go
Like: Plethora of flavors. Kona Kola is excellent
Dislike: When dropped into a 24oz bottle, the mixture tastes watered down
Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix — $19.50 for 20 servings
About $1 per serving
I’ve been using Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix for a long time, but I’d always wished for a flavor that included some caffeine, as not every morning ride starts from the coffee shop. Skratch has answered that call with its Matcha and Lemons flavor.
The Matcha and Lemons flavor is infused with caffeine from green tea, referred to as matcha in this application. Matcha is a finely-ground green tea — left unground it is referred to as a gyokuro green tea. In this case, you consume the matcha tea whole, as it’s ground and directly added to the electrolyte mix. Making it, unlike normal tea, able to be mixed and consumed via a sports drink.
Now there isn’t a ton of caffeine per serving, only about 16mg, and compared to a cup of coffee that has about 100mg of caffeine, it’s almost insignificant. However, if you’re consuming multiple bottles on a hot day, be careful not to overload your body with caffeine.
So, why do I end up choosing Skratch Hydration with Matcha and Lemons over anything else? I really like the taste. Not to mention, there’s research out there about the health benefits of green tea, and in the case of matcha, you’re pouring that green tea powder directly into your body. The ingredients list is shorter than the Osmo Active Hydration’s list and much less intimidating — it makes me more comfortable knowing what I’m pouring into my body.
That said, if I know a ride will be starting at a coffee shop, I’ll probably go with the Osmo Active Hydration, as I won’t need to add more caffeine on top of my macchiato.
Skratch Labs Hydration Mix’s container is a bit of a pain to deal with. The zip-lock idea works fine, but I’m hesitant to travel with it, as I’m afraid I won’t get it shut completely and end up with green drink powder all over my bag. Skratch does offer single servings, like its Hyper Mix, and they also make a glass jar, but it’s heavy and pricey. I have an old Gatorade powder container that I keep my Skratch labs powder in. It’s not as secure at the Osmo container or as classy as the glass Skratch container, but it gets the job done and Skratch’s single scoop per serving recipe is easy to remember.
Best for: Lovers of green tea and those who want a little caffeine in their mix
Like: The flavor and short ingredients list
Dislike: More expensive and powder container is not easy to travel with
If I had to go with a single mix, it would be the Nuun Kona Kola or the Skratch Labs Matcha and Lemons, as I am caffeine addict. Others might completely hate the green tea flavor that I love, and might enjoy the Osmo blackberry — though I do prefer their orange flavor.
These are my favorite mixes, and I’ve tried plenty, but it’s all about what your body craves. Satisfying that craving will be the best fuel for your rides.
Froome undecided on 2015 Tour, Sky signs Viviani
Coming off a strong year with the Hincapie Sportswear Development, Chris Butler, 26, will make the jump to the successful upstart Team SmartStop next year.
Proving himself as one of the most promising riders in the sport, Butler had strong performances against WorldTour riders at both the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge, but hopes to build upon his results next year when moving into a GC role for SmartStop.
“I started talking with [Micheal] Creed a while ago. I saw what he was doing with SmartStop and knew that I wanted to be a part of that,” said Butler. “SmartStop has been working really hard to get into some really big races in hopes of showcasing its talent.”
For 2015, SmartStop plans to race the Amgen Tour of California, the Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge, and it aims to secure invitations at international races like the Tour de San Luis and the Tour of Langkawi.
“I’d really like to make the move back to WorldTour at some point in my career and I know that the only way to do that is to race and get results in bigger international events,” said Butler. “My goal for 2015 is to target the Tour of Utah, now that it’s an 2.HC event, and hopefully be able to finish in the top six on GC to prove that I’m capable of riding at the highest level.” He rode for BMC from 2010-2011 before switching over to the Champion System team, where he was for two years before riding with Hincapie Sportswear in 2014.
Along with Butler, SmartStop will add another former WorldTour rider, Evan Huffman to the 2015 roster, in hopes of adding more depth to their already outstanding group of riders. Huffman is coming off of a two-year stint with Astana that was largely fruitless for the young American.
At this point, what happened to Taylor Phinney that day is well known. An in-race motorcycle slowed down in front of him and others during a descent of the USA Cycling road national championships. He smashed into a guardrail. His left leg snapped as a toothpick does under a heavy thumb.
What happens next, though, is the unknown. Phinney has worked and rehabbed. He’s suffered through watching the races, feeling like he’s losing ground every single day as the peloton barrels forward. He talked with VeloNews recently about his recovery and his ambitions for next season.
VeloNews: How are you doing? How’s the leg? How are things?
Taylor Phinney: Things have been good. I’ve been getting out on the velodrome here in Boulder, getting back to roots, riding behind the moto getting back my leg speed. But things are progressing, slowly but surely. I thought I’d be back to 100 percent in October, but I still have a little ways to go. Just getting the strength back in my left leg — not using it for six weeks takes it about nine months to [get to] where I had it before.
VN: Is that what they’re saying, nine months until it’s back to fully functioning?
TP: Well they said six to nine months, but I can still do stuff. I can ride and still put out some watts, but I want to make sure that my left leg is equally as strong as my right leg before I start doing some serious training. I feel like that’s an important thing for me.
VN: Does it still hurt?
TP: Yeah, it starts to hurt if I push too hard around my knee, so I’m just trying to not make it hurt and just ride. I’m happy that the season is over now, just because it’s one more thing that I don’t have to think about now, but now that the season is over, it’s like everyone is at the same place now. But I’m still working and improving, so hopefully I can start training with everyone else when the time comes. For now, I’m not too fixated on what everyone else is doing.
