Monday, July 27, 2015

Six Whole Athlete/Specialized Riders Named to 2015 World Championship Team!

On the heels of a successful National Championships bid that saw the team earn three titles and five medals, Whole Athlete/Specialized was rewarded with selection of all six eligible athletes for the 2015 World Championships in Andorra on September 3rd!

Medalists
Kelsey Urban, Christopher Blevins, Haley Batten, Cypress Gorry, Anders Johnson, and Carson Beckett
will represent the USA at the 2015 World Championships in Andorra.

Automatic selections include newly crowned U23 National Champion Cypress Gorry, Junior 17/18 Champion and world #1 ranked Christopher Blevins, and Junior 17/18 Women's Champion and world #1 ranked Haley Batten. The three well-deserving discretionary selections are Anders Johnson, Carson Beckett, and Kelsey Urban. Johnson and Beckett are the 2nd and 3rd highest ranked US Junior riders, while Urban has consistently maintained a top-10 world ranking all year. All three riders have been consistently on national-level podiums throughout the season.

Cypress Gorry
Gorry has been on the verge of breakthrough success all season.

Haley Batten
Batten has been unbeatable in the US.

Chris Blevins
Blevins aims to compete in both road and MTB Worlds this Fall.

Carson Beckett
Beckett is no stranger to the podium.

Kelsey Urban
Urban a model of consistency.

Anders Johnson
Johnson has been steadily on the rise all season.

Next up for the Whole Athlete / Specialized Team:

August 2nd: U23 World Cup #7 - Mont Saint Anne, CAN
August 9th: U23 World Cup #8 - Windham, NY

September 3rd: Junior and U23 World Championships - Valnord, Andorra


Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Three National Champions, Five Medals for the Whole Athlete/Specialized Team

Capping off an impressive summer of racing, Whole Athlete / Specialized shone brightly at the 2015 National Championships with three titles and five medals. The high elevation of Mammoth Mountain saw winning performances by Cypress Gorry (U23), Christopher Blevins (Junior 17/18), and Haley Batten (Junior 17/18 Women). And joining their teammates on the podium were Anders Johnson, 2nd place in Junior Men and Kelsey Urban, 3rd in Junior Women.

Medalists
Gorry 1st - U23, Blevins 1st, Johnson 2nd - Junior 17/18, Batten 1st, Urban 3rd - Junior Women 17/18

The U23 race came down to an exciting two-man battle that played out on the very last lap, as Gorry timed his final effort to perfection to come into the finishing straight alone. And despite the deep effort to win the U23 cross country, Gorry came back the following day to place 4th in the Pro Men's Short Track Event! 

Cypress Gorry
Gorry's breakout year continues with the U23 national title. (photo: PB Creative)

In the Junior Men's race, Blevins showed why he's ranked #1 in the world, distancing himself on the first lap and steadily building his lead to the finish. 

Christopher Blevins
Blevins set a blistering pace, leading from start to finish.
(photo: Kenny Wehn)

Also world-ranked #1, Batten took the Junior Women's title in similar fashion, with a flawless three laps of the climbing-intensive, low-oxygen course. 

Haley Batten
A happy Batten earning the stars and stripes.

Not to be overlooked were the powerful podium performances of Johnson and Urban in 2nd and 3rd, amid highly competitive Junior fields.

Anders Johnson
Johnson continues his upward trajectory with an impressive silver medal.
(photo: PB Creative)


A solid 3rd place finish for Urban. (photo: PB Creative)

U23 podium
Cypress Gorry is U23 National Champion.

Junior Men 17/18
Christopher Blevins and Anders Johnson go 1-2.

Junior Women 17/18
Haley Batten and Kelsey Urban 1st and 3rd. 

Next up for the Whole Athlete / Specialized Team:
August 2nd: U23 World Cup #7 - Mont Saint Anne, CAN
August 9th: U23 World Cup #8 - Windham, NY

September 4th: Junior and U23 World Championships - Valnord, Andorra


Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Whole Athlete/Specialized Spectacular in Colorado Springs

Fresh off a sensational race at the Missoula XC, the Whole Athlete/Specialized Team continued its successful summer build toward the National and World Championships with multiple victories and podium finishes at the Colorado Springs Junior UCI race.

