Twitter reacts to controversial bike changeover at World Champs time trial (video)

Alexey Lutsenko’s messy change from time trial bike to road bike for the final climb have those questioning the efficiency of the move

The controversial inclusion of a ‘bike changeover’ zone on the course of the 2017 UCI Road World championships elite men’s time trial in Norway has created lively debate on social media.

Some teams and riders had elected to change from time trial bikes to lighter road bikes prior to the final steep climb of Mount Floyen in roder to save time.

Alexey Lutsenko of Kazakhstan suffered a time loss when changing bikes, fumbling to get his feet back in the pedals and requiring a late push from a team helper outside the designated ‘push-off zone’, marked by a red carpet on the cobbles.

>>> Controversy surrounds bike changes during men’s time trial world championship

A UCI commissaire was on hand to check that anyone receiving a push after changing bikes kept within the regulated 20-metre stretch – yet Lutsenko appeared to be pushed beyond the point.

Other riders fared little better, losing momentum and making many question whether a bike change would be worth the effort.

And some riders decided not to change bikes, but used the red carpet as a smooth route over the cobbles.

Britain’s Adam Blythe noted that some riders could have learned from cyclocross world champion Wout van Aert on how to smoothly change bikes during an event.


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Dr. Hutch: Taking on the Cape Wrath

Born adventurer Hutch channels the spirit of Rex Coley and heads to Scotland’s feared Cape Wrath

Back in 1949, in the bleak post-war days of ration books and austerity, one of my illustrious predecessors in this magazine became disillusioned with the way cycling had changed from the 1930s.

Rex Coley wrote his column under the name ‘Ragged Staff’. His beef was that cyclists had stopped going on proper adventures.

>>> Icons of cycling: The Cape Wrath Fellowship

Instead they were increasingly concerned with going on runs to local cafes, trying to beat their friends up local hills, and most regrettable of all, racing.

So he started the Cape Wrath Fellowship. If you rode to Cape Wrath — the remote headland at the very top left-hand corner of Scotland where the Atlantic meets the North Sea — Coley would send you a certificate, a badge and a personal letter of congratulations.

I have always wanted to do this; ride through the wild and lonely landscape, and at last stand on the Cape with nothing between me and the Arctic apart from a few shivering puffins.

And, of course, to take the photo of myself at the lighthouse that would entitle me to claim (from Cycling UK these days) my Fellowship certificate.

Needless to say I have been much too feckless to ever get around to it. I’ve been too busy trying to beat the locals up hills and going racing. I had to be coerced into it by a Bike Channel TV show called 100 Things.

Road to nowhere

Despite it being on the mainland, you have to start your trip to the Cape by taking a very small ferry across an estuary. The ferry is the easy bit. On the far side there is an 11-mile ‘road’.

This was built in 1826 so they could build the lighthouse, and no one has touched it in the last two centuries other than the army, who occasionally bomb it since it runs through an artillery range.

This doesn’t really matter, since the point where bombing it would make it noticeably worse has long since passed. It is, and I say this with all due consideration, even worse than a road in Surrey.

I had plenty of time to look at it: the show’s presenter, O.J. Borg, refused point-blank to accept the thesis that the regularity with which a 90kg rider bangs an under-inflated cyclocross tyre into a large pothole might correlate with the number of punctures he gets, so there was quite a lot of standing around, leaning against the wind.

The lonely road to Cape Wrath made every other ‘wilderness’ I’ve ever seen look like Berkshire. No trees were brave enough to try to cling to the thin soil. The hills were low and dark, and even the heather looked wind-torn.



We made it to the lighthouse, where I have to report that the Shackleton factor was rather undermined by the presence of a cafe, which claims to be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, despite the Cape being inaccessible for about six months over each winter.

That’s the sort of cafe Rex Coley would have run.

Adventure’s end

The experience made me feel small for more reasons than the obvious.

We were there, in this hostile place, to essentially take up a dare put out by a long-dead magazine columnist.

While there was nowhere I’d rather have been, there and back was still the longest 22 miles I’ve ever ridden.

Rain, hail, warm sunshine and blasts of freezing wind came in every combination. I’ve never felt so
far-flung or vulnerable.

And every yard of the way I was painfully aware that despite being one of the inheritors of Rex Coley’s job, I could offer readers a certificate, a badge and even a large G&T to anyone intrepid enough to take a photo of themselves in front of their local Aldi, and I’d still get no takers.


