In this episode we take a deep dive into race strategy and tactics, and the necessary skills and training you need to excel at bike racing. In this two-part series, we’ll first touch upon flat races where the sprinter tends to win. Today we’re joined by two veterans of both European and American racing from Rally Pro Cycling – team manager Pat McCarty and one of Team Rally’s leaders, Evan Huffman. We also speak with Kiel Reijnen, of Trek-Segafrado.
Welcome to fastball developed news podcast. Everything you need to know to impress.
Chris Case 00:11
Hello and welcome to another episode of Fast Talk. I’m Chris case managing editor of velonews joined by my tactically savvy co host, Coach Trevor Connor. Today we’re taking a deep dive into race, strategy and tactics, and the necessary skills and training you need to excel at racing. Today, it’s flat races where the sprinter tends to win. This is the first of a two part series. But if you’re not a sprinter, don’t stop listening. We’ll share plenty of great advice and clever tactics that will up the level of anyone’s racing. In the next episode, we’ll dive into races where the road goes up, and also stage racing. Again, if you’re happier on a 12% climb. Today, we’ll still address how you can be successful in the flat race. First, we’ll discuss some of the differences between professional and amateur racing and why that leads to different approaches. We’ll take a deep dive into crit racing, why skills are so important, how to save energy, and how to get comfortable with the speed and fear of pack racing. Next, it will be flat road races, the importance of saving energy, how it’s one of the most predictable races in cycling, but why you still need to be attentive to those unexpected moves. And finally, we’ll talk about some of the dynamic tactics you’ll encounter in these races, including sad climbing, and breaking away. Today we’re joined by two veterans of both European and American Racing from rally Pro Cycling. Team Manager Pat McCarty has spent much of his adult life racing as a junior you 23 on the world tour in Europe in the US crits climbing races on teams big and small. And one of rallies team leaders, Evan Huffman is known for his skills as a breakaway rider and time triallist. He’s coming off a phenomenal 2017 season. Both of them are our guests. We caught Pat and Evan on the road while they were racing their spring campaign in Europe. Because of their schedules, we had to talk to them at separate times. Yet despite that fact, many of the same ideas and themes reappeared in each interview speaks to their knowledge and experience in elite racing. We also had a chance to catch up with keel reinen member of trek segafredo. keel has an interesting take on approaching different race types, or fitness and strengths may determine how we approach a race more than the route profile itself. We should also note that the training piece in this month’s issue of velonews magazine is all about how to approach both flat and hilly races, if you want a sneak peek of the second part of this podcast. So click into your pedals, put it in the big ring. Let’s make it fast.
Trevor Connor 02:40
So Chris, have you heard about health IQ
Chris Case 02:43
Trevor Connor 02:44
But I want to hear more. This is actually a pretty cool product. It is a life insurance company that specializes in healthy active people like cyclists and runners. So basically us they are able to give us better rates for life insurance. And they have a special URL just for listeners of Fast Talk which is www dot health iq.com slash Fast Talk all one word. While you’re there, you can submit race results screengrabs of your Strava or mapmyride account or basically any other way you can prove that you are out running, cycling and living an active lifestyle and you will get a better quote What more could we ask for?
Chris Case 03:33
First of all, it should be said that one strategy does not work for all races, not all races are created equal. Maybe if you could open with some some thoughts about that and how, how different riders
Trevor Connor 03:47
because there is already coming.
Trevor Connor 03:52
time we haven’t even hit you with the hard questions yet. What are you popping out that?
Chris Case 04:01
Actually, where are you right now? Where are Where are you guys stay?
Cal Pei Spain. Okay, kind of in between races. We finished up the Valencia race on Sunday. And we’ve been here since we’re going to head out tomorrow. start heading a little bit further south to one day races this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. And then we start Ruta Del Sol on what next Wednesday and that’s a five day stage race.
Chris Case 04:25
So yeah, right there. We have different types of racing different types of races, could maybe open with some comments about how different racers match up with different race types.
Well, yeah, exactly. That’s kind of part of the part of the project that directors on teams collaborate on and they discuss starting as early as October November before season as is what the race schedule is. And not only just what races are doing, but what do they look like in the next year. You know, sometimes races change. So for example, I think all Murray, other races Doing on Sunday is one of the races that’s like this, but there used to be race Louie’s pledge and Spain that was raised One Direction one year and another direction the other year, so the next year, so it would switch every year. And it featured a pretty big mountain pass on one end of the course. So of course, one year, it would be a total strength finish. And then next year, essentially finish on a mountain. It’s one of those things you got to know your race as a director, you got to either have done the race in the past or got to be good with Google Maps and understanding what Racecourse looks like. So you understand your races from from pretty far out. You understand your target events from pretty far out that is, you know, what are your sponsors interested in? And then you also understand what kind of riders you have rides? Well, at certain races, what time a year, some guys come good, what kind of prep they need specifically to be at their best. There’s a pretty, pretty fluid calculus that goes along with the decision making there. I mean, you know, sometimes you got to change course, a little bit with some guys, some guys are going up, some guys are going down, some guys are doing kind of exactly what you think they should be doing. But yeah, so all this goes into the decisions, it’s hard to say it’s more of it really is a director, you just have to have a lot of experience with this stuff. Because it’s you know, it’s hard to say there’s a real scientific methodology on this, a lot of it’s just experience knowledge. And I got feeling and and what you think is going to be the best way to point everybody. And then you keep your fingers crossed? Is there kind of a one size fit all?
Trevor Connor 06:28
Is there a writer who can be good at all types of races? Or do different types of races require different assets, and you have to some degree pick and choose?
I think cycling requires a lot of specialization. That’s why you see a pretty wide range of body types are successful pros, compared to other sports, maybe, I mean, you just look at the guys that are the best sprinters in the world, are not the best climbers in the world, and vice versa. And there are obviously some guys that are more well rounded and can do everything a little bit. But generally speaking, people kind of have their strengths and weaknesses.
Chris Case 07:12
Is that something that you’re for lack of a better term born with? Or how do you train some of those aspects of your physiology or your body type? Generally speaking?