For the second consecutive weekend, Christopher Blevins and Haley Batten took wins in the highly competitive Junior UCI 17/18 races. Teammates Anders Johnson and Carson Beckett rounded out the Junior Men's podium in 2nd and 4th, with Beckett overcoming an untimely flat on the final lap. Kelsey Urban also hit the podium with a solid 4th place in the Junior Women's UCI race, while Aidan Bond took 2nd in 12 and under and Mike Mace 7th in the Junior 15/16 event.

Christopher Blevins
After finishing 5th in the Junior 17/18 Junior Road Nationals TT in California on Friday,
Blevins flew to Colorado Springs and took the XC win on Saturday.

Haley Batten
Batten handled the technical course with poise and skill.

Anders Johnson
Johnson had his best race yet, with a solid 2nd place finish.

Carson Beckett
Beckett rode the entire race with Blevins, trading off the lead until a last lap flat tire dropped him to 4th place.

Aidan Bond
Bond rode to a strong 2nd place finish in the 12 and Under race.

Kelsey Urban
Urban on her way to a podium finish.

Mike Mace
A top-10 ride for Mike Mace.

Podium Finishers
UCI Junior podium finishers.

Junior 17/18 podium
Whole Athlete/Specialized well-represented on the international Junior Men's podium.

Next up for the Whole Athlete / Specialized Team:
July 4th: The Rage at Snowbird - Snowbird, UT
July 16th: XC National Championships - Mammoth, CA

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sensational Missoula for Whole Athlete/Specialized

Building on its Spring success, Whole Athlete/Specialized kicked off the Summer with impressive performances at the Missoula ProXCT. Christopher Blevins and Haley Batten each took victories in the hotly contested Junior UCI 17/18 races, as teammates Anders Johnson and Carson Beckett rounded out the Junior Men's podium in 4th and 5th. Meanwhile, U23 Cypress Gorry continued his upward trajectory with an excellent 8th place in the Pro Men's UCI C1 event. Four Junior podium places and a top-10 Pro finish capped off a great weekend for the team.

Christopher Blevins
Blevins set a blistering pace, leading from start to finish.

Haley Batten
Batten flies over the Buffalo Jump having led solo from start to finish.

Cypress Gorry
Gorry rode to an 8th place Pro finish and 3rd U23.

Junior Men 17/18
Blevins, Johnson, and Beckett celebrate their successful race.

Junior Women 17/18
Batten maintains her #1 World UCI ranking.

Haley Batten
Happy Junior podium finishers.

Next up for the Whole Athlete / Specialized Team:
June 27th: ProXCT #6 / US Cup - Junior UCI Event - Colorado Springs, CO
July 16th: XC National Championships - Mammoth, CA

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Quarq Factor Phase Two - The Euro Effect

In the last Quarq Factor Installment, we introduced the project and analyzed power for the first two rounds of the ProXCT / US Cup Series. Now that the dust has settled on the team's US Spring race campaign, we can examine more closely what it takes to compete in International events in Europe.

The Quarq Factor Criteria

At Whole Athlete, we use a standard called Maximal Steady State (MSS), a real-world performance threshold of 20-30 minute peak power and heart rate which reflect readily measurable and repeatable criteria confirmed with either a simple field test or through the validated MSS testing protocol used at the Whole Athlete Performance Center.

During a mountain bike race, a true representation of workload over time is normalized power since it averages only time recorded while pedaling, factoring out zeros when descending or coasting. For each rider, normalized power as a percentage of their individual MSS gives the value relative meaning since each person's specific power levels can be quite different. We will keep each rider's actual power data confidential, yet still provide a representation that is meaningful and informative.

The Euro Effect

Four of our Junior 17/18 riders had the opportunity to race in Austria and Germany this past month, competing in the highest level Junior Series UCI races. By gathering power data throughout, we found that the depth of the fields, high level of competition, and nature of the courses all combined to determine power demands.

