Ask the Pro: How do riders prepare for the Spring Classics?
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ask the Pro: How do riders prepare for the Spring Classics?

by Forme Coaching at 11:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Coaching

Forme CoachingOver the past two decades professional cycling as a sport has changed significantly.  Gone are the days when riders were expected to race straight through the entire season.  Now it is a profession where teams are more selective about the riders they send to individual races, and the riders are also more focused on racing to their strengths.

Today's question

Spring ClassicsQuestion: With the Classics season now in place, can you talk about how the specialists prepare for these races and how their training structure in the pre-season differs from that of the Grand Tour riders? - Garr, Wicklow, Ireland

Daniel Lloyd: Grand Tour riders, particularly those focused on the Tour de France, will typically start training slightly later in the off season, and take longer before they begin to add in high intensity.

Classics riders, on the other hand, will normally start training at the start of November in a focused manner, and already be very fit by the team’s first or second training camp in January. The early season stage races for them are almost like the icing on the cake, as once Paris-Nice or Tirreno Adriatico is done, it's pretty much race, recover, race, repeat, right the way through to Roubaix. You don't have much chance of gaining form between San Remo and Roubaix, so the hard work all comes before that.

Riders for the cobbled Classics need to focus both on distance (MSR, Flanders and Roubaix are all more than 260km) but also on very short intense efforts. This will get them ready for the type of riding they will experience at these early Classics: short, sharp efforts over the bergs of Flanders or over the sectors of Roubaix.

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Dan Lloyd, Dan Fleeman and Stephen Gallagher have built up a wealth of experience between them, racing with such teams as Garmin-Cervélo, the Cervélo Test Team, IG Markets Sigma Sport and the An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly squads.

Now working with Forme Coaching, the trio are sharing their knowledge with VeloNation readers in our new Ask the Pro section. Got questions for them? Email your queries about racing and training to and we’ll pass them on. Please provide your full name and general contact details.


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