2014 Melas CX-Basin Racin’ Pix and Vids and Race Reports

Categories: Photo, Reports, Video

2014 Melas CX-Basin Racin’ Preview

- #MelasCX and more here. Preliminary staging will be posted here before Sunday.

- Chris Henning and Ted Berger (Northbrook Garner Bicycle Club and Flatlandia) take us racin’ through the basin.

- Parking:  This is much different than last year.  There is no parking at Melas Park.   A dog park was built there over the summer and we need to keep the lot clear for the locals using the dog park. Parking will be at Multi Pack Solutions @1804 W. Central Rd., Mt. Prospect, IL which is behind (to the north of) Robert Bosch Tool Corporation.  Registration and S/F are adjacent to the Multi Pack lot.  There is a pedestrian gate to access Melas Park from the Multi Pack lot.  The Multi Pack lot is located to the West of the Melas Park entrance, just east of S. Arthur Ave.

- Team Trailers.  Please e-mail Chris Henning if you’re planning on bringing out a trailer, he will try and coordinate a setup location for you.

- Food truck: Pizza Via will be onsite serving brick-oven pizzas.

- Coffee: Other Brother Coffee will be serving warm caffeinated beverages.

- Warm Ups:  Please stay off the ball fields while warming up and if you do use the walking paths please making sure to yield to any pedestrians / other park users.

- Speaking of cars, no parking on the grass – anywhere.  There is plenty of parking available.  This includes team vehicles intending on dropping off team tent and compound equipment.

- Park rules: Sorry, we don’t make them but we do have to follow them… no alcohol allowed. Please be respectful of the park.

- Dog Park:  Unfortunately you must have a “membership” to get inside the fenced dog park which is available from either Mt. Prospect or Arlington Heights (Costco membership does not cut it :).  dog park membership

- Breakdown: Now that the official sunset time is literally minutes after the end of the Cat 4/5 race, Garner & Flatlandia would appreciate any help tearing down the course after the Cat 4/5 race. 

- Announcing: Kenny Labbe will be back and announcing all day long.

- Weather: It’s going to be chilly and wet on Sunday, so please bundle up and bring appropriate clothing for before, during, and after your race(s)!

- No kids race this weekend… a little too sloppy.

- Volunteering: Melas CX is still looking for a few volunteers spots to be filled. Volunteers race for free & lunch is provided. Please sign-up here.

- The Course: A bit different from last year. Same tough hill(s) getting out of the Basin. Please remember the course might change based on conditions encountered during setup.

Categories: Course Preview

Coach’s Corner – Cross Jumps

Cyclocross is filled with lulls and firestorms, ebb and flow, yin and yang.  Indian Lakes last weekend was a great example….slow, twisty little section that allowed a bit of recovery followed by a power-fest coming out of the corner and onto a long straight.  Each jump burns at least part of a match and so ultimately costs something.

We created these sessions with Criterium racing in mind and they translate very nicely to cyclocross.  They’re pretty wicked and worth the effort because they help create the type of high short-term power that will get you from slow to GO in a hurry.  They also help prepare the body in a way that will limit power losses from the start to finish of a cross race.

Most courses have 5 or 6 sections that fit this description.  If you save just 1 second out of each corner by getting to speed at a faster rate you’re looking at 30 – 60 seconds during a race depending on your category.  That’s a lot of places!

Warm up for at least 20 minutes in zones 1-2

One Set:

As one continuous effort:  50 seconds at FTP (best 60 minute power) right into 10 seconds at the high end of your 1 minute power x 5 with no recovery between efforts 

When you first try these take 6 minutes off between sets.  As you become more accustomed to them decrease the amount of recovery between sets.  3 – 5 sets over a 1:30 – 2 hour ride is a good session.

As with some of the other drills we’ve covered within this forum, the recovery between these efforts is as important as the wattage you push during them.  Be disciplined in relaxing and bringing your heart rate down.

Two….more…..races.  Don’t just hang in there, get faster!

Rob Kelley



Categories: Coach's Corner

Tuesday CCC Updates

Photo: Snowy Mountain Photography

- Another great double weekend at the Hilton Indian Lakes Resort hosted by the South Chicago Wheelmen. Well you asked for it and you got it. We finally had some real cyclocross weather this weekend at ILR. Saturday’s race temps were down in the teens for most of the day. Our elite podiums consisted of Sydney Guagliardo (Verdigris-Village) who got her first (and second) win of the series followed by Corrie Karas and Kelli Richter (PSIMET). Meanwhile in the men’s race Dan Teaters (Wheel & Sprocket) won followed by series leader David Reyes (Heritage) and Maxx Hall (Verdigris-Village).

- Sunday was an entirely different day after snow blanketed the course Saturday night and the track became extremely wet and slippery throughout the day with riders wiping out all over the course. Our podiums for the elite women were Sydney Guagliardo (Verdigris-Village) for her 2nd win of the weekend, Kelli Richter (PSIMET) and Emily Elbers (Marian). For the men, local road pro Brandon Feehery took the top step racing for his school Lindenwood in a super close finish edging out Saturday’s winner Dan Teaters (Wheel & Sprocket) in the second to last turn, with David Lombardo (Verdigris-Village) in third.  Special shout out to Kenny Labbe for keeping the energy high throughout the cold, snowy, and windy weekend.

- Full results are on USAC here and CrossResults.com Saturday and SundaySeries overall standings are here.

- Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, John Gatto has been producing some great videos of each CCC event from a different perspective. Check out ILR Saturday and Sunday.

- Next up the CCC heads closer to the city of Chicago in Prospect Heights for Melas CX Basin Racin’. The weather looks delightful so get your bikes into a LBS for service now!

- Not this weekend but next weekend the CCC takes a break to eat tofukey and cranberry dressing but you can still get your CX fix. The crew from Psimet will host Norge Ski Jump Cyclocross on SUNDAY 11/30/14. Gobble Gobble!

- Then on Sunday 12/7/14 the CCC finishes up at Montrose Harbor at the Illinois State CX Championships. We’ll have lots more details for Montrose in the next few weeks, but the rad guys and gals at the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew have already committed to providing podium medals for the top 3 Single Speed Women (who will still be racing with the men). Also, no categories at Montrose have filled yet, so if you end up on a waitlist and then don’t get to race its your own fault.

- Paul Warloski of Milwaukee Bicycle Company will be at Melas CX Basin Racin’ Sunday with the MBC Mettle, a steel cross bike that Cyclocross Magazine called a “great bike for a reasonable cost.” He’ll have Mettles to test ride, even race if you want to try one out. He’ll be at Melas from 8am to 4pm with a break to use his own Mettle in the 45+ race.

- And finally… Juniors, or more to the point their parents… if you have pre-reg’d and shown up to race and are due your entry fee “refund” and would rather donate those monies to a youth program such as West Town Bikes or Blackstone Bikes, please let us know and we can make that happen.

Categories: News, Racing, Updates

2014 Indian Lakes Resort Pix and Vids and Race Reports

Just a reminder that everyone needs to sign in and get a new number tomorrow… DO NOT race with your number from Saturday or you will not be scored

Categories: Photo, Reports, Video

2014 Indian Lakes Resort Preview

- #ILRcx More venue/course info here.

- Preliminary staging will be posted here for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s results will affect Sunday’s staging.

- SCW has increased payouts per the CCC maxiumum even though pre-reg numbers are not >600 riders. Cat 1/2/3 and Women Cat 1/2/3 will each split $900 over 7 places both days (2 Day * 2 Categories * $900 = $3,600).

SRAM neutral support in the equipment pit both days.

- As per usual this time of year the forecast is for high winds and low tempsSCW asks that everyone take down your tents, all the way, Saturday night. You may leave your tent(s) on premise overnight.

- There will be  hoses available to wash your bike(s), but not in the equipment pit. The hose is located next to the pro-shop just outside the door to registration. SCW is working on getting a power washer for the pits, but not promises.

- Do not bring your bikes inside when coming to the registration room. Please leave them outside. Thanks!

- No warming up on the fairways or west of the course. The other courses are still open to golfers… yeah, they think we are crazy too for riding our bikes in this type of weather.

- Please stay off the putting greens at all times.

- Kenny Labbe will be on the mic again both days.

Kids cx is on but for Sunday only. “Racing” starts at 2pm.

- Bring your bathing suit for the pool and hot tub.

- The Cave Bar will be open as well as an all you can eat buffet in the Masters restaurant.

- Speaking of the Cave… there will be an informal party Saturday night. Come say hello!

- The course: Classic ILR features with a few new sections and run clockwise. Approximation of this weekend’s course is below and the course will change slightly from Saturday to Sunday.

Categories: Course Preview

Coach’s Corner – Starts


Starts are huge in cross. Whether you’re on the 1st row or the 10th, a good start can be the difference between a great or mediocre day on the bike.  Maintaining your position and/or passing large groups of people while charging down a straight at the beginning is a heck of a lot easier than making up large gaps throughout a cross race for sure.  Plus it’s fun!

First off you need to have a solid warm up in prior to staging, or else the violent effort needed is going to hit you like a ton of bricks half way through the first lap. Grip the bars tightly in the drops or on the hoods.  Most like the hoods but how often do you see roadies sprinting for the line on the hoods?  Make no mistake; this is a series of short and all-out sprints.  Get your weight back a bit, at least over the top of the saddle.  When the whistle blows jam your hips forward and off you go.

BMX is awesome, just wanted to put that out there. Growing up in that sport teaches some pretty wicked skills for sure, including how to go from a standing start to max speed fast.  While you won’t win a cross race because of a great start, you can lose one with a bad start.  You can win a BMX race purely because of a great start so it’s a large part of training and the core principals are the same.  Notice the hip action, pedal position and all-out/dead-lift type effortBMX Start

As with every aspect of bike racing, practice is crucial. Do 2 or 3 starts the day before race day to get the feel.  You need to find the starting gear that best suits you, get comfortable getting your cleat engaged quickly and work on shifting up as you spin each gear out.  This is a fantastic video and instruction from one of the best in the US: Cyclocross Start

It’s also a very good idea to incorporate focused and fitness based start reps into your training regimen at least once every other week. One or two sets of these is a solid addition to a skills oriented day and will also help train the body to accept and recover from what is one of the toughest efforts of the race:

Warm up for at least 15 minutes.

1 rep: All out sprint for 200 meters. Settle into FTP +10% and peg it there for 1 minute.  3 minutes off between reps.

1 set: 5 reps. Take 8 minutes off between sets.

Hit up some single track for the last half of your ride to work on skills (and to have lots of fun)

Warm down for at least 15 minutes

Good luck and go fast!

Rob Kelley



Categories: Coach's Corner

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