In Northern California our bike racing season is really long. We start competing in January after months of training and preparation. With a little luck we’ll race through August and into September before shutting it down for a break.
Junior riders look for early race successes and the opportunity for a selection to the US National Team abroad. Mid-season (now) means District Championships and in a few weeks, Nationals. For masters this is pushed out even further with Districts in June and August, and Nationals in early September followed by Worlds.
Such a racing schedule means it’s nearly impossible to have good, let alone peak, fitness for the duration. Cushing early season races is great for confidence but brings the risk of being too good too early, and flat later in the year when it really counts. Conversely, going out and getting beaten over and over in the season’s opening weeks is as challenging as the hardest workout, and requires an unwavering discipline to keep moving forward without losing motivation.
Over the past couple weeks we’ve seen hard work and patience pay off. The juniors have won District road race, crit and TT championships as well as taken top podium honors at nearly every other race contested. All this bodes well with Nationals just around the corner, where the culmination of fitness, confidence, racing skill and patience will pay off.
-Chris Lyman, masters teammate