Coaches' Blog

Coach Ainslie





Tom Carter is one of my oldest friends and is always there for the cycling community. Now he needs our help! On Monday night Tom Carter, the Bee Farm race director and YGR Wounded Rider Program director, was admitted into the Medical Center of the Rockies ICU with a ruptured esophagus and fluid in his lung. During the week he had surgery to remove part of a lung, was sedated and put on a ventilator. I haven't heard how Tom sustained these injuries. As of Friday morning he is not able to have visitors. 
The following message was posted to Facebook by Tom's sister in law. 
"Tom Carter was hospitalized Monday night and is in the ICU. He is critically ill after rupturing his esophagus. His brother Charlie Carter and I know he has helped a good many in the community - and we are asking that folks gather support for him.
He had surgery Monday night- part of his lung was removed. He is sedated and on a ventilator. They are hoping to remove the vent today.
He cannot have visitors at this point. It is going to be a long road to recovery for Tom.
I'll post updates as they come. Charlie is by his side. Message me if i can answer any questions.
Thank you......"
A GoFundMe Page has been established to help with medical expenses. Please donate.

Coach Ainslie

It is now mid October and many of you are starting to transition into your winter training regimen. Maybe getting back on the bike this month, maybe next. You want to optimize your training this winter so that by February or March you're ready to hit the ground "running" and either add intensity or start racing. I see cyclists make 3 mistakes typically during their winter regimen that negatively influences their performance as we enter the cycling season.

1. Too hard too early. 

     We've all seen it before. That guy who is flying fit in December or January. But, where is this guy in June or July? Nowhere. There are many schools of thought about when to add in intensity and I'm not totally against having intensity in your training. What I am against though is approaching peak fitness in the first two months of the year. Winter riding should have a big focus on reestablishing your aerobic foundation/motor and honing pedaling efficiency. The odd day of intervals here and there is great but, you have to carefully monitor how and when you spend your efforts. 

2. Too easy.

    While winter training is a time to get in some good, over-distance rides, all that slow training only trains your body to do one thing: go slow for long distances. Add in some specific type training like tempo riding or longer threshold work that will recruit other energy systems. Going on a few group rides a month is a good way to get in some hard pedaling. Or, structured interval rides that are not based around slow, sustained stuff will benefit you.

3. No eating/drinking enough during rides.

   Winter riding is often very energy costly on two fronts.

   a. It takes more calories to thermo-regulate. When its cold, your body spends quite a bit of energy on maintaining body temperature in addition to fueling the pedaling motion. Add in some extra calories to make sure you can stay warm on cold days.

    b. Cold air is a bit drier (at least here in Colorado). It takes more moisture to moisturize the air going through your nasal passages and esophogus. AND, because it's cold, its easy to feel that you don't need as many fluids because your not sweating as much. I would argue you need at LEAST as much water. Try to remember to drink during your long or cold rides. Stick with the standard of 1 bottle an hour minimum.

   Paying attention to these three items will allow you to enter the spring/race season with a more solid foundation to build off of and make your winter riding more pleasant, effective and fun. 




Coach Ainslie

This year I have been fortunate enough to do a bit more cyclocross announcing than I have in years past. At the last couple events I have heard quite a few of the athletes saying the same thing and that is "I'm tired", "I need a break" or saying they're going to call it a season any day now. 

The cycling season starts earlier and earlier every year it seems and then continues into the fall if you're doing 'cross. The races here in CO are well attended and most of these athletes are not 'cross specialists, rather roadies who are trying to squeeze in a few more races. What this means though is that they have to extend their organized, intensive training. 

Thats a lot of miles and hours. A rider I spoke with yesterday told me he was at about 10,000mi for the season. That's a lot of accumulated fatigue. I can remember the 4yrs I raced as a pro, I put in 19,000mi yearly. I was tired at the end of those seasons. And not just physically tired but, globally tired. My mind was fried as well as my legs

The number of riders I've heard this out of in the recent past illustrates the need for a break at the end of your season. And that break is designed to not only work physically but mentally as well. You can back off the training, you can back off the food restrictions, you can do other activities instead of having to be so specific. 

So, this fall, find a place in your over-all training schedule to allow for a 2 or 3 week break. In this time you don't have to completely stop training, just keep it loose. If you don't feel like riding, don't. Allow yourself to have that 2nd serving at dinner, go ride your mountain bike or go hiking. These activities will help you refresh physically AND mentally. 

Coach Ainslie

The Alp d'Huez didn't let us down with drama and great riding yesterday. Thibeau Pinot went on the attack and was able to hang on to the finish. This French rider has demonstrated he is a man for the future with his climbing ability and knack for reading the race. Nairo Quintana found the legs to give the rest of the GC men the slip and found his way into 2nd on the stage. Froome finished with enough time to hold the yellow jersey and he can rest easily knowing tonight that he will win the Tour after the parade into Paris tomorrow.

Today, the rain in Paris meant that the stage was essentially neutral with the time being taken on the 1st pass of the finish line on the Champs Elysses. Race etiquette dictates that you don't attack before you hit the circuits so the initial part of the race was ceremonial. 

