a progressive non-linear reduction in the training load during a variable period of time, in an attempt to reduce the physical and psychological stress of daily training and optimise sports performance (Mujika 2000).
Tapering is based on the assumption that training increases ﬁtness levels and fatigue levels simultaneously. As you train harder you get ﬁtter – which increases your performance – but you also get more tired – which decreases your performance.
Tapering works because when you decrease training your fatigue level falls faster than your ﬁtness level.
So, even though ﬁtness will decrease slightly during a taper, the greater lack of fatigue means performance will be better.
A collation of Taper studies draws the following overall conclusions:
1. Best results were achieved following a reduction in training volume of 40 to 60 percent. The length and severity of the taper depends on the stress the athlete has been experiencing and how long they’ve experienced it. The longer the athlete has been at a high training stress, the longer the taper will be.
2. The training frequency should be maintained or reduced by a maximum of 20 percent. So for the most part, you still need to ride as often as you normally would, just for half the distance.
3. The intensity must be largely maintained to ensure ﬁtness levels don’t drop off drastically. This is an important point, but one that cyclists often take too far by actually increasing intensity rather than simply maintaining it.
And I thought tapering was putting your feet up and eating pasta? I think I got #2 nailed.
Ah well, perhaps I’ll taper with the vending machine on the bus ride back to the Village.
Three Peaks – This weekend.
Last training ride this evening before we head off on Friday morning for Sundays ride.
The weather is looking not too bad, maybe a little rain, but all in all ok.
The three climbs are Mt Beauty, Hotham and Falls Creek. For me, the climb up to Hotham is the most spectacular of the three, starting in the valley at Harrietsville and finishing above the tree line on Dinner Plan.
According to reports in the Diario de Andes, Briceño, Jimmi Briceño, a Venezuelan who won the Vuelta a Táchira for a second time in January tested results returned a hematocrit level of 63% in recent blood screenings as part of UCI-ordered tests to complete his biological passport, above the UCI-imposed health limit of 50%
While the results do not equate to a positive doping control, they do spell the end of Briceño’s hopes to join Italy’s Androni Giocattoli team later this season.
We’ll wait and see what the final outcome is.
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
The traditional opener of the Belgian road season in Ghent started at half past 11 with a minute of silence to pay tribute to the late Kristof Goddaert and Ghent’s art pope Jan Hoet, who both passed away recently. Goddaert’s teammates from the IAM team lined up in front of the peloton on a chilly, foggy and quiet St-Peter’s square.
In typical wet and miserable Flandrian conditions, Team Sky rider Ian Stannard claimed an exciting sprint win over BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet in a thrilling start to the Spring Classics. The pair slipped clear of the main field inside the closing kilometres of the race and despite a late chase from Omega Pharma-Quickstep and Belkin, the pair held on to decide the race in a sprint finish.
|1||Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky||4:49:55|
|2||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|3||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky||0:00:24|
|4||Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team|
|5||Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|6||Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty – Groupe Gobert||0:01:34|
|7||Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|8||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano|
|9||Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|10||Arnaud Demare (Fra) Fdj.fr|
Tom Boonen, took a record third win in the 197km 2014 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne outpacing Dutchman Moreno Hofland in a small group finish.
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 4hrs 28′ 55”
2 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Belkin
3 Sep Vanmarcke (Ned) Belkin
4 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
6 Maarten Wijnants (Ned) Belkin
7 Guillame Van Kiersbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
8 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
9 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
10 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp
Point of Interest
Looks like some of the new rules introduced by UCI for the 2014 season haven’t been passed onto the riders yet.
1.2.064 bis It is strictly prohibited to use sidewalks/pavements, paths or cycle paths alongside the roadway that do not form part of the course. Non-respect of this requirement is sanctioned in accordance with Article 12.1.040.14 bis, without prejudice to any other sanctions that may apply.
Article 12.1.040.14 bis states the rider is liable for a cash fine and crucially “elimination”.
Some seemed to hesitate, others didn’t, but this switch was in breach of the new UCI rule and the whole group should have been disqualified from the race?
UCI Track World Championships 2014
Germany and Australia end championships with eight medals each.
Men: Team Pursuit – Aussie Gold
|Casper Von Folsach|
|Lasse Norman Hansen|
|Christian Rasmus Quaade|
Men’s individual pursuit – Aussie Gold
|1||Alexander Edmondson (Aus)||0:04:22.582|
|2||Stefan Kueng (Sui)||0:04:22.995|
Women’s 500m time trial – Aussie Silver
|1||Miriam Welte (Ger)||0:00:33.451|
|2||Anna Meares (Aus)||0:00:33.548|
|3||Voinova Anastasiia (Rus)||0:00:33.789|
Women’s team pursuit – Aussie Bronze
Women’s Keirin- Final 1-6
|1||Kristina Vogel (Ger)|
|2||Anna Meares (Aus)|
|3||Rebecca Angharad James (GBr)|
Women’s Omnium- Overall
|1||Sarah Hammer (USA)||14||pts|
|2||Laura Trott (GBr)||20|
|3||Annette Edmondson (Aus)||24|
Next up is the Strade Bianche over the white dirt roads of Tuscany, starting in San Gimignano, Italy on March 8th. The one day race covers 10 sections of the dirt, and finishes with a 16-percent ramp in the final kilometer to Siena.
Some photos from last years strade to whet the apetite.
“The Strade Bianche is a jewel in the international cycling scene,” said RCS Sport technical director Mauro Vegni. “This year the route is technically more difficult than in the past, given the greater number of sections of earthworks at the start, while the end is modeled on the traditional route, with the finish in the Piazza del Campo in Siena. We are confident that by working together with all the institutions involved we can get the best possible outcome for all.”
Included in the route are the five-star (most difficult) Monte Sante Marie sector, which covers 11.5km, and the four-star Colle Pinzuto sector, which covers 2.4km with roughly 20km to go.
The Strade Bianche opens two weeks of racing in Italy that culminates with Milano-Sanremo March 23.
Toy of the Week
I’ll settle for the Jersey on the right.
till next week