UCI Masters Road Racing Gran Fondo World Champs
Chris approached me at the end of the summer in 2018, having previously qualified for the UCI Champs in Italy, by a small margin, although he was unable to attend. Chris has experience as a good for age athlete. At 65, 179cm with a background in triathlon and time-trial in his younger years Chris more recently came to track and road cycling and finished the 2018 Ride London in 6hrs, under poor weather conditions. Unfinished business meant that he wants to qualify at the Tour of Cambridgeshire in June for the World Champs event in Poznan, Poland at the end of the Summer, 2019. With a couple of years of good cycling foundations and reasonable progress Chris believed an applied coaching practitioner would help him achieve his aims.
Chris’ programme for road-racing performance over the winter was multi-phasic after assessing a full complement of performance, critical power and lactate threshold profile with frequent functional and resistance sessions. Initially working to a low percentage load of 1 Repetition Maximum, solid adaptations were triggered due to muscle memory from gym work he did in the past. We progressively built further specific aerobic foundations on the turbo, road and track, focusing on blocks of anaerobic and neuromuscular intervals to boost Critical Power so that Chris could start with race preparations. After coming out of the gym, Chris scheduled some training races, the Masters LVRC round at Hog Hill which although very limited racing experience he got to grips with very quickly and was able to put performance into practice amongst a bunch of seasoned masters who were familiar with each other. Subsequently, a strength maintenance block to preserve neuromuscular function before his next targeted track races which were also used as stepping stones for race form in time for the Tour of Cambridge.
Approaching the master road race category event, Chris had entered a final LVRC race where he managed to sharpen some last minute skills, however he picked up an acute bug just days before the Tour of Cambridge. Although this didn’t phase us, and all he could do is rely upon his solid preparation to date. Even though there were a couple of crashes and a strong tail wind Chris finished 13th out of 25 in the masters road race and 14th out of 55 in his age group, which he was exceptionally please with.
Overall Chris saw a 30 Watt improvement in threshold from his 2018 Summer and over 15% increases in critical power ranging from 30 seconds t0 10 minutes, for race specific efforts. Many obstacles were overcome throughout the programme and on the day of his main event…but he stuck to it like a barnacle! Chapeau
“I started working with Simon in late summer 2018. I am in my 60s and had come back to cycling after a long absence. I had been looking for a coach with the specific objective of racing the Tour of Cambridge in 2019 and qualifying in my age group for the UCI gran fondo finals. I was far from convinced I could do it! I liked Simon’s scientific approach to training which suited me. The training programmes he set for me were quite different from the approach I would have adopted on my own. The results started to show quite quickly and I developed more strength and resilience. Over the winter we achieved a material increase in critical power. Frequent feedback and testing helped tailor the programme to my needs. The real testimonial however is the end product – I qualified and am off to the UCI gran fondo in Poznan in September. I have also developed a taste for racing and am doing a number of Crits and road races and track races – so far each one has gone better than the previous one and I am improving all the time. Thanks Simon!” Chris