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Monsal Hill-Climb has record number of entries for 2017 event

Classic hill-climb in the Derbyshire Peak District has attracted a record entry list of 190 riders

The 2017 edition of the Monsal Hill-Climb has a full entry list of 190 riders, the most that the classic annual event has ever fielded.

The 87th running of the event takes place on Sunday, October 1, and is a mainstay of the short British hill-climb season. Evidently, the race’s popularity is still growing and organiser Sheffrec Cycling Club says the age range of competitors this year is six to 56.

Riders must tackle the lung-busting 675-yard (617 metres) climb of Monsal Head in the Derbyshire Peak District, which is usually lined with a noisy and encouraging pack of spectators.

The current men’s course record was set by former international professional Malcolm Elliott, who posted a time of one minute and 14.2 seconds in 1981.

He had previously beaten the mark set by Tom Simpson in 1957 of 1-23.4. Elliott still regularly appears at the event to present the prizes.

As well as Simpson and Elliott, previous winners have included four-time winner Russell Downing, Adam Blythe, Dean Downing, Graham Briggs, Jack Pullar and last year’s winner, Adam Kenway.

Lou Bates set a new women’s record of 1-42.8 last year, proving that course records are still up for grabs.


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How to become a triathlon coach

Training

Thinking about becoming a triathlon coach but don’t know where to start? The UK’s governing body for triathlon, the British Triathlon Federation, explains all you need to know about becoming a qualified coach

There are a number of reasons why people choose to become a triathlon coach. From being a parent wanting to help out at their child’s club, to an experienced age-grouper or elite athlete wanting to share their knowledge and experiences and give something back to the sport they love.

Whatever the reason and ultimate goal, coaching can be a very rich and rewarding role – helping others develop and achieve their potential and personal goals within the sport. The role of a coach is vital to the success of triathletes at every level and goes beyond just creating and delivering the training sessions. It encompasses athlete management, being a role model, being a motivator to their athletes and fellow coaches and most importantly, building strong personal relationships with their athletes.

Coaching Level

The triathlon coaching qualification levels range hugely from starting out as an ‘Activator’ to being a highly qualified and experienced Level 3 coach. At the start, your role as a coach may be very informal when working with entry level athletes and within local clubs. As you develop as a coach this role becomes much more professional, often working with highly ambitious performance athletes and requiring much greater time commitment. British Triathlon, the sport’s National Governing Body for the sport within Great Britain provide a range of qualifications and continuing professional development opportunities to suit all aspiring coaches.

Coaching Experience

If you don’t have any coaching experience, a good starting point would be to shadow a coach at your local triathlon club, but as an athlete you will be surprised at how much you will have already learnt and picked up from your coaches. Shadowing another coach will not only allow you to get a feeling of what coaching is and what it involves but also allow you to gain hands-on experience and accelerate your learning as a coach.

That being said, try to support a variety of coaches and athletes to help increase the breadth of your knowledge and experience. For example, working with junior athletes can bring a completely different challenge to coaching adult age-groupers and requires a number of different skills and capabilities.

What qualifications are required to become a triathlon coach and how do I get them?

You can enter onto a BTF Level 1 Coaching Course or Activator Course with no coaching qualifications or experience. From here you can progress up the ladder to Level 2 and our highest qualification, the Level 3 High Performance Coaching Programme (HPCP). Both the Level 2 and Level 3 Courses require a certain level of qualification and length of experience – visit www.britishtriathlon.org/coaching for more information.

It is possible to enter the Level 2 course without going through the Level 1 qualification through a scheme we call ‘direct entry’. This allows individuals with an existing level of experience and relevant coaching qualifications (eg. In another sport or HE degree) the opportunity to bypass the Level 1 Course following assessment by one of our accredited tutor workforce.

What do the BTF courses entail?

In October 2016, we reviewed and released our new Coach Education Programme. The Level 1 and 2 courses now focus on the core skills of coaching and serve as a platform for coaching to further develop their skills in any specific areas of interest and relevance to their role. Our philosophy which defines our courses is based on coaches taking responsibility of their own learning and coaching pathway, using our support through the resources and opportunities we offer to seek out the specific knowledge necessary to fulfil their role and develop as a coach.

All of our course content and assessment, with the exception of the final practical coaching task) is provided through our online learning platform, The Learning Hub. This allows the course contact time to focus on practical coaching activities, problem solving tasks and classroom discussion.

Any pre-2016 qualified Level 1 and 2 coaches, may want to consider re-visiting The Learning Hub as they will find a substantial amount of new content, videos and resources that may help them adapt, challenge and progress their own coaching.

