A Boulder Roubaix Perspective:
By Jared Berg
Exercise Physiologist and endurance racer
Jared’s excerpt below, from his experience in the Boulder Roubaix, is a preview of the information that we will discuss in our Free Community Lecture Series Presentation on Monday, March 13th from 6-7pm at our center. Read below to learn about some key points to think about for the race, and remember to sign up for the presentation where we will talk details on preparation, monitoring, and strategy for this type of race.
The last time I competed in the Boulder Roubaix was 4 or 5 years ago, but I don’t think much has changed. There are plenty of nuances you find on the Boulder Roubaix course that you won’t find in many other road races. The dirt itself provides challenges but a major concern is the cornering transitions from asphalt to gravel and coming off gravel onto asphalt. With a huge group turning at speed in these low traction situations, caution is advised. Positioning yourself where you won’t be negatively affected by someone else’s bad line or poor bike handling skills is key.
I remember much of the dirt of the Boulder Roubaix course as well maintained and fairly smooth riding. You will find some loose sections where you need to lift your chest up a bit or slide weight back to take a bit of weight off of the front wheel so it can surf the top rather than bite in. If you need to slow down while cornering in looser stuff, you want to stay off the front brake as that will cause your front wheel to bite down, stand your bike up and take you where you don’t want to go. Instead use the rear brake; as this is your turning brake. If your rear wheel brakes free from heavy braking, simply ease up your grip and grin because you just drifted and that’s fun! You may also encounter braking bumps on the Roubaix course, be psyched about these because this is the closest thing you may ever get to riding the real Paris Roubaix course.
From the fitness and strategy stand point, the course has some great challenges. Besides all the super strong Colorado cyclists in your category that will test your fitness, you will have to deal with an assortment of steep punchy hills as well as some longer climbs. I feel a key part of the course fitness-wise is Crane Hollow Road (really cool road by the way). On this road you have a short punchy climb followed by a flat section that turns you on to a gradual steady climb up St. Vrain and then a flatter on 65th followed by a steeper climb up Nelson. I advise get near the front on Crane Hollow. If you are drifting off towards the back at the Crane Hallow hill, you are going to need to react to the stretched out accordion effect of the peloton and grind your way back to the heart of the Peloton up St. Vrain and then catch your breath on 65th before the steeper pitch on Nelson. Ideally you are positioned well and comfortable with the climbing pace of the Peloton on Nelson but if you’re not and there are are some attacks on the hilly dirt section on 55th street, you’re going to be vulnerable.
Community Lecture Series Talk:
Preparing for the Boulder Roubaix (March 13th, 2017, 6-7pm)
Join Dr. Inigo San Millan, Jared Berg, and others for a special Community Lecture Series presentation on preparing for the Roubaix! From our team of leading Applied Exercise Physiologists and Professional Coaches, learn how to apply scientific principles to maximize performance with a focus on this road race. Take-away messages will help you to be at your best on race day and you will learn the how and why behind training for events like the Roubaix.
Roubaix Training Support with the Essential Cycling Package:
For training support, nutrition planning, or bike fitting to ensure everything is optimized for your early season racing and the rest of the year, book an appointment with us to learn how to prepare for success! Boulder Roubaix racers can use coupon code ROUBAIX2017 before the end of April for special pricing on this comprehensive package!
The Essential Cycling Package includes:
Physiological Assessment to develop training zones and plan
HR, VO2, and lactate assessment
Bike Fit to optimize fit for comfort and performance
Sports Nutrition consultation to optimize training and race day fueling
Online scheduling is easy using the link below.
Include your Coupon Code in the “notes to business” when checking out.
Select your dates of service for testing, bike fit, and nutrition.
Payment is not due until the day of service.