After a banner year racing with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and representing the United States and at the 2014 UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, Alison Powers will retire from professional cycling and transition into the next chapter of her life. Looking back over her career, Powers commented, “It has been a pretty amazing career! I have won or been part of a team that has won almost every single race in the United States. All of my cycling goals have been accomplished and I feel very satisfied leaving the sport. I’m proud to have won the Tour of the Gila criterium in 2006, my first year doing NRC races, and then to have won it again this year, my last year racing.”
Alison Powers came to the team with a long list of accomplishments, including general classification wins at the Joe Martin Stage Race, Cascade Classic Stage Race, and Redlands Classic, a Pan American time trial championship title, and the US National Criterium Championship title. Powers added to her already impressive resume when she came to the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team in their debut season as a program. In her incredible final season, Powers won the overall classification at the Tour de Femenino de San Luis, the Amgen Tour of California time trial, the US National Championships in both the road and time trial disciplines among many other impressive victories while wearing the blue and white of UnitedHealthcare. Alison said, “Being a part of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling has been wonderful. This year felt like I was getting my masters degree in bike racing. I am so proud and happy to have been part of the team– and also sad to leave the program, my teammates, and the staff. They are all really wonderful people who took great care of me and taught me to become a better and more complete bike racer.”
Thank you UnitedHealthCare for the great write-up and big congrats to Alison!
In her retirement, Powers plans to spend more time at home with family and friends in Colorado, while remaining active on her bike and Nordic skis. She will put more emphasis on her coaching business, ALP Cycles Coaching, allowing her share her racing skills and training expertise with other athletes. Powers concluded, “The past 10 years of my life as a bike racer have been really wonderful. I feel so lucky to have had this kind of hard work, team camaraderie, and success in my life. I really love riding my bike, and to know I have accomplished so much feels really wonderful and happy. I can leave the sport with a smile on my face and two current National Championship jerseys.” General manager Mike Tamayo added, “Alison was instrumental in creating this program and yielding the one of the most successful seasons for a women’s team ever, especially a debut season. Not only is Alison is an extremely valuable rider in terms of her own results, the knowledge she brought as a coach, mentor, and racer was invaluable to the rest of the team. Alison will always be a part of the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train family, and will continue to stay involved with the team as a high-performance advisor and mentor to riders.” The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team wishes Powers the best in her retirement and thanks her for her contributions to the program as a rider and a leader.
Shawn and my first official CX camp is over and it was a success! We had 7 riders and utilized three different locations.
In the parking lot and grass we worked on body position drills, and cornering techniques. After lunch (from Salto coffee) and a discussion about CX specific equipment and preparation, it was on to dismounts/remounts, and stairs. We finished the day by watching video of our skills learned and practiced.
Day two brought Valmont Bike Park were we worked on the pump track, shouldering the bike, sand riding technique, and start practice. We ended the day, and weekend, with a coach athlete meeting.
All in all, it was fun and a great success.
Now is the time to dial in your CX skills. Practice, practice, practice. CX is at least 50% skills (cornering, carrying speed, keeping momentum)– fitness matters, but if you don’t have the skills, you’ll never reach your true potential.
As we head toward the end of the race season- Don’t Settle! Finish Strong! After many months of diligently prepping, training, and sacrifice, it’s time to put on a show. Good luck to ALP athletes racing at Leadville 100, Breck Epic, Steamboat Stage Race, Missouri State TT Champs, Green Mtn Stage Race, Shenandoah Valley ride, and LOTOJA and Masters Nationals (in Sept and still training hard!).
We finally had a chance to catch up with our ALP Cycles Coach, Alison Powers who, in May became the current National Road Race, Time Trial, and Criterium Champion, which has never been done before. We had a few questions for her that we thought others would want to know as well.
ALP Cycles Coaching- Big congrats on your “Triple Crown” of National Championships. How does it feel and has it sunk in yet? It feels absolutely amazing. Yes it has sunk in and I can’t believe that I have accomplished this amazing feat. I always thought people who won multiple national titles had something special about them that I never did. But, I don’t feel special, I just accomplished something special.
ALPCC- At the National Championships, the past three years, your results have steadily gotten better and better. Top 3-5 in 2012, Top 3 in 2013, and now 1st in 2014. What do you contribute to your success? I’ve become a better and smarter racer over the years. After I broke my arm in 2011, I really learned how to race smartly and how to save energy during a race. This has paid off over the past few seasons.
ALPCC- Did you race this year’s race any differently? Yes, this year, thanks to the strength of my team, UnitedHealthCare, I raced an extremely smart race. I never went hard and never went into the Red until the very end when I attacked for the win.
Other years, I have been the best climber and the best sprinter on the team so I had to do both. It’s hard to sprint well if you have climbed Full Gas. This year, both of my teammates were better climbers than I was. When they went up the road on the climb, I allowed myself to get dropped from the main group because 1- I had confidence I could catch on the descent and 2- if I didn’t catch, then I still had two teammates up the road and that was fine.
Honestly, I didn’t care who won the race as long as it was someone on UHC, so I was willing to lose the race. That’s the thing with winning—you must be willing to lose in order to win.
ALPCC- For 2014, what, if anything did you change? The #1 thing that has helped me this year is my new team UnitedHealthCare. The team is run so well. It’s a well-oiled machine that has taking care of the riders down to a science. When I show up to a race, I don’t have to do anything other than ride my bike. No worries about where the grocery store is, doing laundry, which bed will I get in the host house etc. All of that is taken care of for me. No stress, no mental energy wasted on little things.
ALPCC- Was your wintertime training any different than in years past? Yes. I had more training camps than I ever have had—we went to Scottsdale AZ with UHC twice- and raced in Argentina in January. I also did my own training camps in South Carolina and in Solvang with ALP Cycles Coaching. When I was home, I incorporated our (ALP Cycles) off-season strength-training plan into my training. I loved the plyometrics and the on bike sprints. That was my favorite workout to do.
ALPCC- What training tool do you consider the most important? The one where you don’t train at all—rest.
ALPCC- Do you do the same workouts you give your ALP Cycles Athletes? Yes, definitely.
Have more questions for Alison that we didn’t ask? Let us know! We’ll ask her.
This was our first year doing a Leadville 100 Training Camp. This camp was open to all ALP athletes who are racing the LT100, and to any of those who just wanted to ride mtn bikes with us on course. We had 4 ALP athletes for the 2 day camp, ride support from Herbalife, and a great two days of training and riding. 11hrs of riding, 114 miles (most of it on the LT100 course), and a higher level of confidence for the race that is in just over a month.
Other things we learned and dialed in-
Pacing strategies– both by HR and watts
Where to eat and drink as well as what to eat and drink
Lines to ride on the climbs and descents- where is smooth, where is rocky, what is fast
How to “ride like a roadie” on the pavement and dirt road sections
Gearing for our 1×11 bikes
Pre race routine– when to wake up, what to eat, where to park, etc.
We are dialed, ready, and excited for this years Leadville 100.