Last weekend it finally came together for my teammate Bryce. He snagged his first win as a Cat 3 racer. Earlier this year Bryce asked me if I would help him out and give him a training plan to help him focus on maximizing his training time. Bryce is a good bike racer with some strong results racing Cat 3 for over a year but he was ready to focus his training.
Like many of us, he has to balance work, a young family and training along with other commitments.
I talked to him about his goals, what he wanted to achieve this year, what he wanted to improve on and what he wanted his training weeks to look like. Another consideration was that Bryce was hit by a vehicle at the end of last season and had to have knee surgery and spend time off the bike and rehabbing in the fall.
Due to this I wanted to ease into the training season. We settled on a training regimen of 6-7 hour training weeks with flexibility built in to move things around and take days off instead of riding easy if needed due to other commitments. Still, the goal was to build a strong base using key base workouts and strength training for several months and then push into some build workouts as racing season neared.
In talking with Bryce during the first few months of training he reported that some of the workouts and drills were harder than he anticipated due to some weaknesses but that he was feeling much better at the end of his long rides than he had in quite a while. It seemed that consistency and focus on key workouts was paying off!
As we got into racing season, Bryce had some solid results, coming close to winning some pack finishes. Bryce is a good sprinter and has a good finish kick naturally so we decided to focus on workouts that would help him get to the end of a race feeling like his tank wasn’t empty. There were also sprint workouts to help boost his top end speed.
During some of the early season races Bryce was trying to beat another Cat 3 guy named Jeff who is also a very solid sprinter. He had come close on a few occasions but Jeff had the upper hand…till last weekend. Bryce and Jeff both raced on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Jeff pulled off a solid win on a tough, short circuit race while Bryce didn’t have his best legs that day. Then they both raced a crit on Sunday evening. Bryce told me that he tried to get in a break during the race but the high speed course ensured that things stayed together.
The race came down to the sprint and Bryce was in good position and pulled off the win in impressive fashion, crossing the line several bike lengths in front of the second place rider.
Hearing about the race and knowing that he got his first win as a Cat 3 and that the training had paid off was extremely satisfying as a coach. Not only am I happy that he could get this win, but also because a win often unlocks a confidence when the physical and mental pieces click and can be a breakthrough for a rider. I am looking forward to watching the rest of the season to see what comes. Keep it up Bryce!