Latest News in Cycling
- 1. Luca PAOLINI, Katusha, in 5:43:50
- 2. Cadel EVANS, BMC Racing, at :16
- 3. Ryder HESJEDAL, Garmin-Sharp, at :16
- 4. Mauro SANTAMBROGIO, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at :16
- 5. Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at :16
- 6. Giampaolo CARUSO, Katusha, at :16
- 7. Pieter WEENING, Orica-GreenEdge, at :16
- 8. Bradley WIGGINS, Sky, at :16
- 9. Benat INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA, Movistar, at :16
- 10. Robert GESINK, Blanco, at :16
- 11. Robert KISERLOVSKI, RadioShack-Leopard, at :16
- 12. Thomas DANIELSON, Garmin-Sharp, at :16
- 13. Ivan SANTAROMITA, BMC Racing, at :16
- 14. Rigoberto URAN URAN, Sky, at :16
- 15. Valerio AGNOLI, Astana, at :16
- 16. Yury TROFIMOV, Katusha, at :16
- 17. Vincenzo NIBALI, Astana, at :16
- 18. Sergio Luis HENAO MONTOYA, Sky, at :36
- 19. Enrico BATTAGLIN, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at :49
- 20. Giovanni VISCONTI, Movistar, at :50
- 21. Fabio ARU, Astana, at :50
- 22. Steve MORABITO, BMC Racing, at :50
- 23. Rafael VALLS FERRI, Vacansoleil-DCM, at :50
- 24. Cayetano José SARMIENTO TUNARROSA, Cannondale, at :50
- 25. Michal GOLAS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at :50
- 26. Jorge AZANZA SOTO, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at :50
- 27. Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :50
- 28. Domenico POZZOVIVO, Ag2r La Mondiale, at :50
- 29. Rafal MAJKA, Saxo-Tinkoff, at :50
- 30. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, Blanco, at :50
- 31. Franco PELLIZOTTI, Androni Giocattoli, at :50
- 32. Przemyslaw NIEMIEC, Lampre-Merida, at 1:00
- 33. Michele SCARPONI, Lampre-Merida, at 1:00
- 34. Diego ROSA, Androni Giocattoli, at 1:37
- 35. Alessandro PRONI, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 1:52
- 36. Stefano GARZELLI, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 1:52
- 37. Fabio Andres DUARTE AREVALO, Colombia, at 1:52
- 38. Marco MARCATO, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 1:52
- 39. Bruno PIRES, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 1:52
- 40. Arnold JEANNESSON, FDJ, at 1:52
- 41. Rory SUTHERLAND, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 1:52
- 42. Juan Manuel GARATE, Blanco, at 1:52
- 43. Serge PAUWELS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:52
- 44. Fabio FELLINE, Androni Giocattoli, at 1:52
- 45. Francis DE GREEF, Lotto-Belisol, at 1:52
- 46. Francis MOUREY, FDJ, at 1:52
- 47. Francisco José VENTOSO ALBERDI, Movistar, at 1:52
- 48. Peter STETINA, Garmin-Sharp, at 1:52
- 49. Danilo WYSS, BMC Racing, at 1:52
- 50. Grega BOLE, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 1:52
- 51. Danilo HONDO, RadioShack-Leopard, at 1:52
- 52. Vladimir KARPETS, Movistar, at 1:52
- 53. Wilco KELDERMAN, Blanco, at 1:52
- 54. Francesco Manuel BONGIORNO, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 1:52
- 55. Andrey ZEITS, Astana, at 1:52
- 56. Tiago MACHADO, RadioShack-Leopard, at 1:52
- 57. Angel VICIOSO ARCOS, Katusha, at 1:52
- 58. Paolo LONGO BORGHINI, Cannondale, at 1:52
- 59. Egoi MARTINEZ DE ESTEBAN, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:52
- 60. Gianluca BRAMBILLA, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 1:52
- 61. Evgeny PETROV, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 1:52
- 62. Gorka VERDUGO MARCOTEGUI, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:52
- 63. Petr IGNATENKO, Katusha, at 1:52
- 64. Damiano CARUSO, Cannondale, at 1:52
- 65. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, Colombia, at 1:52
- 66. Danilo DI LUCA, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 1:52
- 67. Jose Rodolfo SERPA PEREZ, Lampre-Merida, at 1:52
- 68. Miguel Angel RUBIANO CHAVEZ, Androni Giocattoli, at 1:52
- 69. Emanuele SELLA, Androni Giocattoli, at 1:52
