Eastern Cyclocross League kicks off in spectacular fashion
The cyclocross season is here! It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in cold and snowy Italy for the Fiuggi round of the Cyclocross World Cup with the Italian Cycling Federation. In the blink of an eye summer seems to have come and gone and I was stood, admittedly slightly apprehensively, by the side of the track at Springfield for the first round of the Eastern Cyclocross League.
Springfield is a unique circuit in the Eastern League series because although it doesn’t have much change in elevation, it is the only course that requires a lot of stair running. Consequently I have spent quite a bit of time with my coached riders during the preparation period working on their mounts, dismounts and stair running technique. As Springfield is usually one of the first races of the season it is quite a fast course, taking place before the weather worsens as we get into the winter. Cornering is important in this course and there are some dry, dusty, off-camber slopes to negotiate. As a consequence the race can end up being quite tactical.
I often use Springfield as a location for one-to-one skills coaching sessions. You should never underestimate the importance of technical training. You can spot the riders who have put in the hard work in practising their technique because, for no additional effort, they can gain time on the opposition through the stairs sections. This forces their opponents to have to keep closing gaps and eventually the effort starts to tell. I have written some tips on how to practise the skill of running stairs if you fancy reading more on this.
Many congratulations to James Madgwick for his fantastic win at Springfield. I hope we can work together to make sure that there are many more to come!