I think it’s a mix on there’s obviously a genetic component, but then obviously a lot, you can train as well. I think you just have to figure it out through trial and error a little bit, especially as a junior under 23 writer trying to do a lot of different types of races. Maybe even mix up what you focus on Maybe, yeah, one year you try to say I’m gonna really try to do well a time trials this year. And the next year, I’m going to try to work on my climbing more, kind of see what you have better results that to find your
Trevor Connor 08:03
Imagine some of it’s just a matter of looking in the mirror and saying, Okay, I’m 200 pounds, and I got a lot of muscle, I might not be the best climber saying, you know, I’m 130 pounds soaking wet, maybe maybe I should be focusing on things that go up. I think there there definitely is a genetic component to this are you kind of fall into your types. That being said, In high school, I was a I was a football player. And on the line, I was an offensive lineman 220 pounds, and it’s a cyclist I was more a climber. So it’s actually quite dramatic how much you can change yourself. Well,
Chris Case 08:35
you dramatically changed your body type to debt today. You’re what? 80 pounds less than that.
Trevor Connor 08:42
Yes. That’s. And I get so annoyed at the airports when they charge me for my bag being a little nervous. Because I’m like, I used to have more than that on my body. Yeah, right.
Chris Case 08:53
Yeah. Hey, Evan, maybe you could walk us through briefly how you decided from your life experience and race experience how you came to decide what you were best at?
Yeah, like, I guess I got into cycling later than some people like 17. But I had done Endurance Sports for as long as I can remember. And I would just always preferred the longer events more than Sprint’s. So I knew that that was something I preferred and ended up being better at. I think that’s part of it, too, is just like more than just what you’re capable of, or what you’re good at is what do you enjoy doing? And what are what are you willing to work on is a big factor. In some sense, cycling kind of forces you to do everything because even if you’re a climber or sprinter, you go to a stage race and you’re going to have to do a hill or do you know finish a flat day so you kind of figured out your four suit in one sense. And I just found that I’m tend to be better at time trials and kind of more rolling hilly stages, then Bunch sprints are in a pure climber,
Trevor Connor 10:03
when you pick the calendar for each rider are you sending hilly the, you know, your climbers to all the hilly races, your sprinters do all the flat races? Or does everybody get a pretty big calendar and you just say, you know, this isn’t your type race, you’re working for somebody else at this one, we’re going to be working for you at the the one that’s more suited to your strengths.
I mean, it’s a little bit of everything. So for example, terms of sprinters versus climbers, let’s let’s take our target one of our target events, if not our main target amenity or to California, so we want to know what that course is, how many how many sprint stages are there. First of all, if it’s if it’s a really, really hard addition, and there’s only one sprint stage, then we know that all the world tour teams coming over might not bring that many sprinters. So it could be an opportunity. If we bring our best sprinter, there could be a chance, but you know what, that sprint stage doesn’t come till after three or four big mountain days, then we’re also at risk of our spinner getting cut on time cut so so to say that everybody matches up exactly to the style of race that suits them every weekend, definitely not. But we try to, you know, line our ducks up in a straight a row as we possibly can. You know, when it comes to the types of riders, we have going well at the right times with the types of races that suit them. So sprinters might have to endure some tough stage races to get themselves in a shape. And climbers might have to go to a flat race and ride on the front end in support of a sprinter. So it can go both ways. But General, generally, we don’t just you know, we’re not just going to send a bunch of climber, Chris to the desert. And the crosswinds and stuff like that if if there’s an option for them to do something else, we’ll we’ll do that.
Trevor Connor 11:44
We also bring up a good point that there there’s benefits to the riders to do things that aren’t their strengths. I mean, you think about your climbers. If you look at a race like the Tour de France, they drive those first flat stages so hard to see if they can wear out the climber. So if the climbers aren’t spending time on the on the flats, they’re gonna be in trouble.
Yeah, exactly, exactly. No, it’s a, it’s good for everybody to have a little bit of something extra in their wheelhouse, that maybe they’re not that good at. I know, at the end of the day, it’s a professional sport, you know, these guys have a job to do if we if we tell them they need to go to a racing ride for so and so that’s that’s ultimately what they do.
Chris Case 12:19
And then what do you think,
in Europe, the fields are a lot deeper. Whereas, you know, for example, like we did the last stage of this race Valenciana, and there was a five k climb that topped out like 30 k from the finish. And if we went that fast, with like, an RC field, or I guess it’s the PRT now added like a domestic race, it would have been like a pretty small select group at the top. But here, there’s 100, guys, so the sprinters can climb better. The climbers do a little better on the flat stuff, because you kind of have to to create more opportunities for yourself. Yeah, I guess when you get to like bigger and bigger races, you have to kind of change your perspective of what is the sprint day? What is a climber day? There’s a little bit more overlap, maybe.
Chris Case 13:15
Does that also say something about the way the courses are designed to meet the way that races in Europe unfold?
I think so. Yeah, I think generally the stages are longer and harder. Obviously, there are days that are not super long and that are completely dead flat. But yeah, sometimes if you look at a course, at a race, like you know, red lenses where the healer you go, this is going to be a small bunch of brantner pre select group at the end. But then, if we did that same route, with the world tour, peloton, it’s like this is a bunch Brent, like we’re going to drop like maybe 10. Guys, right? So I think they do factor that in to the courses here, and they’re generally more challenging.
Trevor Connor 14:00
This episode of Fast Talk is all about how to race and train for a particular type of race, in this case, flatter races that tend to favor the sprinter. However, when I had a chance to ask keel reinen, a veteran Pacific Northwest earner with trek Sega Fredo that how to race different styles of races, he flipped it on its head and made an interesting point that how we race may be determined more by our fitness than by the nature of the race.
To answer your question about race races the same I would actually say that you do the difference is whatever is making up the bulk of your racing, that’s what you train for. So you know, these days, I’m not doing any credits, but but a couple years back, as I’m getting older, maybe more than a couple but you know, I would do the spring season in Europe come back and maybe I’d have a critter two and you know, those that type of racing is really different, especially after you come back from those kind of classic style races in Europe. And I would find that It wasn’t so much that I was racing it differently. It’s that you, you end up reacting differently in the race because of what you’ve been training. So for example, if you’ve been training all winter long to have a strong spring in Europe, and then you come back to the US and do crit, you don’t have that same kind of punch, that you might, if you had done a spring of just quit ration, but you have this incredible endurance that a lot of the other guys racing, the grip might not. And so you can attack and you know, your attack isn’t quite as powerful, you can do it over and over and over and over. And so you didn’t consciously race the race differently, necessarily. It just happened because that was the ability you had on that day. So I definitely noticed that a few times where, you know, I would show up to a race, and I would feel like I had a very different type of fitness than everyone else at the race. And it would result in me racing different tactically than everyone else, but not really on purpose. It wasn’t I sat down before the race and thought, yeah, you know, I’m gonna have a lot more of this than everybody else, and I’m going to be lacking this. So I’m gonna, you know, race with this in mind. If I was smart, I might have done that. But I think it just kind of happens naturally.
