The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.1.17. “The Old MGP Bump & Grind”

Howdy folks,

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s…


I talk an awful lot on this page about how much we can learn from watching motor sports, in particular Moto GP.

Stuff like this –

Stuff like this –

And this –

…can offer a lot of insight into what is possible when driving a bike, even when it’s got a puny one human power engine on it instead of the monster power plants in the Moto GP machines.

Racing is still racing, and the physics of trying to cram more than one vehicle through the best line on a course are more or less the same.

So, some CX…

Watch this race, and pay attention to just how important the jockeying for position and line choice is in the closing stages of the race. VdP and WVA aren’t just trying to get on the best line through the corners, they’re working to put their opponent on a bad line, to force them to come around where it’s not going to work.

VDP wins this thing due to a mechanical, but he forced WVA into a series of maneuvers that led to that mechanical.

Cyclocross isn’t a time trial.

The goal isn’t to set the best time on an open course. The idea is to best the other competitors on course with you. If your tactics, line choices, and skill development strategies don’t take this into account, you’re leaving a really important factor out of your race equation…

Check out the vids, give it some thought, then…

1 – warm up for 10 minutes.

2 – Stretch out after you’re warm.

Pay special attention to all the muscles used in those movements you make hopping on and off the bike that are different from what you usually do (We’ve talked about stretching on here in the past, check out the search function if you want/need some more info.)

3 – Dismount/remount  skills for 5-10-15 minutes

– Start at literally a walking pace, and slowly increase speed until you can mount and dismount the bike smoothly and perfectly at full speed. Do not jump on and off the bike, you are looking to smoothly slide yourself on and off.

Need a refresher on the basics? Check out this old post…

Do just the most  basic dismount/remount as per above until you have it down cold, smooth as silk.

When you’re perfect (hah!) throw some barriers into the mix.

4 – Figure eight drill.

Set up 2 cones or 2 rocks or two… somethings. Doesn’t much matter what it is.

Ride in a figure eight pattern around the cones…

– first pedaling the entire time.

No coasting.

Pedal all the way around the figure 8, including the turns.

Practice using the brakes while still pedaling. This is one of those secret techniques that – once you figure it out – makes a huge difference. When you stop pedaling you lose traction, so don’t stop pedaling!

Experiment with this, it’s a game-changer.

– Same drill, not pedaling through the turns.

– Same drill, alternate styles.

Now move the figure 8 to the side of a slight hill.

One cone up hill, one down, about 5-8 meters apart and staggered, IE: not directly below each other on the slope.

 – Same drill(s) as before. Go.


Next, pilot around those corners – uphill and downhill – with the inside foot out.

Having trouble making the turn at the top of the figure 8? Put your foot down and push off with it to make the turn.

Don’t be afraid to use the foot that’s unclipped to push off or “paddle” around a turn, or to keep yourself driving forward on an off-camber section.

This can be another game changer, so work on it, eh?

 – Alternate both of these styles around the figure-eight.


Try different speeds, different lines, different angles.

See when/how/why each style works, and figure out how they can work for you.

If you can, do all of the preceding drills both by yourself, and with other riders on the (small) circuit. Really focus on how line choice is influenced by what the other riders are doing, and how you can influence them. Don’t be afraid of a little contact! You saw how that Super Prestige race turned out, eh?

6 – Recover for a few minutes, then Finish the night with two interval efforts on relatively easy terrain, but make sure to include the figure – 8 in it.

– “Easy” as in a loop on grass with some tight-ish turns on it, or some pretty buffed double-track.

– Go hard, and work on accelerations, and your exits from turns & technical features.

Every time you slow down entering a turn, get on the gas on the way out of it, ass out of the saddle, working hard.

– 6-8 minutes full gas, rest for 2 minutes, then go again.

Spin down for a few minutes, then head home and finish up your day.

Have fun!


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Heck, allow me to rephrase that; I can’t keep doing this if I lose money on it.

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Thanks for the consideration!




What’s that you say? You’d kinda’ like to have a cycling coach help figure this stuff out for you? Check out…


~ by crosssports on November 1, 2017.

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