VN: When next year rolls around, is there a time when you want to be 100 percent ready or will the progression be more as it comes?
TP: My biggest goals that I’m hoping to be 100 percent ready for are the Tour and worlds in Richmond. I want to be ready for the classics, but I just don’t know whether I’ll be ready to handle that intensity at that point. It’s hard to have a full long-term plan, but I’m quite sure that by May or June — a year after the accident — that I’ll be at 100 percent.
VN: Has the team been supportive of you, not putting a ton of pressure on?
TP: Yeah, they’ve been telling me to be conservative. I talk to them just about every week to check in and they speak with the doctors. I talk to a lot of the riders, they want to have me back, to at least be at the dinner table to make people laugh, but I’ll be back there eventually.
VN: You did a conference call shortly after the crash once you had some time to think about what happened. To me you seemed not too mad or upset with the situation then. Do you still feel that way or are you mad about what happened?
TP: I don’t get mad about it. I’ve learned a ton about myself over the past couple of months. I’ve had some really good times and some really bad times, and I’ve gained a whole new appreciation of what bike racing means to me and the ability to be mobile and the freedom of riding the bike when I could barely walk, but still pedal a bike. My relationship with the bike itself is completely different now. When you’re going through a hard time, it really is a nice escape and it allows you to filter all of the shit that you have built up in your mind. I had the relationship with the bike before, but I never went through anything as difficult or trying as this, and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. I’ve really matured a lot, which you hear about all the time, but never really appreciate until you’ve actually gone through something like it. I have a new perspective now, things mean something a bit more to me. Just life in general and mobility and the ability to live and breathe and be a contributing person to society. It all has a whole new meaning to be healthy and I’m just grateful to getting back to being healthy, and it’s something I’ve always been grateful for, being around my dad [Davis Phinney has Parkinson’s disease —Ed.], but it really puts it in a new light when it’s you. When you can’t walk, when you need an assistant and you’re constantly trying to get better, but the recovery isn’t happening daily, but every week or month, so it’s tough to see the slow progression of the recovery.
VN: It must be hard for you, being so healthy and fit your whole life to ask for help or to need it.
TP: Yeah, I went to my friend’s soccer game the other day, and I can walk now, but my left side is still weaker. I can ride a bike a lot better than I can walk right now, but I went to this game and just desperately wanted to run around and kick a soccer ball, but there is nothing I can do about that, I simply can’t physically run yet. … But I tried to kick the soccer ball afterwards and went to kick and planted my left leg, my bad leg, as I was about kick and then just collapsed. I couldn’t hold myself up like that, so it was pretty embarrassing, I ended up in some weird pose on the ground.
VN: We saw Cadel and Hushovd retiring, what do you think of the team next year? It will obviously be a bit younger.
TP: It’s always too bad when you lose legends of sport. Thor and I have a really close relationship, he’s one of my favorites to room with, so announcing his retirement wasn’t a surprise but it was a bit of a shock to me. I know that Cadel had been thinking about it for awhile, but this allowed the team to open the door to a bunch of new riders and I think that’s the best direction to take the team — make it younger, get the energy levels up and I’m looking forward to getting back to it and forming a bond with the younger riders who are coming up.
VN: The Tour is going to be the big goal next year?
TP: Yeah, if I can come back and do Paris-Roubaix, that would be the best thing, but the Tour is a massive goal for me, especially with the short punchy prologue [The Tour's opening 14km time trial will be considered stage 1, not a prologue —Ed.]. So being able to put on the yellow jersey and maybe winning the world championships are things that I’m trying to look forward to. Obviously, there is a lot of stuff that needs to happen before I can check off those boxes, but I’m just happy that the Tour is back to putting prologues in. It’s nice of them.
The post Taylor Phinney Q&A: Recovery, the Tour, and the crash appeared first on VeloNews.com.
As the season wound down, all of the big hitters came out swinging at both the Vuelta a España and the UCI world road championships. The November issue of Velo provides a complete breakdown of two of the year’s most exciting races.
The issue opens with a reflection on the changing of the guard at cycling’s governing post. After a year as the president of the UCI, Velo looks at Brian Cookson’s time in office to see if he’s kept his campaign promises to making the sport more transparent.
Also in VeloNotes, Ryan Newill tackles the mostly unseen aggression and contact within the peloton and how the addition of on-board cameras might provide viewers with a more accurate and intimate look into what really happens inside professional racing.
This month’s Editors’ Picks discusses layering and how to stay comfortable as temperatures cool off. Vests and arm warmers are tested and reviewed.
Winners, losers and rivalries of the Spanish grand tour are all examined, as Andrew Hood provides a look at one of the year’s most exciting races — perhaps the best Vuelta of all time.
Also in Spain, new world champions crowned in Ponferrada, and Velo breaks down the rainbow jersey performances and the week of explosive racing and huge upsets.
Two years after USADA sanctioned many of cycling’s biggest names for doping, Matthew Beaudin considers the inconsistent way the different riders are perceived by the public. From Armstrong to Zabriske, Danielson to Hincapie, the stars of yesteryear have either thrived in the sport or backed away quietly since the 2012 USADA report.
This month in tech, Caley Fretz and Logan VonBokel jump into the helmet debate head-first, discussing the recent craze over aero road helmets and how much of a difference they really make.
In training, Trevor Connor, discusses the delicate balance between fitness and illness and how overtraining the body can compromise the immune system.