Trevor Connor 16:15
So it’s really go into the race figuring out how can I use my strengths in this race?
Yeah, yeah. And I, the end of the day, and every race is so hard these days, it feels like you’re, you know, practically flat out start to finish. But am I consciously holding more in reserve on a well to stage than I am at the Bucks County credit? Not, not really, I mean, probably you do in certain ways, but it’s more subconscious than it is conscious. And I think, you know, one of the most interesting things about bike racing is that you don’t get to go in with a set of tactics and decide like you’re, you’re short of, you’re not really at the helm, you’re, you’re having to follow the race, while others dictate what happens. Or if you’re lucky, maybe you’re dictating what happens. But, you know, like, on a day, when you’re feeling like crap, and a stage race, maybe that’s the day that you know, AGR decides to light it up on the first climb, you’re not in control of that that variable. So you have to, you have to go with the flow, the best you can.
Trevor Connor 17:24
So this is interesting, because it sounds like it’s almost tactics are kind of secondary to developing your assets, obviously, beforehand, and then just responding to the race trying to take advantage of what assets you have.
Yeah, yeah, like, for example, in the classics, if you’re a leader versus a guy who got picked last minute, you’ve got two very different sort of physiological demands to me, going into the race, in theory. And so the guy who they’re going to use up from the star, you know, he needs to have a lot of zone two in the legs, he’s got to be able to sit there in the wind at 300 watts for a few hours, making sure his leaders well and protected. Whereas that leader, he’s going to save his bolts for the end, he’s got to make sure he’s got a really good one to five minute power in him. So you can, you can do that the end of a long, hard day and still hit the peaks that, that he’s seen in training. So both individuals have gone into the race training very differently, I would say.
Trevor Connor 18:26
So you’re gonna build the assets you you’re gonna need,
right. But to both of them, the race is going to feel like it was hard all day, because even though the leader is going easier in the beginning, because you sit on the worker bees wheel, you know, he has been training that zone to so the zone to maybe takes more out of him than it does for the worker, and, you know, whatever you’ve been training is what is going to feel good to you in that particular race. And if everyone does their job, right, you should, you know, empty your tank in all different zones. By the end of the race, you know, you should have maxed out whatever you whatever you brought to the day’s event.
Trevor Connor 19:03
Now that Kyle is throwing this podcast on its head, let’s get back to talking about how to race flat courses. We’re trying to find a good way to divide up the different types of races. Well, this isn’t perfect, making the first podcast about races where you’re likely gonna really need a sprint at the end. And the second podcast, we’re going to talk about races where the sprint might be less important. So let’s talk a little bit about your more flat road races and your crits for this style of racing, what assets do you need? And of those assets? What can you train and what do you really need to be born with?
I guess you need to be fast. The flat race. Always on the flat, there’s no way component. So it’s all about power, and aerodynamics a little bit, of course. But kind of doesn’t matter if you’re super, super fit. But if you’re tiny guy and you’re not really putting on big power, it’s going to be hard to keep up when it’s really Fast on a flat road. Yeah, so I guess writing a lot on the flat train is good. A lot of people are into motor pacing for flat races to get used to the speed. I don’t know if I’m not a huge fan of it, I guess I don’t know if there’s really a huge benefit. Seems like if you can like push the power you can push the power doesn’t matter like how faster right in trainer how fast you’re moving in the peloton, when you’re in the draft, you’re just gonna go faster in a race and you are training.
Trevor Connor 20:31
My feel on the motor page teaches you to be more careful when you’re riding by yourself on the flat so you can ease up a little bit you’re not worried about constantly being in the draft where if you’re sitting on a motorcycle and ease up for a little bit or you take too much wind, you’re you’re off the motorcycle. So it’s just teaching that Yeah, always, always what you need in a race, which is always been on the wheel in front of you.
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. And that’s a, that’s a part a big part of the flatter races is like working on your efficiency, like staying out of the wind being trying to be more aerodynamic, or is on a climb, you can kind of just do what you want. To some extent it, you can ride in the wind a little more, because it’s just a bit more about you’re fighting gravity more than the wind or on the flat. If you can, yeah, stay out of the wind, then you’re going to use less energy then everybody. So at the end of the race, you’re gonna be fresher
Chris Case 21:34
to give listeners a sense of your body type, what’s your height and weight?
I’m about five, nine, and 160 pounds, or 73 kilos. And I’ve definitely like gained weight, kind of over the course of the last, I guess kind of my whole career, but five years for sure. I just kind of slowly put on muscle mass I think, which is wasn’t really intentional. But that’s just kind of the way my, my body’s gone. I haven’t done a ton of weights are anything to work on that is just kind of how it’s going. So
Chris Case 22:10
has that has that been an advantage on the flat stages that we’re talking about? And conversely, has that affected your ability to climb at all?
Yeah, I for sure. I think my weights gone up and my powers gone up, kind of in line with that, and saw I’m probably climbing more or less the same. But then I’m a lot stronger on the flats. And I think overall, that’s beneficial for sure. Maybe on the steepest climbs, I struggle more than a lot of guys. But kind of in the big scheme of things. You spend a lot more time writing on the flats. And then when you’re on a shallower climb that you know, say 5% where you can actually draft it’s more to my advantage to have that extra power.
Trevor Connor 22:56
So Chris and I were doing some research on on climbing we found this study by a doctor Padilla from back in 1999 where he divided riders into four types he had flatlanders all rounders, time travelers and climbers. And one of the things that was really interesting out of the study, or two of the things that are really interesting is one they showed that power and weight tend to scale somewhat equally to the degree. I mean, once you get up around 200 pounds, your power to weigh it’s gonna plummet. But actually your little climbers don’t have that much of an advantage in terms of power weight, it’s just a slight advantage. But when you’re on the flats, it’s much more about absolute power and your aerodynamics. And they showed that little riders really don’t have any sort of aerodynamic or very little aerodynamic advantage over bigger riders. But the bigger riders have much better absolute power. So on a really steep hilly course the little guys might have an advantage but for the most part, if you’re trying to be good at the biggest variety of racing, being smaller might not be better.