All course information, including what they involve and how to book on, are available on the British Triathlon website at www.britishtriathlon.org/get-involved/coaching/become-a-coach

What characteristics and attributes should athletes look for in a coach?

Coaching is seen as both an art and a science. A coach needs to have a number of ‘soft’ interpersonal skills when working with athletes in order to optimise their development through trust, engagement and motivation. On the other hand, coaches also need a number of more technical skills such as discipline, specific knowledge and understanding of exercise physiology in order to appropriately teach and enhance the learning and performance of their athletes.

A good coach will have a good understanding of their athletes both as an athlete and a person and balance these two areas to meet their specific needs and goals within the sport. In addition to this having a growth and open mindset to their learning and approach to learning is crucial to getting the most out their athletes and to continue to grow as a coach especially in the sport of triathlon which continues to develop and evolve.

How to choose a triathlon coach

Ironman triathlon training: being coached vs self-coaching

10 things your coach often says… and what they really mean

Having experienced coaches grow and develop from a variety of different backgrounds, we have seen some of the best coaches start with little or no coaching or triathlon experience, but they bring a drive to learn and support others.

You can follow British Triathlon’s Coaching and Volunteering team on Twitter, via @brittricoaching

Find out more on how to become a coach and the British Triathlon Coaching Qualifications, via www.britishtriathlon.org/get-involved/coaching/become-a-coach

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Chris Froome on Worlds TT: ‘I couldn’t just sit at home and think ‘what if”

Tour de France and Vuelta a España champion said he couldn’t miss out on giving the World Championships time trial a shot despite not training specifically for the event

Chris Froome refuses to set home and let an opportunity to become world champion in Bergen, Norway, pass by.

Team Sky’s star will represent Great Britain today in the individual time trial, on a course covers 31 kilometres and ends with a 3.4-kilometre climb.

>>> Is it worth riders making bike changes for the final climb of the Worlds time trial?

Froome just returned from Spain where he won the Vuelta a España to complete a double with this Tour de France victory in July. On Sunday, he helped Sky to a bronze medal in the team time trial.

“It’s not something I’ve trained specifically for,” Froome told the Telegraph. “I’ve come here off the back of the Tour and the Vuelta with whatever form I’ve got on that start line. And I’m up against guys who have focused the last few months of their season specifically one this.

“So it’s a tricky one. But at the same time I’d much rather be here and be giving it a shot, rather than being at home and wondering ‘what if?’”

German Tony Martin will defend his title and start last, with Froome beginning third to last, just before his top rival, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.

Dumoulin won the Giro d’Italia and backed off to train specifically for the World Championships time trial and road race. He helped Sunweb to the team time trial gold medal already on Sunday.



Froome’s Grand Tour campaign saw him become the first rider to win the Tour/Vuelta double since Spain moved its race to the late summer date in 1995.

In the Vuelta, Froome won one summit finish stage and the time trial. The effort, however, could leave him without fuel in the tank.

“I’ve no expectations for Wednesday but if I could pull it off it would be magic, an incredible end to what has been an incredible season already.”

The only Brits to have won the time trial title are Chris Boardman in 1994 and Bradley Wiggins in 2014.

The Bergen course is forcing many top stars to plan a bike change before the summit finish. The time trial climbs 3.4 kilometres at an average of 9.1 per cent.

“I estimate you’d probably lose about 15 seconds in loss of momentum and getting on the bike again and getting back up to speed,” Froome said.

“Of course time trials can be lost by five or 10 seconds. So it could be decisive.”


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Former Jamaican National Team Coach Jacqueline Beckford-Henriques Hired As Head Coach of University of Waterloo

Jacqueline Beckford-Henriques has been named the head coach of the Waterloo Warriors swim team, taking over for Jeff Slater who led Waterloo in the previous 10 seasons.

Beckford-Henriques comes over from the McMaster Marauders having served as the Associate Coach for three years, involved in all of the team planning and scheduling.

Beckford-Henriques was the Jamaican National Coach for 19 years, designing and implement the swimming squad program for Jamaica and has coached at three different Olympic Games (2000, 2004, and 2008) which involved working with present World Record Holder in the 100m breast stroke, Alia Atkinson.  Beckford-Henriques was also the Team Leader/Coach for the Jamaica Team at the World Short Course Championships in December 2016 in Windsor, Ontario.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Jacqueline to the Warriors as our next head coach of swimming,” said Brian Bourque.  “She stood out with her combination of U SPORTS and international experience and brings a wealth of knowledge to our swimming team at Waterloo.”