- 70. Stefano PIRAZZI, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 2:03
- 71. Tanel KANGERT, Astana, at 3:05
- 72. Simone STORTONI, Lampre-Merida, at 3:05
- 73. Kanstantsin SIUTSOU, Sky, at 3:23
- 74. Dalivier OSPINA NAVARRO, Colombia, at 3:31
- 75. Vladimir GUSEV, Katusha, at 4:24
- 76. Jarlinson PANTANO, Colombia, at 4:24
- 77. Salvatore PUCCIO, Sky, at 7:05
- 78. Julien BERARD, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 7:05
- 79. Leonardo Fabio DUQUE, Colombia, at 8:27
- 80. Vicente REYNES MIMO, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:27
- 81. Dirk BELLEMAKERS, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:27
- 82. Alex DOWSETT, Movistar, at 8:27
- 83. Elia VIVIANI, Cannondale, at 8:27
- 84. Filippo POZZATO, Lampre-Merida, at 8:27
- 85. Sonny COLBRELLI, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 8:27
- 86. Marco CANOLA, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 8:27
- 87. Sacha MODOLO, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 8:27
- 88. Fabio SABATINI, Cannondale, at 8:27
- 89. Ricardo MESTRE, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 8:27
- 90. Dominique ROLLIN, FDJ, at 8:27
- 91. Jens KEUKELEIRE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 8:27
- 92. Luke DURBRIDGE, Orica-GreenEdge, at 8:27
- 93. Alan MARANGONI, Cannondale, at 8:27
- 94. Nicola BOEM, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 8:27
- 95. Murilo Antonio FISCHER, FDJ, at 8:27
- 96. Tiziano DALL’ANTONIA, Cannondale, at 8:27
- 97. Stefano LOCATELLI, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 8:27
- 98. Martijn KEIZER, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 8:27
- 99. Matti BRESCHEL, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 8:27
- 100. Maarten WYNANTS, Blanco, at 8:27
- 101. Rob RUIJGH, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 8:27
- 102. Stef CLEMENT, Blanco, at 8:27
- 103. John DEGENKOLB, Argos-Shimano, at 8:27
- 104. Koen DE KORT, Argos-Shimano, at 8:27
- 105. Gert DOCKX, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:27
- 106. Frederik VEUCHELEN, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 8:27
- 107. Cristiano SALERNO, Cannondale, at 8:27
- 108. Patrick GRETSCH, Argos-Shimano, at 8:27
- 109. Christian KNEES, Sky, at 8:27
- 110. Matteo RABOTTINI, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 8:27
- 111. Willem WAUTERS, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 8:27
- 112. Cameron WURF, Cannondale, at 8:27
- 113. Mark CAVENDISH, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 8:27
- 114. Julien VERMOTE, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 8:27
- 115. Nelson Filipe SANTOS SIMOES OLIVEIRA, RadioShack-Leopard, at 8:27
- 116. Jérôme PINEAU, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 8:27
- 117. Karsten KROON, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 8:27
- 118. Thomas DAMUSEAU, Argos-Shimano, at 8:27
- 119. Ben GASTAUER, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 8:27
- 120. Guillaume BONNAFOND, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 8:27
- 121. Paul MARTENS, Blanco, at 8:27
- 122. Mads CHRISTENSEN, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 8:27
- 123. Lars Ytting BAK, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:27
- 124. Hubert DUPONT, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 8:27
- 125. Adam HANSEN, Lotto-Belisol, at 8:27
- 126. Mattia CATTANEO, Lampre-Merida, at 8:27
- 127. Christian VANDEVELDE, Garmin-Sharp, at 8:27
- 128. Brett LANCASTER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 8:27
- 129. Robert VRECER, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 8:27
- 130. Sylvain GEORGES, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 8:27
- 131. Edoardo ZARDINI, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, at 8:27