Yeah, exactly. I think my my wait to like win drag, I guess is very good. I guess if you looked at like a cross section of the peloton that are my same weight, they’re probably almost all taller than me. And so on a climb it doesn’t. It’s the same, but then when you’re on the flat, I’m that much more aerodynamic. So that plays a pretty big advantage. And that’s part of why I’m so strong in breakaways, and in time trials is I’m doing the same power but I am going faster than guys that are taller than me, but the same weight. Yeah, their frontal area ends up being larger than yours and so you’re more compact. Yeah, my teammates are always quick to remind me that the worst spot in the team time trial is behind me because there’s less draft.
Chris Case 24:56
Now I don’t know if you love grits or hate crits Evan, but I’m sure you’ve raised a lot of them because you’re an American. How do you get good at grits? Yeah, I
think with crits compared to a flat road race, the positioning is more important, but also just experience of, I guess, like reading the flow of the race or the peloton, with all the corners. I mean, in general, you’re doing a lot more turning in a crit than a road race. And if you do a wrong, you spend a lot of time reaccelerating outer corners. And if you do a right, then you don’t end, it might not seem like a big difference, because you’re, you know, still on the wheels are still drafting. But if you can really limit the amount you’re pedaling hard out of corners, that adds up and makes a huge difference. And you see the guys that are really good kart racers. Just save a lot of energy doing that just being smart with where they’re at and how they’re carrying speed through the turns.
Trevor Connor 25:58
So how do you do that, and I have noticed is like, when I was doing NRC credits, I knew I was racing Well, when I rarely had to stand up, where you could just kind of flow through the corners and just keep pedaling. What are your suggestions for getting that skill going through the corners?
I guess, just practicing doing a lot of racing, and always being aware of it, and just thinking, how much Am I breaking? Yeah, how hard Am I pedaling out of the corners? You know, it’s one thing if it’s single file, and everybody’s doing it, but if you’re kind of looking around and like, now this person looks like they’re going faster through the terrain than me, like maybe I need to figure out how they’re doing that, like I need to follow them around things, things like that. I think just always being aware and working on it.
Chris Case 26:43
There’s a level of trust in crits, or confidence in your skills, but also confidence in the skills of the riders around you that you don’t get in every type of race. And it can probably be nerve racking for a lot of people when they first start doing it, like you said, small steps, as you get more experience and more practice doing it is, is really something that can’t be replaced, you can go out and practice your cornering speeds, by yourself repeated take the same quarter and go a little faster each time. But then you throw 100 riders in front of you or around you and it becomes a different ballgame. And that that level of comfort that you need can only come from from doing these races, in my opinion.
That’s a good point too. Sometimes it’s more about being in a good spot than just being at the front, knowing who are the riders that are good at carrying speed through the corners. And being behind those guys and not being stuck behind. People that are jamming up the brakes can make a bigger difference than simply being closer to the front of the field
Trevor Connor 27:49
in terms of jamming on the brakes. One of the things that I noticed with more amateur crit riders that that can make a huge difference is they try to come into the corners really hot, but then slam on their brakes in the corners, which is the worst thing in the world to do. Because if you do that, you’re gonna have a 20 foot gap between you and the rider in front of you coming out of the corner. So the biggest recommendation I give to people is if you need to brake, do all your braking before you hit the corner, and then whatever speed you have, if you’re going a little hot, you just carry that speed through the corner and accelerate out.
Yeah, I think that’s good, good advice.
Chris Case 28:27
And I think I think it also, the more you do crit racing, the more you’ll get comfortable, and be able to then pick out places on the course, coming into a corner where maybe the rhythm of the race gets consistent. And you’ll say, Okay, this is where we’ll start breaking this is where we’ll let off the brakes. This is where we’ll start to accelerate and you’ll get it’ll become you’ll fall into a flow a lot more. Whereas you know, the the lower the Category field, the more inconsistent the speed will be the jerky or the accelerations and decelerations will be you get into the higher level racers and everything starts to smooth out a little bit more.
Trevor Connor 29:09
So it sounds like we’re all saying that crit racing is to be a good crit racer. It’s almost more about skills. And it is about strength.
I guess compared to other types of racing.
But strength is also important that Yeah, at the end of the day, if you’re the strongest guy in the race, you have a pretty good chance of winning too. So you got to have both, but the skills helps compensate for sure.
Chris Case 29:36
Yeah, I think that’s a good word. There’s compensate if you’re not the strongest rider, but you really smooth and you play it right and you stay out of the wind and you save yourself then you give yourself a much better shot in a trip.
do you think?
Well, you got to be able to handle your bike. I actually got really good at riding crits as a climber, kind of compared to merging onto the highway with the With a crappy old car with a four cylinder engine, and you got to be able to time things, right, you got to know how to maximize a little, little bit of juice, the jab is a sprinter, I think crits are a lot easier to position yourself, because you just have have that more instantaneous power coming out of corners and things like that. So be being a certain type of rider certainly helps in criteriums. I think, as a general rule of thumb, you need to be able to handle your bike, I think if you’re timid and scared of corners, you’re just hurting yourself every every inch of the race. So if you can improve, improve on that, and that, that just means you know, watching the good writers watching how they write a crit for myself, there’s always kind of like a sweet spot of effort, where if you go above that effort, then your skill level tends to drop. But if you can manage to keep yourself calm and collected, you know, try to keep your heart rate as low as you can, it generally tend to make better decisions and can be a little bit sharper. So I think at the amateur level, it’s important for guys to focus on their effort and actually minimizing their effort as opposed to maximizing their effort and crits. I think if you did minimize your effort, you’re actually going to end up being able to make better bike handling decisions, better skill choices, better decisions overall. And it’s almost counterintuitive. Sometimes you think you need to pedal harder to get yourself in the right position. But he had to a certain point where your heart rate goes up, and then it just you just never come back down. So I think it creates for me that was always something I focused on was was actually metal getting to a place where I was not riding hard. And then picking my way towards moving up in a way like I would practice, you know, a local crit, I go to the very back the last wheel, and I would move all the way to the front without going over 400 watts. You know, I’d watch my power meter and not go over 400 watts, but I would move up. And I would do that by not breaking by timing things. You know what I mean? Like, yep,
Chris Case 31:56
yeah, like, I like your analogy. I like your analogy to the beat up four cylinder car trying to merge into fast moving traffic. And it’s, it’s about letting your momentum carry you through the corners. It’s not so much about how much power you have, but your skill and breaking less and a little bit of positioning and, and having the eye for where to get up into a space that might open up and things like that.
