4 Jan 2018

Donnelly Race Team: Lead Up to CX Nationals

The photo above was taken in early September just prior to the first U.S. UCI race of the season in Rochester, New York. The team was just getting acquainted with new bikes and equipment. Well, here we are four crazy months later and there's only one week until champions are crowned at Cyclocross Nationals in Reno, Nevada. How time flies!

Since there has been a break in the racing action we checked in Laurel, Lance and Jamey to find out what each of them have been up to, learn about their pre-Nationals training and if they have any New Year's resolutions to share!

LAUREL RATHBUN

1. How were your holidays? The holidays were really nice! I was super happy to be home with the family and take advantage of the awesome training opportunities in Colorado. I did lots of rides and hikes with my dad which was so much fun. I also got to indulge in all my mom’s incredible homemade cooking (lots of food pictures were posted on Instagram if you want to have a look!) 

2. What type of training are you doing with two weeks left until Nationals? I'll be in Northern California for some warm weather training with my coach, Chris McGovern. 

3. What does your training schedule look like for Cyclocross Nationals week? I have a bit different schedule from the rest of the Donnelly team and other pro riders because I have collegiate races to do with Marian University. 

MON: I will get to Reno and walk the course with the Marian University team. 

TUE: I'll ride for about 1.5 hours. This will include pre-riding the course with a few hard efforts to get ready for the Wednesday race.

WED: Collegiate Varsity Women’s race.

THU: Collegiate Team Relay (4 people - 2 guys, 2 girls and we each do 1 lap).

FRI: I'll do an easy one hour spin on roads or trails near the race venue. 

SAT: I will spend about an hour and half pre-riding the course with a few hard efforts to get ready for the U23 Women’s race tomorrow. 

SUN: U23 Women’s race! 

4. What kind of race day and course conditions are you hoping for in Reno? Hoping for conditions similar to the Nationals in Asheville, North Carolina a few years ago. I want a little bit of rain and mud to make the course tricky and technical, but not enough to make it a running race. Also, 40 degrees seems to be the best temperature for cross racing, so I'll hope for that! 

5. Any New Years resolutions you’d like to share with us? I’m not sure I believe in New Year's resolutions. I don’t think people have to wait until the next year or a certain day to change their lifestyle and habits. 2017 certainly had its ups and downs for me, but I have an incredible family, team, friends and coach. I’m focusing on improving myself 1% everyday and making 2018 great. 

LANCE HAIDET

1. How were your holidays? I had an awesome holiday season hanging out with friends and family in San Luis Obispo, CA. I didn’t do anything too interesting or exciting, but was able to put in some really solid training, and a bit of mental recuperation before the final races of the season. 

2. What type of training are you doing with two weeks left until Nationals? I am doing a good amount of 3-5 minute maximum effort intervals as well as some very hard 30 second intervals. In addition, I have been motor pacing behind a scooter for about an hour each week. This has been really good for keeping the leg speed cadence high during these weeks of no racing. Off the bike, I have been doing a solid amount of running and agility work, as well as the typical core/strength training. Other than that, I have been returning to some of the technique work that had been pushed to the back burner over the past couple of months. 

3. What does your training schedule look like for Cyclocross Nationals week?

MON: Rest day

TUE: I'll do a 2 hour ride with 'Tabata' intervals which will consist of  two sets of eight 20 second all out efforts with a 10 second recovery between each effort. 

WED: 1.5 hour ride at endurance pace, possibly incorporating a couple laps on the course. 

THU: Rest day

FRI: 1.5 - 2 hour endurance ride. 

SAT: 1.5 hours of pre-riding the Reno course. Really trying to figure out the flow of the course, putting in a few efforts, and dialing in some of the trickier sections. 

SUN: Win a bike race!

4. What kind of race day and course conditions are you hoping for in Reno? I really feel prepared for any sort of conditions in Reno, but I do hope there is at least a little bit of wet weather to make things interesting.

5. Any New Year's resolutions you’d like to share with us? One of my main New Year's resolutions is to improve my social media skills. Looking solely at my spotty, social media track record, you would think that it shouldn’t be too hard. However I know it will definitely be a challenge for me, as it certainly does not come naturally. 

JAMEY DRISCOLL

1. How were your holidays and where were you? Did you do anything fun and interesting Holidays were great, my wife had the flexibility to join me for my 2 week training camp in Scottsdale AZ.  We didn't do too much outside of riding, now that we have to trade off taking care of our little girl.

2. What type of training are you doing with two weeks left until Nationals? My training is focused all on high intensity now.  Since there were no races for 5 weeks before Nationals, I did a large volume block before the intensity.

3. What does your training schedule look like for Cyclocross Nationals week?

MON:  1.5 hour easy ride.

TUE: 3 hours with two 10 minute tempo pace intervals. These are not too hard, but just enough to open up my body for the more intense efforts I will do tomorrow.

WED:  2 hours with three 5 minute intervals at my threshold. There are intense intervals will keep my engine tuned for the upcoming weekend, but they aren't hard enough that I will be fatigued.

THU:  2 hour ride with a steady endurance pace. Again, hard enough to get my heart rate up, but nothing too strenuous.

FRI:  1 hour easy spin.

SAT:  1-1.5 hour ride with 5 minutes at a more intense pace and four or five 30 seconds all-out efforts to get my lungs and legs opened up for Sunday.          

SUN:  Race day! Time to leave it all on the course. 

4. What kind of race day and course conditions are you hoping for in Reno? As crazy as possible, last year's conditions in Hartford with the snow covered frozen ice ruts were great for me.

5. Any New Years resolutions you’d like to share with us? Learn to operate with less down time, also known as 'adulting' or 'being a parent' !!

Team Schedule
Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY 
Jingle Cross World Cup – Iowa City, IO
CrossVegas – Las Vegas, NV
Trek CXC World Cup – Waterloo, WI
KMC CrossFest – Thompson, CT ( Jamey and Laurel ) 
West Sacramento Grand Prix – Sacramento, CA ( Lance )
Charm City Cross – Baltimore, MD
US Open of Cyclocross – Boulder, CO
Cincy CX Festival - Cincinnati, OH
Derby City Cup – Louisville, KY
Pan Am Championships - Louisville, KY
Los Angeles, CA (Nov 18 + 19)
Ruts N Guts CX – Broken Arrow, OK (Dec 2 + 3)

USA National Championships – Reno, NV (Jan 9-14) 
UCI World Championships – Valkenburg-Limburg, NED