- 132. Daniele BENNATI, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 8:27
- 133. Matteo TRENTIN, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 8:27
- 134. Albert TIMMER, Argos-Shimano, at 8:27
- 135. Fredrik Carl Wilhelm KESSIAKOFF, Astana, at 8:27
- 136. George BENNETT, RadioShack-Leopard, at 8:27
- 137. Alessandro VANOTTI, Astana, at 8:27
- 138. Dmitry KOZONTCHUK, Katusha, at 8:27
- 139. Robinson Eduardo CHALAPUD GOMEZ, Colombia, at 8:27
- 140. José HERRADA LOPEZ, Movistar, at 8:27
- 141. Pablo LASTRAS GARCIA, Movistar, at 8:27
- 142. Maurits LAMMERTINK, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 12:16
- 143. Kristijan DURASEK, Lampre-Merida, at 12:16
- 144. Gert STEEGMANS, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 12:55
- 145. Johan LE BON, FDJ, at 12:55
- 146. Pavel BRUTT, Katusha, at 13:37
- 147. Robert HUNTER, Garmin-Sharp, at 14:17
- 148. Taylor PHINNEY, BMC Racing, at 14:17
- 149. Daniel OSS, BMC Racing, at 14:17
- 150. Iljo KEISSE, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, at 14:17
- 151. Thomas DEKKER, Garmin-Sharp, at 14:17
- 152. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, Garmin-Sharp, at 14:17
- 153. Frederik WILLEMS, Lotto-Belisol, at 14:17
- 154. Eros CAPECCHI, Movistar, at 14:17
- 155. Hayden ROULSTON, RadioShack-Leopard, at 14:17
- 156. Daniele PIETROPOLLI, Lampre-Merida, at 14:17
- 157. Ioannis TAMOURIDIS, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 14:17
- 158. Maarten TJALLINGII, Blanco, at 14:17
- 159. Brian BULGAC, Lotto-Belisol, at 14:17
- 160. Giacomo NIZZOLO, RadioShack-Leopard, at 14:17
- 161. Roberto FERRARI, Lampre-Merida, at 14:17
- 162. Leigh HOWARD, Orica-GreenEdge, at 14:17
- 163. Christian MEIER, Orica-GreenEdge, at 14:17
- 164. Jens MOURIS, Orica-GreenEdge, at 14:17
- 165. Carlos Julian QUINTERO, Colombia, at 14:17
- 166. Wilson Alexander MARENTES TORRES, Colombia, at 14:17
- 167. Tomas Aurelio GIL MARTINEZ, Androni Giocattoli, at 14:17
- 168. Tobias LUDVIGSSON, Argos-Shimano, at 14:17
- 169. Edwin Alcibiades AVILA VANEGAS, Colombia, at 14:17
- 170. Jackson RODRIGUEZ, Androni Giocattoli, at 14:17
- 171. Bert DE BACKER, Argos-Shimano, at 14:17
- 172. Luka MEZGEC, Argos-Shimano, at 14:17
- 173. Svein TUFT, Orica-GreenEdge, at 14:17
- 174. Maxim BELKOV, Katusha, at 14:17
- 175. Juan Jose COBO ACEBO, Movistar, at 14:17
- 176. Anthony ROUX, FDJ, at 14:17
- 177. Giairo ERMETI, Androni Giocattoli, at 14:17
- 178. Nathan HAAS, Garmin-Sharp, at 14:17
- 179. Matthew Harley GOSS, Orica-GreenEdge, at 14:17
- 180. David MILLAR, Garmin-Sharp, at 14:17
- 181. Francesco CHICCHI, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 14:17
- 182. Rafael ANDRIATO, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 14:17
- 183. Oscar GATTO, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 14:17
- 184. Fabio TABORRE, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, at 14:17
- 185. Manuele BOARO, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 14:17
- 186. Yaroslav POPOVYCH, RadioShack-Leopard, at 14:17
- 187. Pim LIGTHART, Vacansoleil-DCM, at 14:17
- 188. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, Astana, at 14:17
- 189. Xabier ZANDIO ECHAIDE, Sky, at 14:17
- 190. Danny PATE, Sky, at 14:17
- 191. Stephen CUMMINGS, BMC Racing, at 14:17
- 192. Sandy CASAR, FDJ, at 14:17
- 193. Klaas LODEWYCK, BMC Racing, at 17:07
- 194. Adam BLYTHE, BMC Racing, at 17:07
- 195. Davide APPOLLONIO, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 14:17
- 196. Pablo URTASUN PEREZ, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 19:31
- 197. Dario CATALDO, Sky, at 19:31
- 198. Miguel MINGUEZ AYALA, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 19:31
- 199. Nacer BOUHANNI, FDJ, at 19:31
- 200. Laurent PICHON, FDJ, at 19:31
