Fort Lewis College Cycling

The FLC Cycling team just returned to the top spot in the ranking of the nations top collegiate programs. The ranking is based on overall performances in the 4 collegiate disciplines, road, track, mtb and cyclocross. FLC is a 10+ time winner in the mtb category, 2 time cross champions and have never won on the track or road. This past weekend the team was in Wisconson at road nationals where they finished 4th overall in the team omnium. Check out the full race report on their website. Congrats to coaches Matt Shriver, Dave Hagen and the support staff and all the athletes that race for FLC. This is a model organization and its in our town!

Coach Matt Shriver leads
Coach Matt Shriver leads

DEVO Coaches Take on the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde

DEVO coaches Jess Reed and Anne Cheeney are trying to hold onto their title in the 2 person female field and Chad Cheeney is on a 3 person team and also a defending champion. Director Sarah Tescher will also be competing in the single speed 3 person division. Board members, Gaige Sippy will be on Sarah’s Team and Travis Brown will be a part of the rad Legends team that consists of Dave Wiens, Daryl Price and the man, John Tomac. Good luck to all who shred!

DEVO Movie Night

Saturday May 29th at 7pm, the night of the IHBC road race!
Saturday May 29th at 7pm, the night of the IHBC road race!

This movie is sweet. Come support DEVO later this month and check out this flick at the Smiley Building.

“This is the best modern road cycling documentary I have seen yet.” Chad Cheeney DEVO Coach

Alien Run on Sunday

bktr3The 10th annual Alien Run will be tomorrow. Registration begins at 8am at the race track and the race begins at 10am. This is a rad lollypop loop race, filled with tight desert singletrack and oil rig road racing. The lollypop of the course being the Alien Run trail loop, which at the furthest point out on the course, makes for the best place to attack or be attacked. This small town race has kept it real and offers a cool tshirt and fun community meal after finishing. For more information.

Durango Professional Cyclist

These past two weeks Durango’s professional cyclists have been packing the podium at events all over the world. Nick Gould taking the fastest 2 lap times at the 12 Hours of Gallup. Todd Wells winning the Sea Otter short track. Trevor Downing won the Tour of Socorro cross country. Willow Koerber just placed 2nd at the first World Cup while Todd was the US’s top finisher at 19th place. Benn Sonntagg took the top spot at the Rabbit Valley Rally and Durango’s Jenn Gersbach, Teal Stetson-Lee and Shannon Gibson went 2,3 and 5 in the pro women’s race. Andy Shultz won the 50 mile Whiskeytown race in Prescott on saturday. Then on the rode, Allister Ratcliff and Rotem Ishay each won a stage in the FLC Squawker classic. FLC’s Sarah Sturm rode to 3rd in the road race. Then Chris Wherry took 4th in the open mens race around the FLC Campus, on the top step was non other than DEVO alumni Tad Elliott. Earlier in the day, DEVO’s current fast man, Howard Grotts rode away from the Cat4/5 field and took the win. And Darian Harvey placed 9th at the first ProGRT in Washington. Finally Carmen Small took the pro womens omnium at the Roadrunner Classic in Albuquerque, after winning last week’s Sea Otter. Dang.

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10th Annual Squawker Classic

This weekend marks the 10th annual Fort Lewis College Squawker Classic. Today the collegiate teams take on the Time Trial out the Valley. Check the FLC site for more info. DEVO’s Howard Grotts and Levi Kurlander will be in the pack testing out their road legs, so give a cheer!

DEVO Competes in Local Polo Tourney

Devo U19 athletes Sepp Kuss, Gino Pastore, Elliott Saslow, Stephan Davoust and coach Haakon Sigerslid took part in the local Durango Polo Tourney this past weekend. It was the groups first grass polo bike tourney, and their experience in the sport comes from a handful of late summer Devo practice days. The team placed last in the experienced seven team field. Devo coaches Chad and Anne Cheeney took part as well as Evan Elliott and Taylor Borucki. Anne’s team won their 3rd tourney title and Chads Broncos team lost their first tourney game to date, in the finals, 5-3 to Fort Collins’ The Bellfrie Boys. It was a great weekend for bike polo.