The most common factor in contrast to XC races in the US is that high level European XC races require a higher initial output (1 to 2 min peak power) to be competitive with the fastest riders, specifically on the start loop (Table 1). But much like the various US courses, the relative punchiness or steadiness of the climbs dictates much of the distribution of power.

The most effective strategy was being able to achieve a good position on the start loop without going out too hard, then maintain consistent and strong laps throughout, especially the final lap.

At the Haiming, Austria event, the course featured many steep, punchy climbs with little place to recover, whereas in Heubach, Germany the course was basically a single stair-step climb and descent each lap. The climbing profile differences were apparent in time in ranges around and above Maximal Steady State (MSS) power. A significantly larger amount of time spent at a higher supra-threshold (>140% MSS power) range on the punchy Haiming course, while in Heubach the time between 100-140% of MSS was greater given the more sustained climb (Table 2).

Tables 3-6 compare the time spent at MSS and above for each rider among all four US and European Spring Junior UCI events.

Table 1: Haiming, Austria & Heubach, Germany Junior UCI Series - Men and Women
Normalized Power as Percentage of Maximal Steady State
Haiming, Austria
Start Lap Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Race Avg
Athlete 1 114% 99% 91% 90% 88% 90% 94%
Athlete 2 122% 109% 90% 88% 85% 96% 94%
Athlete 3 105% 91% 76% 76% 76% N/A 83%
Athlete 4 129% 94% 85% 75% 78% N/A 86%
Heubach, Germany
Athlete 1 122% 95% 95% 94% 97% N/A 103%
Athlete 2 113% 109% 94% 93% 100% N/A 99%
Athlete 3 N/A 83% 78% 80% N/A N/A 80%
Athlete 4 N/A 106% 93% 98% N/A N/A 99%

Table 2: Haiming, Austria & Heubach, Germany Junior UCI Series - Men and Women
Time at Maximal Steady State (MSS) and Supra-Threshold Power
MSS: 100 - 120% 120-140% >140%
Haiming Heubach Haiming Heubach Haiming Heubach
Athlete 1 7:00 12:30 10:40 14:00 9:30 3:30
Athlete 2 8:30 13:00 12:00 11:00 10:30 3:30
Athlete 3 6:25 12:00 5:15 7:00 8:00 5:00
Athlete 4 8:55 13:40 5:40 5:25 6:30 4:30

Table 3: Comparison of US and European Spring Junior UCI Series - Athlete 1
Time at Maximal Steady State (MSS) and Supra-Threshold Power
MSS: 100 - 120% 120-140% >140% Climbing
Fontana 7:14 11:35 9:30 Mixed
Bonelli #2 6:42 10:00 10:30 Short/ Punchy
Haiming 7:00 10:40 9:30 Short/ Punchy
Heubach 12:30 14:00 3:30 Sustained

Table 4: Comparison of US and European Spring Junior UCI Series - Athlete 2
Time at Maximal Steady State (MSS) and Supra-Threshold Power
MSS: 100 - 120% 120-140% >140% Climbing
Fontana 8:00 11:30 9:15 Mixed
Bonelli #2 5:15 10:15 13:30 Short/ Punchy
Haiming 8:30 12:00 10:30 Short/ Punchy
Heubach 13:00 11:00 3:30 Sustained

Table 5: Comparison of US and European Spring Junior UCI Series - Athlete 3
Time at Maximal Steady State (MSS) and Supra-Threshold Power
MSS: 100 - 120% 120-140% >140% Climbing
Fontana 9:00 7:25 9:15 Mixed
Bonelli #2 9:50 7:50 12:00 Short/ Punchy
Haiming 6:25 5:15 8:00 Short/ Punchy
Heubach 12:00 7:00 5:00 Sustained

Table 6: Comparison of US and European Spring Junior UCI Series - Athlete 4
Time at Maximal Steady State (MSS) and Supra-Threshold Power
MSS: 100 - 120% 120-140% >140% Climbing
Fontana 9:20 6:10 8:15 Mixed
Bonelli #2 10:05 6:25 7:00 Short/ Punchy
Haiming 8:55 5:40 6:30 Short/ Punchy
Heubach 13:40 5:25 4:30 Sustained


The Quarq Factor Phase 3 - Preview

On tap for the Quarq Factor Project are three more UCI Junior events in the US, including the Missoula ProXCT, Colorado Springs ProXCT, and the National Championships at Mammoth Mountain, CA. Both Colorado Springs and Mammoth are at high elevation and will reveal how the thin air affects power for both sea level dwellers relative to those from elevation towns. Stay tuned!

