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Ciclismo : how to start training

Ciclismo is all about riding your bike.   If you are new to riding or want to improve your skills and fitness, that’s what Ciclismo is about.

We have group training with experienced coaches as well as personal one on one sessions if you really want to focus. We have various weekends away as well as an annual tour to Italia.

Contact us to find out more about how to improve your riding.

Ciclismo Newsletter Week beginning August 1st.

Training : Wednesday 3rd and Friday 5th August at 5:45am.

Training rides
A training ride should be just that – training and riding together safely.  It’s advisable on Sydney’s roads to present a uniform bunch by :

  • Clearly riding paired up
  • Not half wheeling each other
  • Not overlapping wheels
  • Riding at a consistent pace
  • Never being more than two abreast
  • Being predictable so the traffic can ascertain your speed
  • Keeping the back of the bunch tidy
  • Calling riders over to overtake safely

None of this is hard on paper but it is harder to do in practice than you might think.  It might mean some of the stronger riders riding well within themselves but doing a longer turn on the front.   Some of the weaker riders might have to do a short turn on the front or maybe no turn at all.
Bunch etiquette is there to keep us all safe on the road.   If you would like to ride at the back of a group you don’t know, remember to introduce yourself and ask if it’s OK that you sit on the back.  If you come through and do a turn with the group, also ask if it’s OK that you come and do a turn.  Most groups will be happy to have someone else to do some work – however if they would prefer you just stay at the back you have to respect their wishes.
Always try to overtake on the right as per the traffic rules.  If, for some reason, you really have to overtake on the inside, call it loudly and clearly.
Communicate the obstacles and the holes and be very clear in your calls of “Wait” and “Over” if you are calling the group into the overtaking lane.
Try to keep the pace at the front of the group consistent and smooth – that is don’t surge and also don’t slow down.  If your pace is slowing too much, it’s time to roll.
We ride in a city where the traffic is particularly unforgiving and we all need to take extra care because of that.

Ciclismo Newsletter


Ciclismo Newsletter

Week beginning May 16th

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Yes training will be on this Wednesday 18th ONLY 2016 @ 5.45am sharp !

Hi all,
Ciclismo breaklast training session on Wed 18th
Last training session – Wed 18th May
Next training session – Wed 8th June

How to get your cycling to the next level
We all know that feeling – we have come a long way and have a lot more fitness and strength than when we started riding but now we seemed to have reached a plateau. Here are some suggestions if you are looking at getting to the next level :

  • Firstly you have to get out of your comfort zone and also you have to try something different as your body adapts to your training load which is why you feel as if you have reached a plateau.
  • Try some racing. You can either race crits (short, hard very intense races usually over a technical course) or time trials (pacing yourself against the clock on a usually flattish non technical course) or road racing which is less intense than crit racing and the difficulty will depend on the terrain.
  • Incorporate some serious interval training into your regime – and do the sessions properly which means when it calls for a max effort – give it a max effort and then make sure you take the requisite recovery time otherwise you are not doing the interval correctly.
  • Change your routine – if you do the same rides every week try a bit of variety and don’t be afraid to change your long ride and substitute it with a short hard race if the opportunity arises. Or vary your long rides over different terrain.
  • Introduce some very short but very hard intervals into your training – such as 60 second all out sprint efforts. As soon as you cannot complete a minute at your chosen interval intensity you should stop and warm down.
  • Make sure you pay attention to your nutrition once you start upping your intensity or kilometres and make sure you factor in enough recovery.
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Friday 20th May to Friday 3rd June – 2016 Italia tour


Date TBC – Dan Fondo 175km


Sun 23rd October – Bowral Classic 160km


25th to 29th November – Ciclismo Bright Tour


Sat 3rd December – L’Etape Australia Jindabyne
Sun 4th December – Ciclismo 2 Up Time Trial champs Calga

Sydney’s weather



Recent racing results
And here’s Pedro’s salute as he won A grade last week at West Head.

Giro d’Italia Stage 8

Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-QuickStep) claimed his first ever Grand Tour stage win with a solo attack to Arezzo. Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale) followed him home over a minute back with Moreno Moser (Cannondale) rounding out the podium and ensured Italy locked out the top spots. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) led home a group of favourites that included Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). Race leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alepcin) had a tough day and was dropped on the main climb of the Alpe di Poti.

Dumoulin finished more than three minutes back on Brambilla, handing the young Italian the maglia rosa. Brambilla now leads Ilnur Zakrin by 23 seconds.

"I can’t believe what I’ve done," Brambilla said. "Thanks to Matteo Trentin, we did an amazing job all day. It was a hard stage in the final. He pulled until the last climb then it was my turn. I’m really happy – this victory is for my girlfriend Christina, and my little girl who was born 20 days ago. My idea at the beginning of the Giro was this stage, and I did it. I can’t believe I have the pink jersey.”

Despite being less than two minutes down on the general classification, Brambilla made it a
way as part of a 13-man group right at the start of the day. Importantly for the 28-year-old, Matteo Trentin was also part of the breakaway and put in a lot of work on the front to keep the peloton at bay. Brambilla made his move in the main climb of the Alpe di Poti, following an earlier move from Montaguti. The baby-faced climber, who finished third at Strade Bianche earlier this season, quickly caught and passed the AG2R La Mondiale on the dirt roads that covered much of the ascent.
Brambilla’s gap was never too big over Montaguti, hovering at around 30 seconds for most of the run into the finish. At one point on the descent, it looked like Montaguti might be able to close the gap to Brambilla when he had brought it down to just 19 seconds but his hopes faded away once they had reached the flat. Brambilla was able to push out his lead to just over a minute by the time he hit the line in Arezzo.