Trevor Connor 32:22
So just to throw one story and to tell people how important those skills for going around corners and the positioning are. I remember one year when I was at Northstar, we were in that first crit, which is a pretty technical crit. I started near the front, and I looked at my power files afterwards. So this is all actual numbers. For the first 20 minutes of the race, I was averaging about 270 280 watts. Then there was a crash, I got caught behind the crash, it was right by the start finish line. And I was dumb enough not to put a foot down. So I had to chase and got onto the back of the field where you had a whole bunch of riders who didn’t know how to go through the corners, well that were breaking in the wrong spots. I was stuck in them. And this is a hard crit to move up in. For the 2030 minutes. I was on the back of the field. I was averaging 380 watts. So it was 100 watt difference.
Yeah, I’ve been there. I can see that for sure. Yeah.
Trevor Connor 33:18
Seems like half a crit writing is able to be near the front without constantly putting out 400 watts and killing yourself. So what are some of your tricks for being able to do that. And as you said, keep that heart rate down which I love that description,
late breaking, good, good ole breaking, that is waiting to the absolute last possible moment and using the least amount of breaks he possibly can. And it seems like oversimplifying, but if you break it slow down, and you’re not going as fast anymore, but it works. That’s a skill you can work on practice. Like I said with that, if you got a four banger engine, then you know why you were trying to break a whole bunch. So that was one thing I did a lot was not using my brakes coming into corners, maybe Wait a second, see if there’s a little hole or a gap that I could use my coasting and speed to sort of buffer myself. Move up but not slow down. Just things like that. It’s really just a skill, I mean crit racing as a skill, you could either be really really fast and strong or you could be skillful. So if you’re not really really fast and strong, then then work on your skills, late braking, being good at cornering. And we know that if you let a gap open, if you find yourself working really, really hard to come out of the corners or you know, whatever it is at certain times of the crit then just get better about not working as hard road racing. It’s all about finding the right moment to unleash your watts whereas for me career racing is almost more of a game like you know how little energy you can use to do the same thing and just sit in the field. Right? Do the same thing as everybody else until till you find the right moment.
Trevor Connor 34:56
When I upgraded the cat one I wanted to learn how to handle crits Better. So I, I don’t know if you call this lucky or diluted but I tried to get in for a few races right on Gord Frazier’s wheel and watching what he did. Who was a monstrously big guy and consider one the best crit riders ever. And he did that late breaking the thing that amaze me about him as we could be going through a corner at 50 kilometers an hour, leaned over. And if there was a rider in his way, he just reached one of those huge arms, simply move the rider out of his way. Just keep going to the corner. So I had a real hard time staying on his wheel.
Yeah, yeah, like I said, the tricks you know, can progress. Honestly, like, I think a lot of where that stuff comes from, again, when I think just think about it, if your heart rates lower, you’re doing less effort than the people around you, you’re going to be able to handle those tricks, they’re going to not seem as as fast and crazy to you as is if your heart rates 30 beats lower. So some of those stronger riders that tend to ride around in a pack. And it’s not that big of a deal for them tend to kind of be the guys that can can also push themselves to learn, learn skills at a faster rate and just be better bike handlers. For amateur racers,
Chris Case 36:11
I think there’s because of their lack of experience at crits. Or maybe the speed and lack of comfort being in a pack that’s moving around like that at speed. There’s more of an element of fear to the riding. And I’m curious if you have any tips about overcoming that fear? Is it? Is it simply a matter of doing it more? Or are there other things that you can do to sort of minimize the fear? And is it following following a wheel that you really trust?
repetition, and picking the right time to push yourself to learn to learn lessons, I mean, you don’t push yourself, you’re not gonna learn anything. So you got to do races, and you got to just be analytical about the process of getting better. You could just be out there and totally just be responding to fear all the time, you probably never learned anything. But if you said take a moment and try to process what’s happening, why you feel a certain way, focus on alleviating that maybe focus on your breathing, calming yourself. I mean, because you if you want to get better, you have to push yourself and you have to have the past thresholds where once before you know you couldn’t do something or you were scared of something. So it’s it’s an exercise in patience, there’s there’s no there’s no trick to being better at bike riding yourself to push yourself and learn how the bike responds, learn how you respond and try to be better. But if you’re, if you can’t get past just just just being fearful and stressed out, then then you’re not going to get anywhere. So I would start there, trying to try to figure out how to calm yourself in a race, I would even say in a crit,
Trevor Connor 37:39
you have to be somewhat okay with being a little bit scared, you’re going high speed through corners surrounded by a bunch of other riders, it’s a scary situation. And you just have instead of saying oh my god, I’m scared and letting that get to you to say it’s a bit of a scary situation, I’m going to feel a little fear. And that’s okay. So having give you a scenario here, let’s say you were still racing in the US and your team manager just came up to you and said, I’m having you race the entire crit series this year. And that’s going to be your focus. What would you be doing in your training to prepare yourself for that? Or would you be signing a contract with a different team?
Yeah, I probably might look for different teams, honestly, for me, but yeah, hypothetically, I think I would do more short rides and more short efforts and Sprint’s because yeah, we talked a lot about being smooth and efficient. But sometimes, if the race is really fast, and the course is really technical, you are accelerating out of the corners no matter what you do. And you need to be physically prepared to do a lot of big accelerations like that and keep doing it over and over again. So that by the end of the race, you can actually keep doing that. And sprint rather than just being super fatigued from the whole early part of the race. He, Trevor Hey, Chris,
Chris Case 39:11
when’s the last time you took a run?
Trevor Connor 39:14
wow. Actually, two weeks ago.
Chris Case 39:16
Oh, not bad. Are you still sore?
Trevor Connor 39:18
Trevor Connor 39:19
I am actually was I think I think my fastest mile was like 11 minutes per mile.
Chris Case 39:24
My god that’s not running actually.
Trevor Connor 39:26
Yeah. I think some walkers were giving me a good challenge.
Chris Case 39:30
What about swimmers in a pond next to the path you are running on? Were they passing? Yeah,
Trevor Connor 39:34
yeah. No, I avoided that.
Chris Case 39:38
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Chris Case 40:34
All right, so let’s, let’s move to the next type of race people will encounter which is a flat road race and go through sort of the same things, what do you need to do to be good at flat road races in terms of your preparation?
