What: Cyclocross Training Camp
When: Friday through Sunday
Where: FasCat Performance Cycling Center and Boulder Cycle Sport (north)
Cost: $600, less without physio testing or bike fitting
More info: fascatcoaching.com
At the pro level, winning a race might be in the details.
For his fourth season racing cyclocross, University of Colorado student and pro racer David Hackworthy (Clement Cyclocross Team) hopes to hammer out some of those details during this weekend's Cyclocross Training Camp, put on by Boulder Cycle Sport and FasCat Coaching.
"The big thing is to prepare for the 'cross season, to be fit correctly, to be tested -- those numbers are key for your training plan," Hackworthy said.
"I know how to ride 'cross, but there's little details where you can get another professional's perspective on it to make yourself that much more efficient."
This weekend's camp, which includes VO2 and lactate testing, bike fitting, 'cross skills and a training plan, starts Friday. It's open to anyone, not just pros, like Hackworthy.
Though he's run several road-racing camps like this in the past, this is the first time Frank Overton, of FasCat Coaching, has offered a full weekend of cyclocross training.
"A lot of people are training specifically for 'cross these days," Overton said. "Six to seven years ago, people were just doing it after the road or mountain-bike season."
"It's just been trending that way. The pro categories, the guys who are winning the races are the ones who are focusing on it, making it a priority."
Brandon Dwight, of Boulder Cycle Sport, said that 'cross used to be a fringe sport, an afterthought on other racing seasons.
"Now, people are making it more their focus," he said. "They're attending things like these camps and hiring coaches and getting set up with training programs."
Dwight, who has won two master's national cyclocross titles, is teaching skills and giving an equipment workshop during the camp.
There aren't a lot of places in the United States where you can attend a high-end cyclocross camp, and people from as far away as Indiana have signed up for this weekend. Dwight said Boulder is one of just a handful of 'cross hotbeds in the country.
"Cyclocross is a huge sport in Boulder, and in Colorado," he said.
Training for cyclocross racing is different than training for other endurance events, Overton said. The race itself is different.
"It's short, it's full gas, it's nearly completely anaerobic -- very dynamic compared to time trail or triathlon, even road racing," Overton said. "It's similar to criterium racing, but when you add in the off-road element, it's almost it's own dimension."
One-off 'cross skills clinics are popular in Boulder in the fall, during the racing season. But this weekend's camp includes physiological testing in FasCat's new training facility. FasCat's staff exercise physiologist will do VO2 (maximal oxygen uptake) and lactate testing on participants.
Hackworthy said the transition from road season to cyclocross is right now, and it's crucial.
"Just having this camp at this time, you have all of your bikes ready, and physically and mentally, you're getting into cyclocross," he said. "It's going into the season being completely prepared."
And cyclocross racing does require a different mindset, Dwight said.
"In cyclocross, things get thrown at you so quickly, you've got to stay focused the whole time," Dwight said. "I think that mental challenge, as well as the physical, appeals to people.
"And it's just fun."