Posted by Editoress on 03/5/13
Team Director Andrew randell sent this update on his new Jet Fuel Coffee/Norco Bicycles squad:
March 2nd the Team hit up the first race of the season, the Colossal Cave Omnium in Tucson, Arizona. It seems that all the training the team has been doing down there has paid off. Travis [Samuel], fresh out of the Junior ranks, roared into second place in the sprint finish, with Anton [Varabel] following in fourth. What a start to the racing season! Following the road race the next day Travis finished the race in a solid fourth in the GC.
Even before this race it was obvious that the guys were riding well. Anton had won a couple of the Shoot Out morning rides. For those that don’t know it, the Shoot Out is the local Saturday morning ride on which all the best riders training in Tucson show up. To be winning it means that the form is solid. Anton wasn’t the only one riding well there. Travis too has been consistent. It sounds like they are all working well together and building the team spirit.
Last week Chris Freeland, one of the veterans on the team, organized a team lead-out practice day. Chris realized after talking with the guys that he was really the only one that properly understood the dynamics of a team lead-out - what each rider’s role was and how that changed depending on your place in the lead-out.
Chris and I chatted about his plan and decided that each of the guys would ride a different position as they worked through several sprints. They needed to understand the pacing required to complete each role in the lead-out.
For instance, if you are the first rider starting your pull at two kilometres to go you’ve got to pace it so that you last 500-700 metres, then each subsequent pull by the following riders gets shorter and more intense. Each pull needs to be long enough so that the timing is just right in dropping off your sprinter in the final 200 metres of the race. From what Chris reported, the exercise was a success and now the guys are prepped to take control when the time is right and lead a race into the finish for a W.
Jet Fuel Coffee/Norco Bicycles is fortunate to have riders such as Chris Freeland and Joe Giuliano on the team; veterans that are passionate about the sport and there to help the youngsters develop. An exercise like the lead-out practice is exactly the kind of thing that will help get riders get to the next level. It’s also good to have some veterans around to keep the young bucks in check!
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