- 201. Jesse SERGENT, RadioShack-Leopard, at 19:31
- 202. Jack BOBRIDGE, Blanco, at 19:31
- 203. Manuel BELLETTI, Ag2r La Mondiale, at 19:31
- 204. Kenny DE HAES, Lotto-Belisol, at 19:31
- 205. Cheng JI, Argos-Shimano, at 19:31
- 206. Mattia GAVAZZI, Androni Giocattoli, at 19:35
- 207. Paolo TIRALONGO, Astana, at 20:00
- I just received word from Columbia Bottom Conservation Area officials. Humidity levels on the portion of the course behind the levee have dropped to the point where we can race there again. The road is fully open and in good shape.
Tonight's race will be back at full length
Luca Paolini (Katusha) won stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia on Monday. Paolini attacked his way to victory in the 222-kilometer third leg, from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea, and pulled on the race leader’s maglia rosa as reward for his escape.
Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) led a chase group of GC favorites for second, with defending Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) third.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Paolini.
Taborre takes a foray
The day’s long breakaway formed 2km into the stage. Fabio Taborre (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Willem Wauters (Vacansoleil-DCM), Manuele Boaro (Saxo-Tinkoff), Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia), Dirk Bellemakers (Lotto-Belisol), Jackson Rodríguez (Androni Giocattoli), and Bert De Backer (Argos-Shimano) were the men on the attack.
Sky took up its duty at the head of the peloton and led the bunch for much of the day to honor Salvatore Puccio’s maglia rosa.
Taborre struck out from the breakaway with more than 50km left to ride. With 52km to go, he had 22 seconds.
The five-man group was unable to match the Vina Fantini man’s pace and gradually fell back. With 37km to go, they were at 1:03. Six kilometers later, the gap was at 1:15.
Behind them all, the bunch began to tick up the pace. The peloton was less than two minutes behind when Taborre rolled over the top of the intermediate summit on the stage’s final climb, the Sella di Catona, 30km from the finish.
Garmin drops Puccio
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) couldn’t hold the pace on the lower slopes of the climb, falling out of the back of the peloton. The former world champion appeared as though he may get a respite when Sky went to the front and slowed the bunch, but defending champion Ryder Hesjedal’s Garmin-Sharp team was having none of it. The sprinters would not have their day.
The team put three riders on the front and pressed the pace, but Hesjedal lost Ramunas Navardauskas when the Lithuanian was forced to scrub speed and rode into the grass after he caught a TV motorcycle in a right-hand corner.
Astana led onto the second pitch of the day’s final climb, Vincenzo Nibali in second wheel. Hesjedal was isolated and looked the group down. He found Bradley Wiggins (Sky) there, as well his maglia rosa teammate, Puccio. Robert Gesink (Blanco) made the split as well.
Hesjedal soon stopped looking, however, and surged with 26km to go. The Canadian rode through Taborre on his own and held eight seconds with 25km to go. Hesjedal was quickly out of sight on the narrow, winding road. Behind him, Tanel Kangert (Astana) led the chase for Nibali as the group ballooned.
With 23.5km to go, Hesjedal was back in the bunch and slotted into sixth wheel, alongside Wiggins. Meanwhile, Puccio sat at the back of the bunch and was soon riding on his own in the caravan.
Mountains classification leader Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) attacked high up on the climb to take full points at the day’s final KOM, but Wauters would leave the stage with the maglia azzurra. The Italian slowed and rejoined the bunch just beyond the summit.
