“Gobs of Power” Koop WINS, Alden 2nd, Raheb 4th

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Elite Endurance standout Zach Koop of Team Campmor WON the Sunday Central Park in the Cat-5s, a huge field. Zach stayed near the front all race and as the peloton slowed around a bend on the final lap, he gassed it full metal, got the gap, and powered it to the finish. Way to be on top of things, Zach!

An experienced and successful mountain biker, Zach is new to road racing. This winter, he bought a racing bike, put PowerCranks on his old bike, bought a power meter, and starting training at a new level. We fit him on his new bike this winter, really dialing him in. Also, a ton of his training is designed to improve his aerobic engine, something he lacked last year! His PowerCrank regiment is also designed to address his strengths AND his weaknesses. We have him on a strict periodized plan where he can ride to and from work virtually every day.

Zach’s main goals this year are to be competitive in the H2H Campmor Race Series, the Dark Horse 40, and Nationals. Zach has upgraded to Expert after winning the Sport Series last year. Zach is still in his Foundation training, so look for big things this year from this talented, hard-working young rider.

Mark Alden of the Blue Ribbon Cycling Team took 2nd at the 35+ Central Park race last week. He got into an early breakaway with some 12 other guys and had a strong teammate in David Taylor. Mark felt very strong and really pushed the pace. Near the end, the break had been decimated to single digits and everyone was looking at Mark because he clearly was the strongest rider. In March, Mark knew getting an excellent ride training-wise was more important than getting the win, so he rode hard to keep the pace high. He reported feeling very, very good.

In the final laps, Mark and David would trade attacks, hoping to spring free a Blue Ribbon rider, but the others were too attentive. In the end, Mark lead out the sprint to take 2nd behind a pure sprinter who won several Park races last year.

This winter, Mark has worked incredibly hard to improve his sprint, and last week he clearly showed he is becoming a much more complete rider. There is nothing scarier than a top climber who can sprint.

John Raheb of Toga took an impressive 4th at the PNC Arts Center Race. We fit both his road bikes this winter, but he kept popping the chain off his Specialized race bike while sprinting. It turns out that he is actually TWISTING the big ring as he sprints. Specialized is sending a beefier one to replace.

So John was on his Wilier training bike, and he reported feeling great. The course has a violent little hill each lap, and John, who is just reaching his Build weeks now, said he had “gobs of power” on the climb, and he made the 12-man selection that turned into the winning breakaway. However, a move quickly jumped and John waited. The 2 guys stayed away, and John, who badly misjudged the sprint because of the turns, still was able to scream to the line to take 2nd in the sprint and finish 4th. “Gobs of power.” Always good to hear that!

UPCOMING RACES FOR ELITE ENDURANCE ATHLETES:

Cathy Cosentino will tackle one or two Adventure Races before rocking out at the Wyckoff Triathlon, looking to destroy her PR from last year.

Dr. Michael Seidner is looking to reach peak form in late May down in the Carolinas during a CTS Training Camp. His work schedule is hectic to say the least, but he is aiming to reach a new condition and give his cycling buddies a run for their money!

Kuria Njenga of Westwood Velo is starting slow and steady. He is popping some scary terrific data and will debut this weekend at the BranchBrook Park Racing Series.

Nick Bruno of Westwood Velo and Evan Cooper of CRCA-Bicycling will be competing in Grant’s Tomb on March 15th, a fast criterium near Columbia University. These are two young riders who have some big goals this year.

John Raheb of Toga will be racing up in Augusta this week before he departs on a week-long scuba-diving trip, where he’s learning to become an instructor.

Rich Hofbauer of Westwood Velo, 4th in the NJ State Cyclo-Cross Championships last year, is showing tremendous improvements compared to this time last year. His training is ramping up slowly, and although he won’t be near peak form, he will join the peloton to do battle at Battenkill-Roubaix.

The Northeastern Hardware Cycling Team will be making its 2008 debut on March 22nd up in Coxsackie, NY at the Johnny Cakes Racing Series.

Kenneth Lundgren of Northeastern will also be competing the following week at the Cape May Time Trial, the kick-off to the State TT Cup, hoping to limit the damage done by the flying early season time trialists…

Thanks for reading.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Sunday, March 9th, 2008 | | |