Think you got to be ready for the especially compared to Chris just be ready for the distance. If you’re going to be doing a four hour road race, and you haven’t written four hours in a month, you’re probably gonna have a hard time at the finish. So working on the endurance for sure. And a lot of the same stuff applies. Just trying to save energy stay out of the wind be arrow,
Chris Case 41:14
when you’re in a flat road race, where do you Where Where would you tell people to sit if obviously, not everyone has a choice all the time, but what’s the best place to be positioned?
Um, the biggest factor and the fight race obviously is the wind. And if it’s a really common day, or the wind is mostly head or tail end, it maybe doesn’t make a huge difference, you can kind of, you’re almost better off sometimes being more close to the back, you might get more draft than you would if you’re sitting fifth to 10th wheel. But if there’s wind and there’s coming from the side, at any angle, you’re probably better off being as close to the front as possible. Or depending on your situation with your teammates. Yeah, it depends a lot on the wind, for sure. And where you’re at in the course, you know, maybe at the very beginning, when it’s super fast, and the breakaway is still getting established, you want to be closer to the front, because there’s more variables of what can happen with maybe there isn’t wind, and then you come over a little rise or you turn a corner and also and there’s like a crosswind and you’re at the back because it was easy before and now all of a sudden, it’s hard and you’re having to go around guys that are opening gaps, it can be not so fun. Whereas, you know, once there’s a breakaway out there, maybe someone’s writing study on the front, you can kind of relax and drift to the back and focus on eating and drinking. And then as it gets closer to the finish, you want to move back up again. A lot of that stuff just comes with experience reading the race of how hard are the other teams or riders riding right now and kind of anticipating what’s the race situation, how’s it going to change and when and where. But generally speaking, you’re better off closer to the front, but not always. And it can be pretty mentally draining. If you’re fighting for position all day as well.
Trevor Connor 43:08
It’s something I tell people a lot is the stain in the top 10, even the top 15 if you’re fighting all day, everybody wants to be up there. So guys are going to cons will be coming in chopping you and getting in front of you and you’re gonna have to keep passing them. So as much as it’s nice to be up there sometimes sitting 30 35th wheel, you’re still close to the front, you’re still in the game, but you’re not fighting as hard for your position.
Yeah, yeah. And so a lot of times, it’s noticeable. When it’s kind of, you know, maybe the first five to 10 riders are all single file and then it starts to kind of Arrowhead out. If you’re single file behind just on one guy’s wheel. It’s harder than when you’re kind of in the center of a group and like surrounded, you’re getting more draft. So you have to think about that as well. It might be like, Oh, well, if I’m up at the front, then I’m not fighting for position. But you’re also not getting as much draft. So you kind of have to weigh that balance of what you want to do.
Trevor Connor 44:12
Actually, remember when managing a team, we went to cascade after one of the flat days when the riders on our team, it was pretty new to this level of racing. He was showing everybody as files is like look at this. I averaged 250 watts today and he was all proud of how high wattage he averaged and so they’re trying to explain to them This was the flat day. That’s not a good thing.
Chris Case 44:34
Yeah, don’t brag about how high
Trevor Connor 44:37
you should be sitting in the field and and trying to average as low wattage as you can. Exactly.
What do you think,
you know, in general, flat stages are the most I depends if there’s no wind and it’s a flat state, we can say maybe this is the most predictable finish in cycling. If we see something a certain way you know that the other teams are going to see something. See it the same way and they’re bring their sprinters and there’s going to be an expectation and I think above any kind of style of stage maybe excluding a mountain top finish the the flat obvious sprint stage, I think it just sort of has a carries a tone, even into the race when guys start to race, you know, when directors tell their guys what’s going to happen that day, it all just sort of fits fits with what most the most likely outcome would be a spread thinner. So as a director, you know, you tell you guys, if it goes crazy, and the totally splits at 50, guys what the road like, yeah, we better F and have somebody there, or we’re gonna be riding on the front. But generally, you try to be conservative and say, yeah, we’re gonna ride for the spread this and this and that. And same thing as a rider. I think the riders know the same thing. Normally, you know, the odds are, it should be a sprint finish. And if you’re a sprinter, or you’re writing for a sprinter, you know, what’s going to eventually happen, you’ll be banging bars at the front and try to do a lead out to get your guys in a position. But at the start of the race anyways, you where you’re most concerned with is the thing going totally sideways, and, you know, your team getting caught with their pants down and 2030 guys with the road and you end up chasing, it’s almost more of a damage control situation. And those kinds of races, there it is really starting with a clear strategy.
Trevor Connor 46:14
Now is that do you think that also applies on the local scene when we’re talking about not a professional race?
A local scene? No, I would say on a local scene, I would say it’s less organized, there’s less of a chance that 123 or four teams are going to take responsibility to create the exact same scenario of a sprint finish that they all want. You know, even some of our guys is professionals that they went home to do a flat cat one race, especially if it was a sprinter, I think they can expect guys to do everything they can to not have a sprint or to not have a lot of organization and how it’s written, I would say the profiles generally carry a tone and matter more in professional racing than they do in amateur racing. Not to say that there has no bearing on how guys race amateur level at the amateur level. But I would say that the style and profile race, the expectation of what’s going to happen to the race carries a lot more weight. It was a group of professionals that are there, you know, as a team, that doesn’t an amateur field. I mean, another professional race, if you get two or three strong teams on the front, they can ride 200 kilometers really fast. And keep you know, I’ve seen it before where a couple of strong teams can keep or even just one strong team can nullify every attack for one or two hours until guys get tired. And only three or four guys managed to get away. And then it’s you know, then other few other teams help. Yeah, it’s really hard to compare amateur racing to to the level when you have 100 150 guys that are all, you know, like NASCAR like everybody’s not everybody’s that far apart from each other. Sure, you better riders and others and you see the raisable apart, but just guys making one or two attacks or being aggressive. Like I said, you get one or two strong teams almost completely nullify that and professional racing. It’s not the same thing.
Trevor Connor 48:05
Yeah, no, that’s not something you see. I mean, you certainly see a very strong organized teams at the amateur race level, but you don’t see the same sort of three, four teams willing to get on the front and take complete control of the race. So it definitely is at the local scene a little more chaotic.