Scarponi, Betancur among the GC casualties
With a technical descent ahead, Valerio Agnoli (Astana) jumped away, likely hoping to spring Nibali on the downhill. The Astana man soon had an unwelcome companion, however, in Hesjedal. Paolini also jumped across and the trio quickly had 30 seconds.
Blanco led the chase and the bunch was strung out on the twisting, single-lane descent. The gap dropped to a handful of seconds through a set of tight switchbacks inside 10km to go.
While the move didn’t appear to be headed for the line, it did accomplish the job of dispatching a number of outside threats for the general classification.
Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale) crashed in one of the narrow corners, but appeared uninjured when he remounted moments later.
Hesjedal punched again at the front, Nibali pinned onto his wheel. Each time the Canadian surged, he dropped riders out of the lead group, which was roughly 25 riders with 9km to go.
Wiggins was in the group with teammate Rigoberto Urán. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) was there as well.
Urán went to the front ahead of the final pitch down to the finish, but Paolini saw an opening and attacked around the right side of the Colombian.
The road continued to descend nearly to the line and Paolini pressed through the corners with Blanco leading the pursuit behind him. The Italian took every chance on the sinuous, urban descent into Marina di Ascea, but could not push ahead more than 10 seconds.
Back in the chase group, a rider — appearing to be one of Paolini’s teammates — dove hard into a left-hand corner. The move pushed the Blanco riders off their line and slowed the group. The Blanco tandem and Scarponi came back around, but the move was enough to disrupt the Blanco riders, however, and the rider on the front crashed in the exit of the turn, taking down his teammate and Scarponi.
Scarponi, the 2011 Giro champion, stood at the side of the road, his bike unrideable, as the Giro’s general classification rode away fro mhim.
The crash disrupted the chase enough to spring Paolini and the Italian pushed on toward the finish and his first career Giro stage win. Paolini started the day 19 seconds down on the GC and with the 20-second time bonus, he pulled on the pink jersey.
Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) led the chase through for second and a 12-second time bonus. Hesjedal was third, for an eight-second bonus, and sits seventh overall, 34 seconds behind Paolini.
Wiggins is now second overall, 17 seconds behind the Italian, with Urán third, also at 17 seconds.
The 96th Giro d’Italia continues Tuesday with the 246km fourth stage from Policastro Bussentino to Serra San Bruno.
This is the third of a three-part series by Joe Friel, co-founder of TrainingPeaks.com and author of The Cyclist’s Training Bible. In this series, Joe goes over how to train specifically for your upcoming event, whether it’s a time trial, criterium, or a road/stage race. We end the series with how to prepare for a hilly road race.
Organizing your training relative to time in order to achieve peak performance is called “periodization.” I described this six-period concept in detail in my book, The Cyclist’s Training Bible. In this article I’d like to examine the most important time in your multi-week periodization plan — the block that starts seven weeks before the race and ends three weeks before. This is the brief time when your race fitness is brought to its highest level of the season.
Let’s take a brief look at this critical five-week period as you train for a hilly road race at which your goal is to podium. To be successful, there are three key abilities to focus on in this block of time — anaerobic endurance, muscular endurance, and sprint power.
The podium selection group will likely be determined during a two- or three-minute episode on a hill. This selection is likely to occur late in the race, although there may well be attempts at forming a successful break earlier. For higher category races, these preliminary attempts are unlikely to succeed unless the strongest teams are represented. Such is the nature of road racing.
Deciding when to burn a match to join such a breakaway attempt is a completely different discussion that has to do with your or your team’s strategy and individual tactics. Our purpose here is look at how you can build the fitness to make such a key move when you determine the time is right and then turn it into a podium position. It all comes down to anaerobic endurance, muscular endurance and sprint power.
Making the key move to join or form a break is dependent on anaerobic endurance. As mentioned, the key moves that cause these breaks almost always occur on a hill in such a race and in order to make it happen require that you go deeply anaerobic for a short period of time — generally two to three minutes. During this brief acceleration, a gap will form and the “rope will be broken.” The peloton will decide, for whatever reason, to let the break go. At this point, muscular endurance is the ability that drives you on.
