Real Rider Stories: Maghalie Gets Cross Fit
Fall is right around the corner, which means cooler weather, shorter days, debates with friends on which local coffee shop makes the best pumpkin spice latté, and most importantly, the start of Cyclocross season!
A sport that mixes the elements of road racing and mountain biking, CX competitors race around a course featuring a variety of terrain (pavement, grass, sand, gravel, dirt, mud, snow, you name it!) while also negotiating a number of obstacles that may require the riders to dismount and remount their bikes as they try to not lose time or momentum.
Being prepared for anything that a cross race throws at you (quite literally) is at the forefront of every racers mind months before the first cowbell rings throughout the course.
Every rider has different goals for the season, but this rider is taking things to the next level. “Ultimately, I want to see how far I can go in this sport. I want to see if I can become one of the best Cyclocross racers in the world, so my actions are aligned with that goal, and I am constantly seeking ways to improve.”
Maghalie Rochette is a professional mountain bike and cyclocross racer who most recently snagged second place in the first ever E-MTB World Championships in Monte Sainte-Anne, Canada. Rochette has been riding bikes all of her life, starting out in mountain biking with her Dad when she was just 8 years-old. “I did small races back then, as well as triathlon. I became more serious in cycling at the age of 19 when injuries kept me from running as much as I wanted in my triathlon training. I tried cyclocross for the first time at nineteen, and fell in love with the sport. I then got back into more serious training and racing for mountain biking and cyclocross, and signed my first professional contract that year. I’ve been loving it more every year since then!”
As a professional athlete, Magahalie is always looking for ways to improve her performance, even by the smallest margins. “To me, being positioned correctly on the bike to optimize your power seemed just as important as anything else.” Explains Rochette. “It’s just part of the process of making sure the details you can control are taken care of. Being comfortable and efficient on the bike will not only make me faster, but it will make every training session more comfortable, which can help the performance over time. Having a good position will also help to prevent injuries, which is a crucial part of racing professionally.”
Maghalie took a trip to the Specialized Bicycles headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA earlier this year to prepare for the upcoming CX season. Maghalie’s fit session for a 2019 Specialized Crux was performed on the Retül Müve SL fit bike so that her position and equipment could be dialed before she even took her first pedal stroke on her the bike. “Some things were adjusted a little compared to what she was used to. We got her on the Mimic saddle and that helped give her better pelvic support and lengthened her stem 10mm from her typical CX set up.” Informed Aaron Post, Retül Global Education manager.
One of the bigger changes to Maghalie’s fit was putting the saddle slightly further back. “That means that my knee will be better aligned with the pedal and that no force or power will be lost.” This is what also gave her the ability to install the Power saddle with Mimic technology. “That saddle is a game changer. It allows me to sit properly on the bike and slightly shift my pelvis, which helps me have more power on the pedals.”
By extending her reach this allowed Maghalie to feel much more comfortable with being in the drops position on the bike. “In Cyclocross, that position is more stable in tricky descents, and more aero in flat sections, so being comfortable there will be key.”
Another key element to her fit session was the decision to go for a pair of Custom Footbeds due to some significant asymmetries of her feet that were causing some issues with her knee travel. “The amount her knees wobbled side-to-side was noticeably reduced and her knee travel path straightened a degree.” Explained Post.
Once she was able to put her new position to the test outside of the fit studio, Maghalie could instantly feel the results from the changes that were made. “It felt a bit different at the beginning of the first ride, but after a few minutes I already felt at home, and really comfortable. I always say that the most important thing is to be comfortable on the bike, because ultimately it’s being uncomfortable that will make you want to stop riding. If you feel good, you’ll want to ride more.”
“I also really loved that the Retul system allows you to make adjustments extremely quickly. That means you have instant feedback and can easily know what feels better between two positions. I learned a lot during the fit, and I definitely suggest it to everyone.”
Instant feedback gleans instant results, and we can’t wait to see Maghalie’s results this season as she battles the Cyclocross elements to hopefully become one of the world’s best in the sport.