Chris Case 48:22
Now, as a professional, you know, you have some advantages that are masters racers and non professional listeners out there, you have pretty detailed course maps and descriptions and a road book, you may have a team director in your ear telling you, you know that there’s a turn here in a kilometer and a half the wind is going to change directions, you know, get to the front look for echelons, etc. But erasing all of that advantage that you might have. Still you have to be pretty attentive. Could you speak a little bit to that attentiveness? That is these these days might take four or five hours, but you still have to pay attention pretty much all the time.
Yeah, of course, I think as far as like judging how attentive you need to be kind of knowing the other riders or observing the other riders is a big part of it. If everybody in the field is content to just go easy right now, then it’s going to be easy. But if you know you’re in the middle of the field, and you see a guy from one team start moving up together, say, oh, it might, we might start to be going fast. Pretty soon here, they might try to pick up the pace on the front. Or they might be they might have seen someone else do it. So they’re getting ready. So you need to pay attention for sure. But you got to kind of also take advantage of those moments where you can relax and yeah, I think just being aware of what everyone else is doing is
Trevor Connor 49:50
pretty key. The worst thing in a flat race is at that those moments when nothing is going to happen. Nothing’s going to get up the road to waste a ton of energy. You’re going to need that energy later in the race.
Yeah, yeah, it starts to get into the tactics a little bit. But you got to know when to conserve, and when to use your energy. Because sometimes you’re better off using energy, you know, say it is starting to be cross 1d, it’s like you could save energy and stay where you’re at. But maybe you’re better off moving up in the wind a little bit. And then saving more energy later.
Trevor Connor 50:23
You mentioned earlier cross wins. And being somebody who’s coached a lot of people at the masters and the amateur level. Important thing to point out in the pro race is when they have a cross when you’ll see multiple echelons form when you know the person 20 or 21st wheel back as a confidence to get off at the front group and form the next Echelon. That isn’t what tends to happen in the masters or the amateur racing, what you end up with is 1015 guys Echelon in at the front. And then 70 riders in the ditch hating life. So if you know there’s going to be a crosswind on a stretch of the course, it’s really important to get yourself up to that front and try to be in the group that’s actually going to Echelon.
Chris Case 51:05
Yeah, and I think that’s kind of to follow up on Evans point, if you anticipate that that’s going to happen, you might have to burn a match or two to get up to those first few positions. But you’ll be so much better off there when it gets hard and when you’re in the wind than if you’re dangling off the back. Fighting, as Trevor said in the ditch 470 fifth place. All right, here’s another scenario for you, Evan, you’re on a circuit race. And that circuit has a one minute Hill built into the into the lap. How do you prepare for that?
I think when there’s a smaller Hill, in a predominantly flat race, it kind of comes back to what we talked about the crits a little bit efficiency. Scott talked about stag climbing. If you start like if it’s a short Hill, you can start the climb at the front of the group and then end the climate, the back of the group. And you essentially written the climb slower than everyone in the peloton, but you’re still in the group. And then you can just coast back up to the front on the downhill. Mm hmm. It’s a dangerous game. Because it when you do that, and then the field splits in half, and you’re in the back half, then you’re out of the race. But a lot of the top sprinters know how to do that well. And you can really save a lot of energy doing that,
Chris Case 52:27
just to be really clear, you’re saying position yourself up front, right before this climb starts, go at your pace, allow a bunch of people to ride right past you, and then time it so that you’re cresting the hill. Essentially, as you reach the back of the field, effectively, you’ve climbed the climb, maybe 20 seconds slower than everyone else.
Trevor Connor 52:51
part of the reason we asked this is a really popular style of racing domestically, especially at the non pro level. And I have watched these races a lot where you’ll you’ll see the whole field take it fairly easy on the flats. But as soon as they hit this hill, everybody’s trying to do their their biggest one minute power ever. It tends to be how they, how they race them, and really the entire races that climb. So you’re saying actually you shouldn’t be trying to do that your best one minute power, you should be trying to conserve and get over the top in a position where you’re still in the race.
Yeah, I guess it depends a little bit on the exact layout of the course that the finishes at the top of the hill, then you need to try to conserve and then just do your best one minute power the last lap to the top. Or if the finishes you know more at the bottom of the hill or after a longer section where the race a lot of times you can just figure it out the first couple laps, you’ll just see like Oh, the races splitting apart, but then a regroups every time. And then you figure out like well, I just need to just relax and not stressed out about trying to ride the climate in the first 10 wheels or as hard as I can, you can save a lot of energy doing that. And then a lot of those races, there’s kind of a point where it switches where it stops coming back together or the people who are dropped are too tired to chase back. And so that’s why it’s like I said it’s kind of a dangerous game, the sad climbing you need to know when that point is in the race where you can’t be at the back anymore, or be can’t be drifting back anymore. And it just depends on the type of rider you are like if you’re a sprinter, you need to conserve energy. If you’re the strongest climber in the race, maybe you do need to do your best one better power to try to drop the sprinters on the climb. Can depends what your objective is, if you want to sprint or if you want it to be selective.
Chris Case 54:40
Alright, so Evan, what do you do? What can a climber or non sprinter do when they’re faced with one of these flat races that they may not have the strength to really excel at?
I think you have the you have to be pretty smart with your efforts. Kind of Knowing the tactics that are that might are most likely to play out. So if you go, oh, there’s this, the strongest team in the race has the best sprinter in the race, they’re just going to ride all day to control the first sprint. That might be a different tactic compared to when you’re in a race to go, Well, there’s not really a lot of big sprinters here, a lot of the teams here like to just write aggressive, maybe you need to just need to just go all in for the breakaways today, that sometimes can be the biggest factor Other than that, just looking for opportunities, if you know that there is going to be across one section or you know that this climb on this circuit is maybe harder than people are expecting, or you know that you’re stronger than they’re expecting, and you can get away with a small group with two laps ago. Just trying to maximize your your effort in that way.
Chris Case 55:49
Using the element of surprise, sometimes two, sounds like
Yeah, yeah, eliminate surprises, pretty big, on stages, that, you know, whether it’s completely flat, or has a small hill that is expected to be a sprint, I think a lot of sprinters and a lot of writers in general, tend to like fall into that predictable thing of all is going to be a sprint today. So I try anything. And sometimes you can surprise people, and they won’t realize how far ahead you are, how strong you are, until it’s too late.
Trevor Connor 56:22
But that does beg the question when you get in the breakaway? How do you do that, besides trying to cover every move until you either get in it or blow up?