However, after the 1st lap was complete it was game on! 3 men went clear immediately, most notably Rohan Dennis found his way into the break. If you'll recall from 3 weeks ago, Dennis won the prologue. It was an exciting possibility that he would book-end the Tour. 

The teams of the sprinters took control very shortly after this and it was never meant to be for a breakaway. Lotto-Soudal, the team of Andre Greipel hit the front and the rest of the sprint men lined up behind them. In the closing meters though it seemed that Alexandre Kristoff and Katusha had pulled one over on the Greipel but the big German (Greipel) found his way to the front with a last minute surge and unloaded another sprint to take the win. Sagan and Cav got swamped and could only hang on for 7th and 6th respectively. 

So, this Tour is over and Chris Froome takes out his 2nd win. Sky did well to only lose one man on the way to Paris and he rolled across the line arm in arm with his teammates. It was a picture-perfect moment and one the riders will remember forever. 

Quintana took home the best young rider jersey. As he matures we may see him on the top step in Paris yet.

Sagan accumulated enough points in the sprint competition that his lead was never in danger today. He took the podium to put on the final green jersey of the race and at 25, I think we can all agree he's got a bright future.

Roman Bardet sealed the deal with the Mountains jersey yesterday on Alp d'Huez and he got to take the podium and the flowers as the best climber in Paris today.

The 2015 Tour de France is 3,360mi long. In honor of the race you can purchase my entire library of books and videos for $33.60.

You can also follow me on Twitter = GTS_Coach_Ace

Coach Ainslie

Sorry I missed you guys last night. As you might expect, with 2 kids and kid sports etc, didn't have a chance to dig into the old blog til today.

Exciting day yesterday. Lots of fireworks as the men occupying the lower spots on the GC tried to unseat Chris Froome. Attacks came on all fronts from Contador, Nibali and Quintana but, Froome responded each time with confidence bourne of knowing he is only a couple days away from a Tour victory. 
The day was particularly exciting for the French with Roman Bardet (AG2R-LeMondiale) taking the win and his country-man Pierre Roland finishing behind him. The French riders have been looking for their opportunity and yesterday was it!

Today saw a brilliant attack from Nibali. However, there is now some controversy about whether or not there was a breach of etiquette as his attack right at the moment Froome was having a mechanical issue. Nibali stormed to the finish with time to spare (over a minute!). Quintana came next. Both men took a bit of time out of Froome but, barring anything unexpected or unusual, Froome should ride into Paris in yellow. I'll leave it with the pundits to decide if Nibali misunderstood the situation or deliberately targeted a weak moment.

Tomorrow is the last big challenge for the riders. If Quintana or Valverde are going to inch closer to the lead, Saturday will have to be the day as its considered poor form to attack the leader on the final day. Tomorrow dishes up two big climbs. The Col de la Croix de Fer and the famed Alp d'Huez. Both of the climbs will sort out the field in a hurry. You can lost some pretty significant time on a day like this and the favorites will have to be wary of each other. All Froome really needs to do is follow his rivals. I think what we'll most likely see, of course, is Quintana, Valverde, Nibali and Contador continue to try and find time. Its unlikely that any of them can move to the top step of the podium, but it is in the realm of possibility that the lower steps could change. 

Its been an exciting 3 weeks and we're not there yet. Only the finish into Paris will tell the tale and I for one can't wait to see what happens!.....Ainslie

The 2015 Tour de France is 3,360mi long. In honor of the race you can purchase my entire library of books and videos for $33.60.

You can also follow me on Twitter = GTS_Coach_Ace

Coach Ainslie

The Tour is a cruel mistress. Today she withdrew her favor from Tejay Vangarderen as he abandoned about 40km into the race. Race coverage showed Tejay losing contact with the group on one of the early climbs. He was clearly running on empty and a statement later released by team BMC indicated that he was sick with cold-like symptoms. You have to feel for the guy. Going into the rest day yesterday he was holding down 3rd place in the Tour and today, couldn't push the pedals. Tejay has youth on his side and he will be around for many more Tours de France.

SImon Geschke had fabulous day today! Despite not being a specialist climber, he gambled on attacking his breakaway companions and was able to hold off the field for a fine win. After riding in a large breakaway that struggled to get itself organized, Geschke put in his attack at the bottom of the 2nd to last climb. And to think Geschke was a last minute call up because Marcel Kittel was ruled out of the team. 

Froome still sits atop the GC with Quintana in 2nd. With the absence of Tejay, Alejandro Valverde moves into the 3rd spot followed by Froome's leuitenant Geraint Thomas in 4th. Behind him in 5th lies Contador. I think at this point, the podium is probably solidified. Quintana has not shown the spark required to move any further up the podium. However, I think we could see Contador unseat Thomas with the amount of climbing that is left this week. Contador may be on the back foot, but we can always count on him to throw in an attack. Thomas has been working for Froome for 2 weeks now, I have to believe that he is getting tired. 

The 2015 Tour de France is 3,360mi long. In honor of the race you can purchase my entire library of books and videos for $33.60.

You can also follow me on Twitter = GTS_Coach_Ace