On Saturday, September 5th, riders from Cycling BC’s High Performance program as well as some local riders from BC’s Fraser Valley region joined Coach Evan Guthrie and guest coach, Ricky Federau, at Vedder Mountain for a cross-country mountain bike training camp. The group consisted of nine riders who would venture out on the trails to practise race starts, solo interval efforts, technical ascending and descending, and line selections to simulate a racecourse with multiple lines to choose from.
The group met at 10:00 AM and was briefed on the plan and workout for the day before setting off on the trails. Vedder Mountain is known for its long climbs and descents and riders were faced with a one-hour climb as a pre-race ‘warm-up’. For this workout, the riders and both coaches lined up for a mock mass race starts, a skill that wasn’t practised much this year given there weren’t any races, so everyone took advantage of this opportunity and showed some great capabilities.
After the mass start practice, riders lined up for a solo effort up the final gravel road climb to the top of Vedder Mountain. It was ‘Aussie pursuit’ style where each rider started on their own and was separated from the start of the next rider by ~15 seconds. Coach Ricky went first and Coach Evan went last to ensure there was a coach at the front and back of the group.
After a snack break at the top of Vedder Mountain, the group proceeded to the downhill portion of the day with a focus on line selection and decision making. In modern-day cross-country racing, there is bound to be A-lines and B-lines on racecourses. The A-line is usually quicker but more technical, leaving the opportunity for critical consequences. The B-line is usually longer and not quite as technical, but sometimes it can be a better option than the A-line. The group talked about why there are options, how to decide which line to take, and the obstructions they may face in races with traffic, crashes, and changing conditions. Riders were tasked with evaluating the lines and even tried to create their own option as an alternative to the A or B line, then riding it.
The group continued down the trails before reaching a technical section where there wasn’t a B line option. Everyone got off their bikes and walked it, evaluated their options and then rode it. These athletes were pushing their skills and support was given by fellow riders. Seeing that kind of progression in each rider is always special.
Finally, the riders headed back towards the parking lot and ended their day of riding at Vedder Mountain. Everyone made it back safe and sound with a smile on their face. It was great to have these riders back out for a camp.
Until next time,
- Emily Williams
- Mara Rolden
- Mathilde Rolden
- Cam McCallum
- Sarah Roberts
- Lief Rodgers
- Kelan Wells
- Nathan Pruner
- Kade Macauley
- Elijah Gray
Learn more about Cycling BC’s High Performance Programs