Well, you pick, you pick the hardest moment on the course or you just have riders that are good at sensing, sensing, when it’s about to strike is about to break. You can you just follow every break that goes and eventually Yeah, one of my stick but but not any, not everybody can, I would say not anybody can follow every breakaway. So it’s just a matter of you in a professional racing. Sometimes to get into a breakaway, you still have to have some of your stronger riders doing it because sometimes it’s it’s almost a half selection, is to say it’s not necessarily a lock. But the break happens on maybe a smaller climb at the beginning of the race where it’s still actually really hard. You have 50 guys that want to get another break. But it happens on a climb. So only 10 guys are capable of doing it. And only five or six guys were there at the right time to actually do it. So you only have five or six guys in the break. It’s almost more math, math in the professional field than it is just trying or being there at the right time. Because you know, they’re professionals, they know how to be there at the right time. And of course they’re going to try it’s their job.
Chris Case 57:32
And of course that doesn’t have that decisive feature. What things should you be looking for to understand who might be getting ready to make an attack or go for a breakaway? And how do you want to be positioning yourself to maybe go with it and decide that this is the one
the I’d say at the amateur level, it’s almost more persistence. I think if you’re just persistent, something’s going to stick. Or knowing the two or three or four strong riders that are that are trying to get on the brake and professional racing, it’s maybe maybe the same. But you have, like I said, a whole entire group of guys that are being persistent, and they’re all quite strong. So some guys are better at it than other guys getting in the early brake, sensing the moment being patient waiting until you can feel what’s happening in the race and your legs and know that there’s a pretty good chance that one of these next breaks is going to groups is going to be it. Whereas the attack, there’s just just the right combination of guys present, and just the right amount of fatigue and everybody else that there’s enough of a pause that a group of guys get away. That’s essentially how it works in the professional racing.
Trevor Connor 58:47
You touched on a really good point earlier. And having done both professional racing and race the master scene, the one thing that I’ve noticed a different everybody talks about, well, you need to have the right mix in the breakaway. And that’s certainly at the pro level very important. You rarely see that breakaway get away without one of the where one of the big teams isn’t represented. I actually found it the the local level, that’s less true. It’s much more everybody attacks and you get all sorts of breakaways that have the perfect mix in it. But other people back in the peloton aren’t patient enough to say let’s let that go up the road and they end up chasing it down. And the breakaway tends to happen more you what you were describing earlier, when the the elastic or the string snaps where the field actually gets tired enough that four or five, six really strong riders who aren’t as tired as everybody else can simply power their their way up the road. And when I see the breakaway succeed, it’s usually the same mix of guys. And it’s the guys that have that that big horsepower.
Trevor Connor 59:48
So similar questions I’d asked you before your team manager just came to you and with your calendar for the season. And it looks like you’re going to be doing a lot of flat races are you going to change Anything about your training are more, what would you make sure you’d want to include in your training to prepare for a flatter season?
Yeah, I guess just weights not a big deal on the fly races is kind of the biggest thing. So just work on the power, you do need the long endurance efforts, for sure. Especially if you are a writer that is going to be riding on the front or being in a breakaway, on flat races, you need to have that long power endurance, but at the end of the day, you might need a sprint too. So you got to still be ready to for some sprints. A lot of guys that aren’t super strong sprinters naturally or don’t like bunch sprints kind of neglect that and think to like, keep in mind is that very few races are one solo. And there’s a lot of guys that are really strong and fit and get into a lot of breakaways. And then the one time, or, you know, the small percentage of times that the breakaway goes to the finish line, you’re with, you know, four or five, six guys that are all better sprinters than you, and so you can’t win anyways. So you got to be ready for those situations, but at the same time, not sacrificing that, you know, long endurance to actually be in the breakaway and make the breakaway stick. So that’s kind of what I’ve been working on a lot the last couple years is trying to keep the overall fitness level and the endurance, but try to work on the sprinting a little bit so that when you do come to the finish and and break away, you can actually win
Chris Case 1:01:38
it maybe Trevor, this question is for you. The sprint is a working on that as a physiological component of your repertoire is not just reserved for finishing off a race. What type of ability does that bring to your racing, generally speaking,
Trevor Connor 1:01:58
saying if you work on your sprint, does it have other things besides just helping you at the finish? Yeah, yeah. It is going to work that top and it’s going to work those those fast twitch two x fibers, which are still important in cycling, and can actually be trained to work a little bit oxidatively, which, surprisingly, Sprint work is going to help you with a bit. But hitting those fibers. So you can you can draw them in the race is important. So they’re needed for the sprint finish, they’re going to be needed for the attacks, which on flatter races, you’re going to see a lot more attack. And you’re going to have to cover a lot more moves, especially as you’re coming into the finish. There’s tons of research on sprinting that shows that doing sprint intervals helps all sides of your training, including your endurance, I think that’s a little overhyped, because that was generally on couch potatoes, people that were untrained. And as I said, if you take somebody who’s on train, you haven’t do anything, they’re going to get fitter, right. But there certainly is some evidence, even in trained individuals that sprinting doesn’t just help your sprint, it’s going to help a lot of different aspects of your cycling. And since it does it through different pathways, it can be additive to the other work you’re doing. So I think, overall, you’re going to become stronger if you add sprinting to your training. Excellent.
Chris Case 1:03:19
All right. So Pat, you’re on the clock, you’ve got one minute, how can I be faster at racing trips?
Well, two or three take homes. I think, if there’s a good bike rider out there, in the local scene that you knows a good bike rider and he’s better than everybody pay attention to what he’s doing because he’s probably doing something right and the race. You got to learn how to push yourself, technical skills training, working on making yourself relaxing yourself, calming yourself in certain situations to make yourself better. And I would say the third thing is, sometimes it’s always good not to take things seriously, to just be more relaxed and have a good sense of humor about the situations that you’re in. You can kind of manipulate the situation and see it a different way. And maybe that’ll push you to to learn to learn something new. Right, great.
Chris Case 1:04:11
That was another episode of Fast Talk. As always, we love your feedback. Email us at Webb letters at competitor group.com Subscribe to Fast Talk on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play. Be sure to leave us a rating and a comment. We love both of those things. While you’re there, check out our sister podcast, the velonews podcast which covers news about the week in cycling. Become a fan of Fast Talk on firstname.lastname@example.org slash fella news and on email@example.com slash news. Fast talk is a joint production between velonews and Connor coaching. The thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual for avid Huffman, Pat McCarty kilronan and, of course Trevor Connor. I’m Chris case. Thanks for listening.