Cycling News

Quick riding tips

When cleaning your bike you should be checking all the clamps and bolts – so that there are no cracks and the bolts are not overly tightened.

How should you pace yourself through a time trial or sportive?

Tearing off like a bat out of hell might get you a good time for the first few miles, but as the expenditure catches up with you, you’ll pay the price later.
However, setting a leisurely pace that enables you to feel good right to the end might leave you wondering just how much faster you could have gone if you’d pushed harder earlier on.
There’s no one right answer to this question because the distance, terrain and wind conditions of an event all pay a part in determining the best pacing strategy. Now, two new studies suggest that something called ‘gross efficiency’ — basically how efficiently your muscles convert chemical energy released during aerobic exercise into forward motion on the bike — is also critical for determining your best pace.
The science
In the first study, the researchers looked at whether gross efficiency (GE) changed after time trials of different distances. To do this, cyclists completed GE tests, consisting of sub-maximal exercise performed before and after time trials of different length: 500m, 1km, 2km, 4km, 15km, and 40km. What they found surprised them.
Previously a cyclist’s GE was thought to be constant, only changing gradually in response to weeks or months of training. However, the GE of the cyclists was significantly lower immediately after the time trials compared to before.
In the shorter time trials, the drop in GE was linear, while in the 40km time trial, it dropped linearly at first before stabilising later in the time trial.
Why does this matter? Well, a lower GE means that muscles become less efficient at producing energy aerobically, which (for a given pace) means that the proportion of energy produced anaerobically has to increase. But more anaerobic energy means more fatiguing by-products, which means that the original pace may no longer be sustainable over longer distances.
In a follow-up study, the proportion of anaerobic work 
was calculated in 18 trained competitive cyclists over four time trial distances: 500m, 1km, 2km, and 4km. The results showed that the rapid drop in GE over shorter distances meant that the cyclists were having to derive 30 per cent more energy from their anaerobic energy systems than had originally been calculated from pre-exercise measurements.
The bigger picture
What does this mean for cyclists seeking the best pacing strategy? Well, a steady drop in GE as distance covered increases means that a sustainable pace over, say, 2km will be even less sustainable over 10km than you might otherwise assume.
This is because fatiguing by-products will accumulate even more rapidly in the later stages of the distance as GE declines – i.e. in a non-linear way. However, once you’ve covered around 15km or so, your GE begins to stabilise, which means that if you can sustain a given pace at, say, the 10-mile mark, there’s a good chance you will be able to maintain the same pace for longer distances.

  • Applying the science
    For short time trial distances under 10km, the decline in GE is significant, which means you might get better results by slightly reducing your initial pace.
  • Your heart rate is an excellent indicator of how anaerobic your pace is (when you start to accumulate significant levels of lactate, you’ll notice a sudden increase in heart rate). For this reason, heart-rate monitors provide better pacing feedback than speed or power meters.
  • Regardless of time trial distance, in undulating conditions you should allow your effort to increase by up to 10 per cent on the uphill sections and drop a similar amount on the downhills, as research demonstrates this strategy is likely to produce a faster time (1). The same applies (to a lesser degree) in headwinds and tailwinds respectively (2).

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014 Jun 6. [Epub ahead of print]
1. Int J Sports Med. 2011 Feb;32(2):132-6
2. Ergonomics. 2000 Oct;43(10):1449-60

Adapted from Cycling Weekly

Ciclismo Newsletter Week beginning May 2nd

Yes training will be on this Wednesday 4th and Friday 6th May 2016 @ 5.45am sharp !

Hi all,
How to pace yourself
Pushing too hard and overdoing it in the first part of an event is one of the most common mistakes in cycling.  Hayley Simmonds is currently the British time trial champion and has climbed the top step in the 10, 25 and 100 mile championships.  She say that “using a combination of power and perceived effort to pace time trials” has been key to her success.
“Pacing is crucial because if you go out harder than you can sustain, at some point you’re going to blow up and end up crawling to the line” explains Simmonds. “Conversely if you race too conservatively you will finish the race feeling fresh.  Obviously neither of these is good if you want to achieve the best time and result possible.”
In a TT, pacing poorly will most likely lead to an unsatisfactory performance; in a long sportive, in the worst case scenario it would mean you fail to finish.  It’s just as important in training to ride at a pace you can realistically sustain for the intended duration.
Numbers aren’t always enough, as Simmonds explains : “It’s also crucial to listen to your body, as you don’ t necessarily know ahead of time whether you are on a particularly good or bad day – I’m careful to pay attention to how I’m feeling in addition to what the numbers say.”
You shouldn’t ignore feeling below par.
It can be useful to have a mantra at the ready for when you need to increase the pace. Simmonds uses a well known Chris Boardman quote to sustain her focus : “Constantly ask yourself these two questions – How far have I got to go? Is my pace sustainable for that distance ?”  If you answer the second question with a definite ‘yes’ the you may not be going hard enough ; if it’s a ‘no’ it’s too late and you may have over cooked it.
Don’t :

  • Be too rigid in your pacing plan. Judge it according to how you feel.
  • Train beyond your ability level. Your pace during an interval should be the same at the end as it was at the start.
  • Rely too heavily on HR data.  Remember the data is affected by several variables.

Do :

  • Use technology to your advantage.
  • Start at what feels like a conservative pace in long events.
  • Establish a realistic pace for you for your event distance.
  • Pride yourself on your pacing ability.  It’s a vital part of race craft that requires intelligence, experience and self discipline.

Adapted from Cycling Weekly

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