Apex Coaching Training Tips
Each Week CrossVegas partner Apex Coaching will present training tips to prepare you for cross season and some of the unique features of the CrossVegas course at Desert Breeze Soccer Complex in Las Vegas. Coach Grant Hollicky presents Tuesday Training tips to prep you for CrossVegas and the entire cross season.
To Run or Not To Run
When it comes to cyclocross training , how to training for the off bike parts of racing are hotly debated. Some say to log miles running, some say run training isn't important. This is how we approach run training for cyclocross at APEX.
In my opinion, the important aspects of running in cyclocross are foot speed and agility. The early season could definitely contain some base energy level running in order to have the muscles ready for the impact of faster running. We have many of our athletes go for an easy run once a week up to the start of the season. This readies the muscles of the legs and has the added benefit of helping strengthen the skeletal system. We also do an off bike strength session one to two times a week. Ours is led by endurance sports strength specialist Erin Carson at RallySport in Boulder, but you can find similar session nationwide.
With strength and running musculature prepared our athletes will perform one to two workouts a week of sustained uphill running (for strength) and/or uphill sprinting for leg speed and strength. As in our on bike sprints, foot speed and cadence are focus points during these sprints. We also use rugged off road terrain for these sprints in order to get used to the unbalanced nature of running of the bike in cross.
These short running session are crucial in preparation for the CrossVegas course at Desert Breeze Park. Unless you have the bunny hopping ability of the Elite riders, you will be off the bike at high speed 2-3 times per lap. Quick feet are crucial to navigating the stairs and barriers at CrossVegas and in most cyclocross courses.
Cyclocross is a style of racing in which power and leg strength are very important. From the start, to short, intense climbs and racing out of the barriers and corners, top end power is a must.
This is particularly important in the energy-sapping grass of Desert Breeze Soccer Complex, the venue of CrossVegas.
Try adding short (20-40) second effort at a full effort to you training program. Take a lot of rest (3-4 min) between the efforts in order to maintain the highest quality and watts. Perform some of the efforts standing and some seated.
These efforts will help make you legs stronger and raise the power they are able to put out.
Leg Speed and Cyclocross
Cyclocross is all about being able to react quickly and explosively to the terrain and the riders around you. This is one of the reasons our athletes train and race at high rpm's. This allows them to accelerate quicker out of corners and to attack the hills and contours of any course.
CrossVegas is a perfect example of this. The frequent changes in elevations, barriers and 180's require correct gear selection into the feature so the rider can easily get to speed out of it. Watch for the best riders to spin their way out of corners or the barriers and strung out the field behind them.
Train your legs by spending the majority of your training at a cadence of 90-100 rpm's. Also try adding in some 30 sec to 1 min efforts at a very high cadence (120+) as well. Finally, practice prepping your gears into obstacles and corners so you can exit with a high cadence and a higher acceleration.
Complete details about Apex Coaching available HERE
World Cup Series Champions Return to CrossVegas
Van Aert and Cant Kick Off World Cup Competition at CrossVegas
Both the men’s and women’s 2015-2016 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup overall series winners will be on the start line at World Cup CrossVegas in Las Vegas on September 21. to defend their titles. Wout Van Aert and Sanne Cant, both of Belgium, took overall honors in last year’s season long competition, in which CrossVegas kicked off the seven events that comprised the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup 2015-2016 season.
Van Aert, of the Crelan-Vastgoedservice team, started the 2015-2016 season with a victory at CrossVegas last September and continued with a winning streak that included not only the World Cup Series overall title but the title of World Champion as well. He commented about his return to CrossVegas, "It may sound a bit weird to some people, but I always love coming back to CrossVegas. My first CrossVegas was in 2013, when I traveled with Bart Wellens and Quinten Hermans. It was just so much fun! First, there was the race itself. But also, we explored the city and were pretty impressed. I will never forget that trip. Of course last year was different, because it was the first World Cup in the States, so I was more focused. And it turned out very well with the victory. It was the start of a brilliant season, so I only have good memories."
Cant, of the Enertherm-BeoBank team, finished on the 2015 CrossVegas podium with a third place finish, and then gained momentum through the season to take the overall title. She commented, “It was a very nice experience last year.The course was spectacular, as was the crowd atmosphere. It was a hard but fun race. If we need to go to the US for racing, it’s good that CrossVegas is again one of the main races for us.”
Again leading off the upcoming 2016-2017 season, CrossVegas is one of nine Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup races. Van Aert and Cant, along with competitors from 20+ other nations, will face a significantly redesigned course which is intended, in the words of CrossVegas director Brook Watts, “to make a bigger show for the spectators and a tougher course for the racers.” The new course makes use of virtually every square inch of the difficult terrain at the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex located a few miles west of the famous Las Vegas Strip. As in years’ past, the gala race atmosphere will offer spectator experiences that rival its European counterparts, with 2016 bringing enhanced VIP areas and expanded food and beverage options.
Addressing season long goals, Cant stated, “I will be trying to do better or the same as last year. But I know that every year is different. It will not be easy to win the same as last year, but the only thing I can do is try. I've trained very hard this summer, so I think I'm ready. And the World Championship title remains on important challenge because it's the only jersey I’ve never won.”
Van Aert shared his goals for the season, “I have two big goals: first I want to let shine my rainbow jersey as much as possible, perhaps with some nice victories in some great races. Another goal is even more important: I want to spoil the fans with nice duels between Mathieu van der Poel and myself. Now that Sven Nys quit racing, I am convinced that Mathieu and I have a big role in keeping our sport attractive.”
Exciting Course Changes Mark 10th Edition
What better way to ring in a decade of memorable racing than to shake things up a bit? To mark the tenth edition of the biggest ‘cross race outside of Europe, organizers of Clif Bar CrossVegas announced big changes to the venerable race course at Desert Breeze Soccer Complex in Las Vegas.
The thick grass that every CrossVegas racer already knows too well hasn’t been eliminated, and the tough uphill sections have not been removed. Instead, the racing action has been moved almost exclusively into “The Bowl,” the iconic depression that defines the venue. Only the start and finish sections bring racers out of the bowl ensuring even more concentrated action for spectators attending the first race of the Telenet UCI World Cup Cyclocross series on Wednesday, September 21.
Race director Brook Watts described the course changes as “A natural evolution of CrossVegas. We’ve taken a world class challenging course and made it even more difficult while enhancing the spectator-friendly aspects that fans have come to love. It’s a Three Ring Circus and a classic study in pain.”
Traditional CrossVegas course features like The Raleigh Ramp remain. This wooden ramp has become famous for its high speed. The Shimano Flyover has found a new showcase location in the bowl and is joined by the new trademark green KASK Helmet Flyover. Additionally, the CrossVegas sandpit has a new incline location is, best described by Watts as “literally a sand dune that will probably earn me very few friends.”
Racers in the USA Cycling and Wheelers & Dealers races will be pleased to learn that a short cut has been created to spare them the toughest section of downhill and uphill racing. That decisive section will be faced by Elite Women and Men in the World Cup races later in the evening.
The course direction is largely reversed from previous years. After all the action in The Bowl, the racers face the Focus Bikes Stairs, just before the final sprint to the finish line.
The new course design enhances the spectator and VIP experience with an expanded expo area, a greater food selection and new strategically placed beer tents.
Click on the map for full size image
10 Years of CrossVegas Posters
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Clif Bar CrossVegas with a stroll through the posters through the years. MORE