Our season is coming to an end. With just two one-day races remaining (Paris Tours U23 and Tacx Pro Classic) and one stage race (Olympia’s Tour), the off-season and some days off the bike are already within sight for our talents. Despite a long run that started back in January with the first team training camp in Loutraki, our Performance Staff has it all under control so the riders can perform strongly until the very last racing day.  Thanks to the information provided by our performance partners like TrainingPeaks, INSCYD, CPC and Pioneer our team of scientists is allowed to keep full track of the current shape and health of a rider and monitor their training and racing program accordingly. Performance Manager, Vasilis Anastopoulos, explains the importance and all the work behind getting to this part of this season with some freshness not only in the legs but also mentally.
What are the key factors to focus on for late-season goals?  It is a big challenge to keep someone motivated for the last races of the season. Some of our riders have already scored some big wins and some others are still hunting a big result, so we try to reverse the roles in some races so everyone gets their shot. For example, during Piccolo Lombardia we saw the current U23 European Road Race champion, Alberto Dainese, spending most of the time in front of the race working for his teammates after they worked a lot for him in previous races.
How do you train in order to be at a high-level at this point in the season? How it differs from previous periods?  It’s all about trying to keep everyone as fresh as possible at this time of the year. The high-intensity sessions are limited now and the focus is on endurance training and recovery rides for the ones with a busy racing program. For the side of the team that has a lighter plan, it’s about doing sessions that replicate the demands of each of the events that will ride in.
What are the best tips to have in mind for that period of the season performance-wise?  At this time of the year, most of the riders in the peloton are feeling tired and looking forward to the offseason, while there is a small part that is still motivated to fight for the win. If someone is motivated, now it’s the time to wrap the season with a win. Time to pay more attention to recovery, as the body and the mind are tired after a long period of racing, but being able to finish this year with a strong result will help a lot to your winter preparation for the coming season.