Nationals Nationals Nationals

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Well, Nationals have come for the Master’s and Mountain Bike folk… I didn’t have many athletes go, but for those who did, they more than enough came up with the results…

Dana Fallon of Liberty Cycle took 10th in the Master’s 50+ TT down in Louisville, KY. Dana felt he could’ve gone harder, but that’s why time trials are called the Race of Truth — you are that time on the leaderboard… Dana’s 54:22 was only a minute off 2nd place — that’s how close — and stacked — the 50+ field was…

Laura Winberry of Team Campmor has had a terrific year, winning several mountain bike races and currently sitting in 1st place in the H2H standings… She ventured up to Windham, NY for the East Coast Nationals and had some terrific rides, taking 7th in women’s XC and 2nd in the Super D! 2nd!!!

She came home and reloaded for the biggest race of the year: XC Nationals at Mt. Snow, VT. Laura dueled with the country’s best and finished on the podium, just behind the two top Expert women to take 3rd overall!!! Way to go, Laura!

Now Evan Cooper of CRCA/Bicycling is heading out to California for Junior Nationals. Evan hasn’t had the year he’s hoped for results-wise. But then again he’s gone from an average Cat-4 putting out 260w to a strong Cat-3 who’s FT currently is around 300w. For a kid who’s 134 pounds, you do the math — you do NOT want to be stuck on a climb with him…

What I always try to instill with my athletes is do not worry about results. Do not stress over them. This sport, it’s a lifestyle change. The training, seeing your body change, improve, conquering workouts, setting new PRs, reaching a new condition, that’s what should consume the hungry athlete. Let’s get the training 100% right, make sure you CAN race to your potential. Then the results, they’re just the icing on the cake. If you train right, the results will come… ALWAYS…

Evan’s had some monstrous performances in key races — Battenkill-Roubaix, Bear Mountain, Balloon Festival — but in each and every one he’s had catastrophic mechanicals. Talk about bad luck! But the key for him is keeping the mind 100% ready to go… I am purposely holding him back a smidge, ensuring he won’t become overtrained or burn out… It’s better to have a long and illustrious career in the P12s than rushing through the 3s and perhaps never being seen again…

Evan’s main weakness is overall endurance, and this is something we couldn’t truly work on this winter because of his hockey obligations… We went for Battenkill, then Fitchburg, and now Nationals. In hindsight, perhaps we should’ve NOT gone for Fitchburg and prepared fully for Nationals, but if the kid goes up there and wins one of the Massachussett races, then we’re both geniuses…

The key in this game is longevity. Racing in the P12s is an entirely different animal. It’s necessary to train longer, much longer, and equally as hard. Nick Bruno got a taste of it this winter. We weren’t able to fully prepare him with a wide base this winter and he paid the price in June. But he’ll be back…

Evan is very hungry to succeed. And my greatest asset as a coach is to help him pick his goals, then help him reach them with out overreaching and falling down. I have to be the realist, I have to keep that steady pressure applied to his back and not push him too fast — or too slow… With Evan, I’m thinking long-term… He can go places if he wants… His FT continues to rise and if he goes to Fitchburg and finishes 24th (in a STACKED Junior field where he was top New England finisher), I’m happy with that. Because I know cycling rewards mature riders, champions who’ve been around the block for more than a few years…

The kid is continuing to improve and improve in a controlled manner. My goal is to prevent that flare-up, there he is there he goes. He is already a very strong-3 and I’m going to ensure he can be a top-3 next year before upgrading to Cat-2 (something most riders are always concerned with — upgrading!). Evan is fully prepared to go to war this week, doing battle in the TT, Crit, and Road Race…

This kid is due a break… Breakdown, or breakthrough? If you keep training right, results WILL come. Evan will be up against the nation’s very fastest kids this weekend, and he will not be out of place…

Thanks for reading, and wish this kid some good luck!!!

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Monday, August 4th, 2008 | | |