Junior DEVO Begins Monday

Jr DEVO will begin this upcoming week after soggy trails pushed the schedule back a week. Please click on the schedules page above to find your ride location. DEVO coaches have been doing recon rides and all our early group rides are dry and ready to roll. There are still many numerous muddy sections of trails, and we will do our best to route around. We are super pumped to begin and the weather is looking good. Let the season begin!DSCF0223

Top Secret Training Camp is Now

This weekend, 23 Devo athletes will take their bikes to the desert for a weekend of team building exercises, team training and fun rides. 15 Coaches and Camp Hosts will be in attendance to lead the way, as the camp runs from friday through sunday at noon. The camps top secret location offers up the perfect skills training zone, while housing FLC’s donated cycling team tent, fire rings, lighting from Durango Party Rental and the workshop. Not 3 minutes from camp there is bountiful desert single track and slick rock shelfs to shred. Wish the team luck as they prepare for the 2010 summer race season.DSCF0819

We Checked Out the Durango Performance Center

Last Friday several Devo coaches and an athlete headed over to the grand opening of the Durango Performance Center. We arrived just as Dr. Bruce Andrea was explaining his services that will cater to the local athletic community. Local pro road rider for the newly formed Bahati Foundation Team, Neil Coleman was the guinne pig as cycling coach Rick Crawford ran through a Vo2max/blood lactate test for the crowd. Along with the athlete testing services, Dr. Andrea has started up a non-profit in the aims of studying heart performance in youth athletes and diagnosing disease. Called the Philippides Project Inc. after the famed pre-Olympic message runner who died instantly after running over 300 miles to inform the land of the competition ahead. The project is looking for funding to begin working with the communities youth athletes.

Coach Rick Crawford awaits the moment when he gets to prick pro racer, Neil Coleman's finger to obtain a blood lactate level.
Coach Rick Crawford awaits the moment when he gets to prick pro racer, Neil Coleman's finger to obtain a blood lactate level.

BMX Track is Dry

From Field Blevins, President of Durango BMX

“Hello Everyone.  Many thanks to the volunteers who worked on the track yesterday. It is ready to ride.  It has been packed and is in pretty good shape for this time of the year.  There is still a fair amount of loose dirt on the top, especially in the turns, but there was a positive report and a lot of smiles from the riders who practiced today.  As soon as the city feels it is warm enough to be safe to turn on the water, we can finish getting it into great shape.  We need to be able to wet the track to be able to finish packing the surface.”

“We will begin gate practice this Tuesday.  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, but I anticipate some riders will be there before 5 pm.  Please watch the web site, as I anticipate that we will have our first race very soon (dictated by weather and track conditions).  The web site will announce practice and race dates.”

Matt Shriver Interview

Matt Shriver is the Head Coach for the Fort Lewis Cycling team. A former collegiate champion, Matt retired from professional cycling in 2008 to focus on coaching. Its 2010 and Matt is still coaching the powerhouse Skyhawks, and has picked up coaching work overseas this summer in Germany for the U23 and Junior National riders through USA Cycling. It also is becoming apparent that Matt has not really retired. He is still super fast, and quite possibly faster than ever.

Matt leading out in Leadville
Matt leading out in Leadville
Q: You coach collegiate cyclists, what are the similarities and differences between the junior and collegiate athletes in terms of training habits?
A: It is surprising how many similarities there are with junior and collegiate athletes. The majority of the riders come straight out of high school and the junior racing scenes in their region. Most of them are very green and have a lot of things to learn as riders and adults. Their training habits really depend on the disciplines that they have raced and how competitive the racing was in their region. The mountain bikers tend to be a little bit more relaxed with their training, less structured and just roost trails whenever without a lot of structured training. The road riders usually do a little more structured training, and put in the miles.
The biggest difference between collegiate racing an juniors is that it’s a major step up in experience. The age and experience of the collegiate riders is across the board. We have 18 year olds traveling and racing alongside veteran pro’s for both road and mountain biking. In collegiate, you learn a lot about training and racing from your teammates as well as the coaches. That is probably the biggest difference from racing junior to collegiate, just the amount of experienced riders and enthusiasm for racing and training is a lot higher.

Q: What is the best thing about collegiate cycling? as a coach, and as a former collegiate cyclist?
A: Collegiate cycling is my favorite cycling atmosphere. There aren’t a lot of egos and the playing field is level. The passion for the sport and desire to succeed is at its highest in the collegiate years. There is so much energy and it really is racing at the purest form.

With collegiate cycling also comes the pride of your team and school. When you put on the Fort Lewis College jersey, you are a part of the best cycling program in the country. In the cycling world, coming from Fort Lewis College means so much because of the rich cycling history we have and the quality riders and people we have produced.

