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Confidence on the Rise at High Performance MTB Training Camp

On Sunday, February 28th, a few Cycling BC Targeted Athletes and Cycling BC mountain bike coach, Adam Walker, had another awesome day of skill development and training at Mt. Tzouhalem, Cowichan Valley, BC. Once again, the camp roster was composed of an all-female lineup of U19 riders who race multiple disciplines and represent some of the fastest young mountain bike athletes in BC. As High Performance athletes, all riders are exempt from the current province-wide restrictions on travel.

The training camp was split between focused skill work in a low-risk environment followed by the application of those skills in the real-world on the trail. The riders continued to build on the progression of cornering skills that they have been developing over the past few camps. The day started with cornering fundamentals, braking control, and extra special focus put on exit speed.

Reviewing a few skills from the last camp, the riders practised their stoppies and wheel-lifts during warmup then moved on to the cornering drills on the grass and gravel fields. The riders showed excellent development of their front brake control as coach Adam kept things interesting and progressed to stoppies and nose-manuals on steeper slopes.

Up the trails we go!

After an hour of steady climbing up to the snow line, the group began the “real world” portion of the day’s practice. A fun rip down the ‘Twist and Shout’ trail forced the riders to switch gears from “climb-mode” to descending, before heading over to the very popular “Double D” down hill. “If you’ve ever ridden this trail, you know its an absolute blast,” said coach Adam. “The recent trail work by EWS Pro, Trevor Thew, and the Cowichan Trail Stewards crew has taken it to yet another level! It’s an absolute blast to ride.”

The group sessioned sections of DD, adding layer upon layer of focus to eventually be exiting incredibly fast out of the turns. Body position, braking points, line selection, pressure control, angulation, hip rotation…lap after lap, each of these concepts was refined. Not only did the athletes get faster, but coach Adam was also able to witness their confidence rise in direct proportion to their speed.

It was then over to Bisectacon for a couple of laps and this trail (properly known as Biscection) has some of the best corners on the whole mountain and, in terms of terrain, is much more natural than DD’s buffed out berms.

Gravity check! 
We can’t forget that what goes up must come down, so with every lap,  more vertical was added and the group worked on a lot of descents while racking up 1100m of climbing for the day.

As fatigue started to set in, it was time to call it a day with a final run to Resurrection. This smile-inducing section is a fast, bermed, jumpy jaunt that leads to the parking lot. Ripping down the trail with a mellow cruise down the pavement to end the day to finish, as always, with a recap and take-aways from the session.

The next camp is scheduled for March 23-25 in Cumberland, BC.

Submitted by Coach Adam Walker