Women's poduim
The Haiming course was dry, but with steep and punchy climbs.

Kelsey Urban
The main climb in Heubach required a high, steady output.

Epic mud
Mud played a role in the challenging race in Germany.


About the Quarq Factor Project

A longtime tool for road racers worldwide, the powermeter has become a valuable asset for the mountain bike as well with the release of the Quarq XX1. For the 2015 season, the Whole Athlete/Specialized Team has partnered with Quarq Powermeters to employ this powerful tool in an innovative project called The Quarq Factor

Quarq

By analyzing race data throughout the year, the team will determine optimal pacing strategies, measure power requirements of each course, and explore what it takes for each rider to continue on an optimal development path with greater training specificity.

Whole Athlete/Specialized will publish an analysis of the data periodically to demonstrate the power of the Quarq for competitive cyclists looking to take their racing to the next level.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Whole Athlete / Specialized Juniors Shine at Home and Abroad

Whether facing regional talent or the best in the world, Whole Athlete/Specialized Juniors showed their class in both the US and in Europe with impressive performances this past weekend.

At the UCI Junior Series races in Haiming, Austria and Heubach, Germany, Haley Batten and Christopher Blevins posted top results with 11th and 12th place finishes in huge world-class fields of as many as 120 racers. On the most challenging of courses, Carson Beckett and Kelsey Urban also had strong showings, earning 20th and 23rd placings. 

After their Spring European race campain, all four riders are currently among the top ranked Junior riders in the world with Batten in 1st, Blevins 4th, Urban 6th and Beckett 17th. 

Haley Batten
Urban climbs the muddy trails of Heubach.

Christopher Blevins
Blevins gives his all in the Haiming XC.

Carson Beckett
Beckett at full effort on the Haiming climb.

Haley Batten
A focused and muddy Batten at Heubach.

Epic mud
Epic mud in Heubach.

Carson Beckett
Training among the Austrian Alps.

Meanwhile back in the US, our youngest team Junior Aidan Bond posted a win in his first race of the season at the Tierra Torture in Santa Fe, NM. At only 12-years-old, Bond bested his competitors in the 9-15 age group. Not to be outdone, Junior rider Anders Johnson raced the Pros at the Intermountain Cup in Midway, UT and landed squarely on the podium in 2nd place among a field of seasoned racers. 

Anders Johnson
Johnson charging on home turf. (photo: Angie Harker)

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Batten and Urban go 1-2 at the Sea Otter Classic

The dynamic duo of Haley Batten and Kelsey Urban showed they're ready for their Spring European race campaign this month after a fourth consecutive 1-2 race performance of 2015 - this time at the Sea Otter Classic.

Haley Batten
A focused Batten leads through the singletrack in cool, foggy conditions.
 
Currently ranked the 1st and 4th Junior Women in the world, Batten and Urban will face top international talent in Europe over the next two weekends, including the current Junior World Champion. Also joining the duo in Haiming, Austria and Heubach, Germany are teammates Christopher Blevins and Carson Beckett, who are also highly ranked at 4th and 11th among Junior Men worldwide. Thanks to their international ranking, all four riders will have the advantage of high starting call-ups at these key UCI events. 

Kelsey Urban
Urban heads to Europe with good form.
 
Next up for the Whole Athlete / Specialized Team:
  • 04/25/15 Junior UCI XCO Haiming, Austria
  • 05/02/15 Junior UCI XCO Heubach, Germany
Stay tuned for more exciting news!