Beckford-Henriques is excited for the opportunity to lead the University of Waterloo – U SPORTS program and work with the tremendous student-athletes at the University of Waterloo.

“It is a great honour to become the head coach of the Warriors, a very reputable and hard working group of swimmers I’ve got to know over my time at Mac,” said Beckfod-Henriques.  “I’m excited to work with each student-athlete and gear up for a strong season in the pool.”

Beckford-Henriques will begin her duties immediately working towards building and strengthening her athletes as the OUA and U SPORTS Championships approach.

The above press release courtesy of University of Waterloo Athletics.

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Wednesday – Flexibility

Aggghhhh yes, flexibility . . . .something I swear I have nothing of. Even with putting in a lot of extra time and effort into my mobility, somehow I still constantly feel like the tin man. Don’t get me wrong, when I put in the extra time to focus on my mobility and flexibility I absolutely 100% feel better, but even on my best days it’s still difficult for me to do something as simple as touch my toes.

That in mind, here’s a good article (I know it’s a bit long, but a very interesting & worth while read) to remind ourselves how important our flexibility really is . . .

How Flexibility Affects Strength (& Vice Versa)

By William Imbo

The term ‘muscle-bound’ has long been associated with athletes and individuals that have developed large muscle mass through strength training, but in so doing have significantly reduced their ability to move freely through a full range of motion. This is certainly the case for many people in sports and fitness, and yet, we need only look at gymnasts, Olympic Weightlifters and elite CrossFitters to know that the opposite is true as well. These athletes compete in sports where an imbalance between these two fitness skills would limit their progress and impair their success—and the same applies to you.

How flexibility affects strength
A limited range of motion is going to hold you back from maximizing your strength gains. Think about the mobility you need in your hips and ankles for a typical barbell squat. Then consider the added shoulder and wrist mobility you need for the front and overhead squat. Yet the squat, in all its variations, is renowned as the best compound movement (involving more than one joint) you can possibly perform, especially when it comes to improving overall strength. Because it does involve so many muscle groups, your body will be triggered to release more testosterone and HGH—two powerful hormones for building muscle mass and strength. And studies have shown that in order to maximize your strength gains, you need to execute full range of motion when squatting in order to have your muscles have greater time under tension. But what if you aren’t mobile enough to break parallel in the back squat, to maintain a front rack position in the front squat, or even hold an empty barbell overhead during an overhead squat? Well, you will inevitably hit strength plateaus that will take some time to break. Needless to say, being flexible enough to put your body in the right positions when moving heavy weight is vital. If you want to clean, jerk and snatch like an Olympian, first make sure that your body is mobile enough to receive heavy weight—then you will be able to reap the strength benefits of standing up monster weights from the hole. The same concept applies to developing bodyweight strength. One need only look at the body of a gymnast to realize how strong these men and women are—yet they are highly mobile too. Consider this—how many of you struggle with pistols? And, for those who do, do you think it’s because you lack the individual leg strength to perform the movement, or you’re missing the requisite mobility in your hip and ankle to get into the position? I’d wager that for the vast majority of people, the latter is the limiting factor.

lifting gBut before you start going to yoga 10 times a week and spending countless hours flossing, rolling, banding and performing every stretch known to man, it’s important to remember that there is evidence that too much flexibility can have a negative impact on strength. An increase in flexibility without a corresponding increase in strength can result in joint instability. When someone is hypermobile, their ligaments become loose. This is a problem because ligaments act as the “strapping tape” of our joints by connecting bone to bone. If they become too loose, they have no recoil property. Corrective exercise specialist Brooke Thomas provides the perfect analogy: “Imagine the difference between a rubber band and Silly Putty. Stretch out the elastic and “boing!” back it goes. Stretch out the Silly Putty and you have stringy globbery-goop.”

If the ligaments are too loose, this is where your muscles step up, as part of their job is to determine the appropriate range for a joint (where the bones get to go). “This means if they are functioning in a balanced way, the ligaments do not need to take on a load. And our muscles weave into the bones via tendons, and all of this is living in a sea, inside and out, of fascia [connective tissue that runs throughout the body],” Thomas adds.

Of course, if there isn’t the right balance between muscle strength and flexibility (in this case a lack of strength), the ligaments have to shoulder the load, making them highly susceptible to wear and tear and increasing the risk of serious injuries to the joint. So, we cannot overlook the importance of strength as it relates to flexibility.

