LUX Junior Cycling Development Team: Fit for the Future
Junior cycling teams often operate under low budgets and hand-me-down equipment. Their bikes are routinely serviced and maintained, but what about the most important piece of the equation… their body?
Earlier this season, the LUX U19 development team took a trip to the Specialized headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA where they received the full Retül treatment to ensure they were riding comfortably and efficiently on their bikes. Not only did they spend time getting their positions dialed on the bike, but they also had the opportunity to go through metabolic fit and aerodynamic testing with the goal of enhancing their TT positions on the Specialized SHIV.
The testing procedure was hugely beneficial as they prepared for their European Campaign and the World Championships. All the athletes who made it out for the session in Morgan Hill are USA Cycling’s top athletes, with the 2019 schedule built around medaling at Worlds, developing for U23 programs and eventually getting to the Pro Tour.
Specialized has been supporting the LUX team since their start in 2014 with the help of Roy Knickman, former Tour de France professional and Olympian, who manages the team out of pure passion for the sport from his home in Los Angeles, CA. “My experience as a former Tour de France Professional and National/Olympic Team coach has me believing it is important for all young riders to be properly fitted. The Retül fitting process gives us the data to create the most bio-mechanically efficient position which reduces the chance of injury to joints and muscles. With the riders increasing their training volume and power output, their bodies are under great amounts of load and stress and need to be working as efficiently as possible.” Explains Knickman.
Not only did the experience inspire and motivate the athletes, but it also educated them on optimal form and fit. With these biomechanical advancements integrated into their training, they will be less prone to injury, more capable of performing at their highest level, and more in tune with how their bike set-up should feel. All of the riders came to Specialized wanting to improve various aspects of their fit from knee pain on the road and discomfort on the TT bike to improving their performance and efficiency.
“Today's racing environment is highly competitive and our athletes need to maximize their power output and aerodynamics. The knowledge and experience the Retül certified fitters have made it possible to accomplish these things.” The first race of the season, which was a Junior National Team selection event in Arizona, proved the time spent getting the Retül treatment was well worth it
LUX Junior rider, Matthew Riccitello, who claimed 2nd place at the National Championship Time Trial in 2018 (15-16 age group), beat the TT course record set by Junior World Time Trial Champion Brandon McNulty. “ I wanted a Retül Fit in order to dial my time trial position that was comfortable, efficient, and aero. Getting a Retül Fit is really beneficial to me personally as it gives me the confidence that my position does not restrict my power output in any way and allows for full power transfer. Having that information in your head during a time trial - just knowing that your position is as good, if not better than everyone else’s - makes you go faster. “ Stated Riccitello.
Jared Scott came away from the race as the General Classification (GC) winner, his first ever GC win!
Seth Callahan achieved a stage win and two more top three stage finishes along with 2nd place in the GC. Nolan Jenkins came away with two top three finishes and 3rd place in the GC, and Quinn Simmons raced the professional race, finishing 4th in the Time Trial and riding the entire day off the front in the 95-mile road race, eventually placing 4th in the GC. “On my TT bike, we made huge changes to the setup, this allowed for me to finally have a position that I could produce high power while maintaining low aerodynamic drag.” (Quinn Simmons).
It is easy to say that the combination of talent, training and proper positioning on the bike has yielded incredible results for this team. “The early season success all our riders have seen has been proof that the fitting sessions were a positive. Additionally, all of our riders who were experiencing knee pain are now riding pain free.” (Roy Knickman) Now that’s a win in and of itself!
The feedback from these riders has been incredible, and seeing their results validates what Retül is all about. “Getting a professional [bike] fit brings peace of mind. Knowing that you are at your most optimum is a huge boost for both the physical and psychological aspects of training. Having done a fit, there is no question as to whether or not your training the right muscle groups, being too low and losing power, or being too high and losing speed. This concrete baseline keeps me happy knowing all I need to do is ride.” (Michael Garrison).
We are beyond excited to see what these riders accomplish this season and can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future to help shape the sport of cycling.
Check out the full gallery below to get an inside look into the 2019 LUX Retül fit camp.