Some of my favorite times racing bikes where as a collegiate rider. The friends you make and the character of your teammates are unmatched. You meet lifetime friends and make connections that will last a lifetime. My favorite racing experiences are from the collegiate days, when nothing mattered but doing the best you could for your school. It wasn’t about sponsors, money, or trying to get a contract. The racing was about chasing your dreams and representing your teammates, your town, and doing the best you could. It was an awesome experience and I would do it all over again if I could!

Q: What is the common thing your collegiate athletes need to work on in terms of racing and or training technique, when they first come to the FLC program? (what did they neglect to train as a junior?)
A: Every rider is different. This is one thing that many coaches neglect with designing training plans. What works for one athlete may not work for the others. Finding each riders weakness takes some time to sort out and isn’t always easy. One of the most common areas the riders neglect is their recovery. A lot of them train enough, but forget that recovery is half of their training. Add the college lifestyle of a little more freedom and it can be disaster. Really getting their recovery dialed is important and for them to recognize that recovery is just as important as the training rides. You have to recover as hard as you train

Another common mistake is that the riders get carried away with base training. They come from racing juniors to stepping it up into the collegiate ranks and the upper catergories. Many riders put in way to many hours, more hours than some pros! Yes, it is important to get in a good base for the season. However when you are in school as a full time student, maybe working part time, having a life it is to much. That’s like having three jobs. Something’s going to give from all that stress and it’s going to be your body. Keeping the rains on the collegiate riders and their base volume and hours is important to me. It’s common for them to make the mistake of to much too quick and frying themselves before the season is even over. It is a fine balance, and balance is the key. Structured training is important and logging some miles, but so is enjoying your college experience and it will help your cycling overall.

Q: Has the transition from junior cat 1 racing to pro racing changed since you were a developing junior?
A:The transition from Junior to Pro has changed immensely since I was a junior (1998). There were only a few juniors that could compete with the Pro riders, so making that transition was huge and difficult. Some of the Juniors were even too fast too soon, and they made the transition no problem but were so burned out that they didn’t last long. Making the leap was really tough and discouraging without some guidance and leadership. We didn’t have programs like Durango Devo to help guide us on a good path for a successful and FUN career in cycling. Having programs in place like Durango Devo make that transition to the higher ranks much easier. There is a lot more opportunity for juniors now than before in both road and mountain biking.
Q: What is your favorite mountain bike workout in town?
A: There are to many to count! Right out my front door would have to be just shredding Horse Gulch. I love to ride hard up the Talker Trail into the Gulch, hit the meadow to Telegraph and down Yellow Brick road to Sidewinder. Hook up with the sweet flow of Cowboy trail over to South Rim and back up the Crites connection trail. Finish it up down Anasazi descent and an up Stacey’s down and out! It’s a killer sample of some of the finest trails the Gulch has plus some good climbing. I stay on it the whole way non-stop usually. Getting all that in about 2 hours always leaves a grin on my face. I can’t wait for the trails to dry up.

Q: What do you think about the Tellegraph Hill climb as a training tool? WOuld you be interested in coming out with us this summer and trying to break the record? You currently have the second best time ever at 15 min 3 seconds(?)
A: The Telegraph Climb is a great gauge of fitness. It is important to have indicators during the season to keep an eye on your form. Doing this climb once a month or a test similar is recommended. Actually, this past fall I smashed the record on the 5” Bike. 14:28 from the bottom to the top. 2009 was a good year and adding a new personal best Telegraph time trial was another milestone. I look forward to coming out in July and doing some of the time trials and Devo rides for Leadville 100 training. A lot of my summer will be spent in Germany working with the US Juniors and U-23 Mountain bikers with USA Cycling.

Q: Any sweet junior training tips?
A: Dabble in as many disciplines as you can and be open to learn. I hear a lot of mountain bikers say how they don’t like road racing. Or the roadies talking about mountain biking the same way. The truth is that they compliment each other and you really can’t be a great mountaan biker without some road racing. Road racing teaches you how to read a race tactically. Roadies need the mountain biking skills. Mountain biking also builds incredible strength for climbing. Get some education in training and racing from your coaches! Most of all keep it fun. This is so important at all levels, even the highest. If you think about why you love riding, love racing and why you do it, it’s for fun! Once you lose this perspective then it becomes difficult. It goes back to the balance of it all. Keep it fun!