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Summer 2021

VeloNews brings you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the absolute best cycling photography.

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United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC

in this issue

2 min
a new golden age for u.s. women’s cycling

Kate Courtney. Haley Batten. Jennifer Valente. Ruth Winder. Team USA comes into the 2021 Olympics with a squad teeming with medal contenders, and most of them are women. That's right — the American cycling story at the Tokyo Olympics is a female one. Each of these women have differing backstories in our sport, yet they share a few similarities. All four have been riding and racing since they were teenagers, and all four are in their early 20s. It used to be that America's top female cyclists found the sport later in life, and then discovered their hidden talents in their 20s or 30s. Now, the top American female cyclists are similar to top athletes we see in swimming or track and field. They’ve spent thousands of hours honing their skills as kids,…

4 min
kristin armstrong savola

As an athlete you perfected the art of peaking on the right day at the right time. What guidance do you give your athletes about this? It’s challenging to teach people that you cannot be good at every race. That’s the point that I try to teach my athletes — you have to be willing to take a break. Nobody wants to take a break when they are doing good, and that’s often when I tell them that it’s time to take a break. I’m very serious about midseason breaks because typically you can only peak two times in a year. There’s a formula that involves so many race days a year, and the timing of your midseason break, and then coming back up to nail that one day. You need…

3 min
what’s your favorite olympic cycling memory?

JIM COTTON European Correspondent The entire 2012 Olympics was a pretty big deal for me. The event came just a few years after I started trying to race bikes myself and at the very start of my time living in London. For the two weeks of the Games, my home city was taken over by Olympic fever, from public transport disruption to road closures and public parades. It was impossible to ignore the impact on your daily life. And it was equally impossible to ignore Team GB. I’m no Union Jack-waving Anglophile with posters of the Queen on my wall, but when your home team is ripping it up in your home city at an event of that stature it’s impossible not to be sucked in. The British team topped the table with the likes…

3 min
making connections

Who FANS What COL DE LA COLOMBIERE Where TOUR DE FRANCE, 2018 It is said that the Tour de France would be nothing without its fans. This truth was tested this past year, as the global pandemic made it increasingly difficult for fans to reach the race. It is always special to photograph the Tour in the mountains. Often, it is the moments after the race leaders have passed that I enjoy the most. Fans have sometimes camped for days or climbed for hours to find their spot. They make the effort to get a glimpse of the sport’s biggest stars, but also to simply witness the Tour. And they are in no hurry to leave. Instead, what I can only describe as a sense of communion permeates as the fans encourage one rider after another until the…

2 min
neal henderson’s pyramid of power plus

Why As we get close to our target races, workout specificity becomes critical; they need to emulate what we’re doing in races. This workout taps into every critical energy pathway. “We’re really running through the entire gearbox,” Henderson says. “We have high lactate flux, we have recruitment. You're accelerating in each of those efforts, especially the shorter 5-, 10-, and 15-second efforts.” When You need good fitness before you attempt this workout. It’s a good routine to do as a final build-up to peak race form. Even then, do it no more than once per week. What Henderson has his athletes do a 20-minute steady effort after the pyramid of power to add a mental component. This also adds race specificity because, like a race, there are times you have to dig yourself into a…

1 min
ask coach connor

You are experiencing something that almost all of us go through. When you get to that big event, the one that truly matters for you, you’re going to be scared. The mistake is to believe that you can somehow prevent the fear. What you need to do is accept it. Accept that it’s OK to be stressed. Some elite athletes practice racing stressed so when they get to the world championships or the Olympics they are familiar with the feeling. And the fact is, stress can actually help performance. It activates us and makes us work harder. Another powerful technique is to focus externally instead of internally. It takes a high level of narcissism to think only about yourself before a big event and not end up feeling self-doubt. Instead, map out…