From the Track with Colorado Cycling

Colorado Cycling heads to the track at Nationals

It is the eve of Collegiate Cycling Nationals in Colorado Springs and the team has nothing better to do that talk with us!  That is because they are returning to the track with 2 national champions and a club team ready to play with the varsity teams heading to Nationals.  Wolves in Buffalo clothing!  Colorado team President Katie Cartee breaks down the metrics.

RM:  How has everything been going this year?  Does the team have a theme song?
KC:  The team is looking really fast this year, we lost some fast seniors and even though we cannot recruit like some of the bigger schools (Marian) we are still lucky enough to have some lightning fast new students coming in! The team theme song is Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. It really inspires us when riding.

RM:  How is the team looking as you head to Nationals?
KC:  Really really really ridiculously good looking. Just kidding but also not really. We will have returning national champions Nicolle Bruderer and Mac Cassin racing for us, and we are hoping for some repeats! 

RM:  How does the team aspect of Collegiate Track play into team strategy and goal setting when training?
KC:  We have been training for team events like the team sprint and team pursuit. We have constantly been trying to best our times. We try to play off each other's strengths and help each other become stronger. A team is only as strong as it's weakest rider and lucky for us we don't have weak riders.

RM:  What other teams have pushed you to be better?  Biggest Rival?
KC:  Marian, the varsity team is the team to beat. Since they are a varsity program, they have the ability to recruit some of the best young athletes in the country. CMU, another varsity team, is our closest rival since they are in our conference. We are extremely thankful to our sponsors and community for helping us to still be competitive with the varsity programs. 

RM:  Any special thanks you want to issue?  Sponsors?  Friends?  Support Groups?  Let's here it!

KC:  Huge thanks to our sponsors amante coffee, Boulder cycle sport, clement, dirtlabs, feedback sports, luluemon, omni promotional, skratch labs, wd-40, yellowbelly, and especially Panache our clothing provider. We have a great amount of support from the 7-11 velodrome and Dr. Patrick Larabee, and Emily Palmer. A huge thanks to the community at the Boulder Valley Velodrome as well for being so supportive of our team- they have given us track time, Pat McDonough has helped us ride fast and shared his vast racing knowledge with, everyone there has been more than happy to help us.

RM:  How do fitness analytics apps play into your training schedule?
KC:  We have a deal with training peaks where they give us free premium for the school year and Coach Jeff gives his training plans to us there. A lot of the team also uses strava to track their miles and compare times against other athletes. 

RM:  What is the biggest motivator for your team?
KC:  As a team, we work exceptionally hard to prove ourselves as the best team out there. Being a considered a club sport by our university we are constantly trying to prove that we can compete at the varsity level even in the face of extreme underfunding. This is our biggest obstacle and motivator, we want our university to notice our success and help us build our cycling program to the best in the country.

RM:  What is the teams familiarity with the Colorado Springs track?  How have you dialed in your training to best perform there?
KC:  The guys at the Boulder Valley Velodrome are great and helped us to familiarize ourselves with the track. With all of the help and support they have supplied us with we would have been set at any velodrome. However, we were lucky to be close to the Colorado Springs track to come down, train, and get comfortable with the track. This was tough being a club sport but we did everything we could to get all of our athletes down as much often as possible. Also being able to train at altitude has been a great help being that Colorado Springs is at 6,000 feet of elevation.

RM:  There have been a lot of technological improvements in the sport in the last few years.  How has the team adopted them and which do you see as the most important?
KC:  One major advantage we have is that Boulder is the home of Stages Cycling. Our partnership with Stages has been extremely beneficial to our team as many of our riders are running power with the outstanding technology coming from Stages. Aero equipment is a HUGE part of our sport, especially in track cycling. As many riders know very well aero equipment is extremely expensive and as an underfunded yet over achieving sports club we had to fend for ourselves. Relying heavily on community support we were able to gather an entire bike as well as enough aero helmets, aero bars, and disc wheels for our team. 

RM:  With all the development in the sport, what are some of the fundamental things that have remained constant and are still key to performing at the highest level?KC:  Sleep, proper training, and nutrition! Those are the basics and they hold true. We still need listen to our bodies, especially in track where we are not allowed to look at our heart rate or watts while racing.

RM:  What do you see as the secret to the team's success?
KC:  Location,location, location! Boulder offers some of the best training rides in the country - climbs, flats, rollers, you name it! We fill all of our fitness needs. Boulder also attracts a lot of high level athletes which we are lucky to have as part of the team.

Thanks Katie!
Best of luck to the team at Nationals.

All photos supplied by Dean Warren Photography

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