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Entries For: March 2012


If you want to be a sprinter ...

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Quite often I receive constructive criticism about my recommendation that if you want to be a track sprint cyclist, you should specialise early.  That's ok, this is a big world and there's room for lots of opinions.

What do Chris Hoy, Anna and Kerrie Meares, Ryan Bailey, Robbie McEwen, Shanaze Reade, Ziggy Callan and Willy Kanis have in common?

They raced BMX as kids.

What sort of training do BMX'ers do?  Sprint.  Their races are very short, very sharp.  Food for thought?


Perth GP - this is how to do it!

I've ranted about good race programs for ages to anyone that will listen, here's a great example.

Picture this, a velodrome, a sellout crowd, 3,000 people.  Food vans, excitement ... Almost everyone staying 'til closing (10:30pm).  Thrilling racing.

Where was it?  Perth at the Speed Dome.  Was it good? You bet! 

What was the race program?  Over one day, starting at 4pm was sprint qualifying (yes, flying 200's really aren't that exciting, even I have to admit, for spectators!).  Then, round 1 of the sprints and some enduro stuff and an attempt by the local JM17 team sprint squad (who had just won the Australian title a week before) to break the Australian record (they didn't, but they gave it a great go, got loads of loud, enthusiastic support from the crowd!) .  All over by about 5 or so.

The evening session started at 7pm, with sprints and points races. Then more sprints, a few scratch races which were entertaining - the women's racing was great, full of attacks, due to a strong field of German girls who were determined to light it up.  There was an elimination in there somewhere too. Then, short (6 lap) keirins to finish.  The field was a second string field on the whole, a couple of world class riders but mostly second tier guys, but that didn't matter, there was great, close racing and the crowd loved it.

So did the 4 sprinters I was looking after.  We flew to Perth to race this stuff and all the guys got a full program of racing, no-one left feeling like they'd gone all that way for one ride. I will be begging my masters to let me go to this again and take more sprinters.

All this without a single handicap/wheelrace in sight.  Awesome.

If only our Victorian race directors could see beyond the wheelrace occasionally,  spice up the program with more sprints interlaced between the endurance races ... This format works and it showcases sprints.  If we want kids to race sprint, they need to see it as a priority race at the major events.  Austral, MCOW, Sid Pat, PAY ATTENTION.  National Junior Track Series (Max ...) guys, look at what the WA guys are doing, it works.

A huge thanks to Darryl Benson and his crew at WAIS for their passion and drive to make it happen.  This was a great race program.  The rest of us should pay Darryl the most sincere compliment, and copy what he's doing.




Perth GP

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I'm in WA!

4 days after the Junior Aussies and here I am in Perth with some Victorian sprinters for the Perth GP.  Some big names here in the lead up to the worlds in Melbourne in a couple of weeks.  We'll be racing sprints and keirins (note to race directors in Melbourne, see, two sprint events!).

The track here is narrow and long with very sharp bends and a hard transition into the bends - I had a ride around it on the WAIS motorbike (thanks Clay and Darryl), interesting.  We spent some time working out the fastest line for a flying 200 yesterday and today the guys will practice it on race gearing.  Fun times!


Aussie Titles

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Start today ...

Today is day one of the Junior Aussies (track).  I have a heap of kids on my "look after" list, and today is sprint (J15) and 500m time trial (J17) day.  It's going to be amazing.  Some of these guys I've been working with for years, and I am very, very proud of them.

I hope the other states have brought their A game, because we are ready!


Sugar is still evil ...

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Just don't!

This article in The Age talks about sugar, and the "Australian paradox", which might just be a load of rubbish.


Spin, Summer Sprint Series etc

A quick and dirty update on where we are

Firstly, I've revised my coaching structure a little, and am waiting for Nathan to see if he wants to change his stuff, the revised structure is here. This is to better reflect my specialisation in sprint and my experience.   I will still be running the Tuesday ergo sessions which are both sprint and endurance sessions, as those of you who go already know - that's just had a pricing change and is otherwise mostly unchanged.  I'm not coaching endurance riders so it makes sense that I make that clear.

We had to cancel the last round of the SSS for 2011-2012.  This is mainly due to clashes with so many different events and training sessions that I just couldn't see a path through, and burnout on the part of many of the guys in the squad, not just racers but also the vitally important volunteers who run it.  We're fried and need a break.

Now the good news!

DISC is closed from mid April 'til the end of May to have the leaky roof fixed.  Good-o!  But .. yes that takes away our Sunday DISC sessions for a bit.  I'm considering (read: will, somehow!) running a Sunday sprint-Ergo session during that time, maybe at Blackburn, maybe at the powerHaus, maybe at home (if Jayne agrees!).  Better than nothing.   We'll charge a tenner to come and suffer, BYO chunder bucket and road bike as usual. It won't be an enduro session, just sprint.  If Nath wants to put together some enduro stuff we can certainly accomodate that but I will leave it to him to decide.   The track time loss is more critical to sprinters than enduros during the off season, but if Nath wants to make it happen I'm happy to help.





Tour de Frankston

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In case you haven't already seen it ...

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