How strength affects flexibility
Just as being hypermobile can cause damage to a joint, an increase in strength without a balanced rise in flexibility can result in soft tissue tears, sprains and postural changes. Now, strength is obviously an important skill that we’re always looking to improve. Being strong allows us to move heavy weight and perform functional tasks outside of the gym. In addition, many joints in the body require stability so they are able to resist movement from an outside force. For example, ideally we want the knee joint to be stable so that it doesn’t buckle or twist when we run, squat or jump. One of the best ways of doing that is by increasing the strength of the supporting musculature of that joint—in this case, the quadriceps, the hamstrings and the muscles of the calf. When our joints are stable, we are better able to transfer power throughout the body too. This manifests itself well in the thruster, where we need to generate a lot of force through the joints as we move upwards in order to help get the barbell of the front rack before pressing it overhead.

But wait a second, isn’t squatting one of the best ways to strengthen the supporting musculature of the knee? And didn’t you just write that an athlete needs to have good flexibility in the hips and ankles to be able to perform a squat? Yes I did—that’s because while some joints of the body require stability (like the knee), others need to be more mobile (such as the hips and ankles). You can emphasize strength training all you want, and the joints that need stability will thank you for it, but if you can’t execute a full range of motion because of how immobile you are where it matters, your strength won’t count for anything. In fact, overly focusing on strength without mobilizing muscle groups can lead to conditions such as anterior pelvic tilt and upper crossed syndrome. Take someone who spends most of their day sitting at a desk. In this position, their hamstrings are going to become stretched and tight. They then go to the gym, and expect to bang out heavy sets of deadlifts. Deadlifts require the hamstrings to be strong, but they also need to be mobile. What happens when you place excessive strain on an already strained muscle group? They tear.

So, it’s obvious that the body in general needs to be supple and strong. A balanced ratio between the two allows an athlete to perform functional movements at full range of motion with heavy weight, while an imbalance in either direction paves the way for injury and postural problems.

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Mizzou Gets Two From Colorado: Danny Kovac, Kyle Leach

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com.
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NEW COMMITS: The University of Missouri has received two verbal commitments for the Class of 2022 from Colorado based swimmers. Danny Kovac and Kyle Leach have announced their intentions to swim for the Tigers. The duo join Jack Dahlgreen in making verbal commitments to Mizzou.

Danny Kovac

Kovac is a senior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. He also swims for Fort Collins Area Swim Team (FAST). In 2017 Kovac was the Colorado 5A runner up in the 100 fly and 100 back.

Kovac is strongest as a backstroker, but also brings a strong butterfly that he has put together for a great IM as well. His best times include:

  • 50 Back 23.22
  • 100 Back 48.70
  • 200 Back 1:49.35
  • 50 Fly 25.77
  • 100 Fly 48.19
  • 200 IM 1:48.88

His club teammate Bayley Stewart is verbally committed to Notre Dame.

Kyle Leach

Leah lives in Colorado Springs where he swims for Colorado Springs Swim Team. A Colorado 4A state champion in the 100 fly, and a 200 freestyle runner up, Leach is a senior at Cheyenne Mountain High School. He was a key piece of the team’s effort to successfully defend their state title last year.

He’s primarily a freestyler. Leach’s best times are:

  • 100 Free 45.17
  • 200 Free 1:38.34
  • 1000 Free 9:44.64
  • 100 Fly 49.23

Lech wrote on his CollegeSwimming profile,

“I’m so excited to announce my commitment to the University of Missouri! I want to thank all my coaches, friends, and most of all my family for helping me reach my goals to get me where I am today. I know Missouri has everything I need to help me be the best I can in and out of the pool! Go Tigers!”

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Teddy Perelli Verbally Commits to Penn State

Photo Courtesy: Teddy Perelli (Twitter)

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com.
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NEW COMMIT: Teddy Perelli has given a verbal commitment to swim for the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions beginning next fall. Perelli is a senior from Mathews, North Carolina. The USA Swimming Scholastic All-American swims for SwimMAC Carolina in addition to Providence High School.

His best times include:

  • 200 back – 1:49.61
  • 100 back – 51.00
  • 400 IM – 4:00.95
  • 200 IM – 1:54.43

As a junior at last February’s North Carolina High School 4A State Championships Perelli finished seventh in the 100 back.

He wrote on Twitter,

“So excited to announce my verbal commitment to Penn State. I can’t wait to be a Nittany Lion! #PRIDERISING”

He joins SwimMACers Heidi LoweSophie LinderCurtis Wiltsey, and Will Chan in making verbal commitments.

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