Skip to main content

Caleb Ewan's Sprint Position - Revealed through Kinesiology

Tour of Bloomington Day 1: Criterium

Day 1: Criterium
Almost DNF to 6th Place

The course was a 0.7 mile, clockwise, 6 corner circuit with a gradual climb out of the final corner, reaching its steepest grade between corners one and two.  The start/finish was located near the intersections of Kirkwood and Lincoln Streets.
The entire course itself was riddled with all sorts of road hazards like potholes, uneven bricks, untapered sidewalks and incomplete pavement.  The most dangerous corner was the final corner.  The apex of the final corner had bricks about a half inch above the pavement which would cause the tire to bounce during hard cornering.  I was just glad that they remembered to at least sweep the corners to remove as much loose dirt as possible.

The 3/4 race I signed up for was 45 minutes long and had about 57 starters.

RACE SUMMARY
The First Half: Riding Through a Mechanical
I unfortunately started towards the back of the pack and only gained a few positions before the first corner.  Since someone had planned to attack right away and hold a very fast tempo, so it was almost impossible to move up in position for the first several laps.  As the initial laps progressed, gaps would frequently form.  As soon as the rider in front of me showed some weakness, I had to jump out of the draft and begin my bridge.  While I was still bridging gaps, I encountered a mechanical mishap that I've never experienced with before- my rear shifter seized up forcing me to ride on the 11 tooth ring!

At the moment the shifter seized, the group was still strung out in a single file.  I tried squeezing the brakes and shifting up/down to release the shifter, but it wouldn't budge.  Since I had already wasted time and lost positions, the thought of forfeiting started to go through my mind, especially since I was still in the process of catching the main group.  I ended up chasing for four laps stuck in my 11 tooth ring until I finally bridged every gap up to the main group.  While drafting and trying to catch my breath, I was able to take a closer look at my shifter where I noticed that the internal lever within the shifter had slipped out.  As soon as I fixed my rear shifter, I sat in the group to recover for a few laps- I was flat out exhausted.

The Last Lap: Moving Up
Based on what I noticed from chasing the main group, I learned that the two easiest places to pass were the straightaways located between corners #1-2 and #4-5.  It took everything I had to force myself to accelerate in these planned locations, but it paid off because I managed to move up about 20-25 positions before the final corner, but I still sat about 15 positions before the final corner.  I started my sprint as soon as I exited the corner which allowed me to pass several riders.  I unfortunately missed the "payout" position of fifth place by a tire and rim!  Although I wasn't able to pull off a podium, I was still happy with my result, especially after the mechanical mishap.
The finishing picture, the parallel green lines represent the finish line.
Almost had it!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Kinesiological Approach To Bike Fit: Cleat Position

CLEAT POSITION:  There are four types of adjustments which can be made to a cleat.
Fore/ Aft:  FORE:  Positioning the cleat forward allows the ankle to move more freely, allowing for a smoother pedal stroke.  The trade-off is that this requires more ankle stability, calf strength and puts the rider at risk of developing quad dominance.AFT:  This position limits ankle motion.  This provides added stability to the ankle, allowing the calves to rest, but makes the rider prone to bouncy pedal strokes.  When switching from a forward cleat position to a rearward position, a lower saddle position is needed to compensate for decreased plantarflexion.Lateral/ Medial:  The goal is to spread weight evenly across the foot side-to-side.LATERAL:  Shifts weight towards the outside of the foot (small toe side).MEDIAL:  Shifts more weight onto the medial side of the foot (big toe side).  Limits the maximum amount of external rotation available before the heel strikes the crank arm.Rotation:EXTERNAL:  S…

How To Hold an Aero Position

There are climbs and then there are winds.  For many cyclists, riding into a strong wind can be more difficult than climbing, mostly because cyclists are required to reach a low aerodynamic position which can be uncomfortable, difficult or painful to hold.  Cyclists must demonstrate adequatehamstringandlower backflexibility to hold an aero position comfortably.  The flexibility needed to ride well in the wind can take time to develop, but with enough dedication and experience, anyone can become proficient at holding an aero position safely.  Here are some steps you can take to make holding an aero posture as comfortable as being on the hoods:

#1 LEARN YOUR LIMITS.
The worst thing a rider could do is force a low aero position and hope for the best.  With low back pain being one of the most frequent complaints among pros and recreational cyclist alike, the chances of long term pain- or injury-free riding are slim.  Develop the flexibility first, then shoot for the next lowest position yo…

Eagle Creek Park Cycling Grand Prix v2.0 - FIRST PLACE & FIRST PODIUM FINISH!

I can't even begin to describe how awesome it felt to have two dreams come true at once!  I always wondered what it would be like to be on the podium, but I never thought I had a chance at first place!

THE COURSE Below is a map of the course highlighted in blue.  It ran counterclockwise.  There were a few corners that stuck out to me.
Bottom right (corner #1):  This wasn't a very sharp corner, but the trees and brush made it difficult to see around it, so the group had a tendency to slow down and merge into a single line here.
Top right (corner #2):  This corner was very sharp, so oftentimes the group would merge into one or two pacelines, especially at higher speeds.
Top left (corner #3):  The inside half of this corner was covered by loose asphalt, so it wasn't an ideal or safe place to pass.  Pretty much everyone had to take a very awkward, wide line.  We could only fit about three abreast in this corner.
Bottom left (corner #4):  This was a very fast corner that led straigh…