I’ll come back to anaerobic endurance shortly, but let’s first examine the more basic ability of muscular endurance for road racing.
Muscular endurance (ME) was developed starting late in the Base period and continued into the Build period. These workouts are what time trialists thrive on — long, steady intervals done at or just below the anaerobic threshold (also sometimes called the functional or lactate threshold) with short recoveries. For a refresher on how to do these ME workouts, refer to my first article in this series on training for a time trial.
But for now let’s get back to anaerobic endurance (AE) training.
Your AE training should have started in the first week of the Build period, about 12 weeks before the A-priority race, with one or two of these sessions done weekly. This involves five intervals that are about three minutes long done at an intensity well above your anaerobic threshold. Using a heart rate monitor and my zone system, this is zone 5b (note: HR is slow to respond so you will need to guess intensity for the first minute or so of each interval). If using a power meter, you’ll be in zone 5 at 106 percent to 120 percent of FTP. For those who prefer to train based strictly on RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion), using a 0 (low) to 10 (high) scale the intervals are done at about 9. Recover for three minutes after such a three-minute interval.
In weeks seven to three before the race — the critical time — the AE workout changes slightly. Now they are done on a hill, especially one that is similar to the hill on which you expect the key selection move to made in the race. Each interval now starts with an anaerobic capacity effort for about 20 seconds before settling in to the same intensity described above.
Anaerobic capacity can’t be measured with a heart rate monitor because your pulse changes too slowly. A power meter and achieving power zone 6 can be useful here, but watching the head unit on your handlebars is not the best way to ride in such a situation. This is when RPE should be relied on. For the first 20 seconds of each three-minute AE interval, get out of the saddle and burn a match at RPE 10. Then sit down and continue the climb at HRZ5b, PZ5 or RPE 9, just as before. Continue to recover for three minutes after each three-minute interval. As before, do five such intervals in the workout.
Another change that occurs now is when in the workout you do the AE interval portion. In the critical five-week period, training should be very much like the race. In the race, assuming the key selection move will come in the latter half, there will be some fatigue. You are unlikely to have fresh legs. You must prepare for that situation. Whereas in the first few weeks of the Build period AE intervals were done early in the workout, now the time to do them is near the end of a workout, especially one that was challenging. A great time for this is after a fast group ride or even following a weekend crit. Of course, a hilly B- or C-priority race on the weekend could be substituted for the intervals.
During the critical time I recommend a weekly ME session and two AE workouts. Some riders may be able to handle three AE workouts. One of the AE interval sessions could follow the ME workout portion.
The AE workout is what will get you into the break. That is followed by the muscular endurance portion that maintains the break as the group rotates. This then brings you to the finish line where it all comes down to a sprint — or perhaps another long AE effort if sprinting isn’t your strength. All of this again requires tactical planning on your part.
So let’s say you intend to bring it down to a sprint to the finish line. Since sprinters are largely “born” and not “made,” you probably aren’t going to become hugely powerful now. But a normally less powerful sprinter can beat a wattage freak if he or she is less fatigued. That means putting in several long and hard rides that include ME and AE portions as described above. The end of these workouts is the time to work on your sprint. It will more than likely come down to 8-16 high-torque/cadence pedal revolutions. Do two or three such maximal efforts with very long recoveries (3-5 minutes) following your AE intervals. A power meter is a great tool here to see how much power you can produce when tired.
During the five weeks of the critical block you are more than likely going to need a break from training. While the focus is on some combination of intensity and long, fast rides, chronic fatigue will begin to appear. This may occur at any time in the five weeks. At this time when it has become apparent that you are very tired, you must take a break from training to allow your body to adapt to the stresses you’ve been applying. Such a break to recover and rejuvenate typically takes three to five days. During this time do only short and easy rides. When feeling fresh it’s time to start the hard workouts again.
If you’ve consistently followed a training plan similar to what is described here followed by a taper or Peak period so as to remove fatigue, you should come into your A race well prepared and have a great performance.
Editor’s Note: Joe Friel is a co-founder of TrainingPeaks.com and is the author of several books on training for endurance athletes, including The Cyclist’s Training Bible.