(Stefan Ritter is a second year Junior with Juventus, currently training in Cycling Canada's sprint program.)
Since Christmas, my cycling endeavours have taken me to Milton twice. Sadly not to sunny California like Evan, but nonetheless it’s always great to get on the boards of the Milton velodrome.
While there I trained with Erin Hartwell and the elite sprint squad. Training with the likes of Monique Sullivan, Kate O'Brien, Hugo Barrette, and Evan Carey was very cool and motivating to say the least.
As for some of the efforts on the track, I was doing Flying 200s, Motor Drops, Motor Chases and some Keirin work. One thing with Erin is his love for big gears. For the 200 I’ve been using gears in the range of 110 to 117 inches, experimenting with different gears to see which would yield a slightly faster time.
I would have to say the highlight of the second trip was riding a 9.96 second 200 m from a motor drop. Riding at that speed the track behaves in a very different way, as everything comes a lot faster, even though the difference is only half a second. I could feel the Gs pulling me through the corner and propelling me onto the transition to the straight. It is quite fast and at the same time quite humbling, as Hugo is doing faster times without the lead in from the moto.
Complementing the work on the track was gym work with Brendan Murphy (Cycling Canada’s strength and conditioning coach). I learned a lot concerning technique, and the value of proper warm up, as well as some Olympic lifting - which was a totally new skill to learn.
Also added to my arsenal of sports related equipment was a pair of lifting shoes. They make squatting, deadlifts, and cleans an absolute dream.
My time training at home is spent in the very exciting environment of my basement (as I’m sure many of you can relate to) on the Lemond trainer, which sounds like a jumbo jet at times. I go to my school gym for weights, and also on the odd ride outside to keep the technical skills sharp. If there is one thing I miss since I made the jump to sprinting, it is the long rides.
Next stop for me is Milton in one week for some training, and then Junior Track Nationals right after from April 1-3.
Until next time,