After a full season of stage racing that started in February at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Arizona and concluded at the Cascade Cycling Classic in Oregon, Joseph Garey was excited to have one final event on his calendar: The Red Rock Canyon TT.
As a local event, Joseph was excited to race on his home turf amongst his friends and training partners. What's more, he had continued to spend time on his TT bike following his stage race season in order to finish the year off with a solid result!
After posting the fastest time on course and winning the Pro/Category 1/2 race, while winning the mid-race KOM competition, Joseph was elated and humbled by his result having bested numerous well-respected and talented riders from the Las Vegas area.
He had indeed capped off his season with the exclamation-point he was working for!
Following his big win, we caught up with Joseph to hear more about the race as well as his goals for next season in our 4-question BWC Athlete Profile. Enjoy!
Primary Sport/Discipline: Road Cycling
Average Hours of Training Per Week: 18-22hrs.
Upcoming Goals: The 2018 USA Cycling Pro Road Tour
Jospeh Garey sped to the fastest time at the Las Vegas-area Red Rock Canyon Time-Trial, winning the mid-race KOM competition as well. Photo Credit: Joseph Garey
Question #1: Congratulations on winning the Red Rock TT! This TT course featured a climb, varying wind conditions, and a fast downhill. How did you pace yourself for the win?
Joseph Garey: Thank you very much!
My pacing coming into the race was somewhat conservative, but a winning formula. A ripping tailwind up the climb and slight headwind on the very fast downhill had me itching to smash the climb and hold on as long as I could to the finish.
However, after consulting with Coach Brian, that wasn't the best strategy. In the end, we settled on a pacing strategy that started out hard, to get up to speed, but not full-gas. Then once the gradient started kicking up, I would settle into a quick cadence and an effort level that was ever-so slightly over threshold.
It wasn't until the rollers, following the climb, that I started to claw back time, putting in an all-out effort to achieve the highest speed possible to carry as much momentum as I could over the rolling portion of the course.
Although the rollers were shadowed from the wind, conditions would shift so that downhill run to the finish would be a solid headwind. This part of the course was the "cherry on top" of my pacing strategy as I continued to build into the effort and maintain a very high speed where others began to fade.
Coming into the last mile I buried myself and emptied the tank to score the fastest time on the day!
Coaches Perspective/Coach Brian: I am so proud of Joesph for his effort at the Red Rock Canyon TT!
Successful time-trailing is more so about discipline than it is raw-power, so I was particularly happy that Joseph was keen to develop a detailed race plan with me.
Following our course analysis, we created a pacing strategy that was slightly counterintuitive, but we were confident it would lend itself to Joseph's strengths.
What I was most excited about was that Joesph, staying true to the pacing strategy we created, won the KOM portion of the days competition. For those unfamiliar, essentially there were two competitions on the road that day, the first half of the race was on a steady climb which was categorized as the KOM competition.
What followed was a 1-2 mile section of rollers and then a downhill headwind section to the finish. Joseph’s disciplined pacing and solid fitness propelled him to win both classifications which was absolutely incredible!
The facial expression tells it all, this win felt good! Photo Credit: Joseph Garey
Question #2: You also performed well at the Cascade Cycling Classic time-trial back in July amongst a field full of talented time-trialists. What is one piece of advice you would give someone wanting to improve their time-trial?
JG: Master the first half of the race. I have started too many times way too hard and let the adrenaline take over in the first mile.
Once the adrenaline wears-out, your'e in a lot of trouble!
I think of it like this: giving-up seconds in the first half of the race to scooping-back handfuls of time in the second half.
This doesn't mean it's going to be a "walk in the park" the first half, but nailing the perfect tempo or threshold pace in the opening miles will allow you to go very hard in the second half of the race.
On most courses this is a solid pacing strategy.
Coach Brian: This is excellent advice, I am glad Joseph shared it.
All too often we spend our best efforts early in a race only to find ourselves ‘empty’ when the critical moments of the event come.
This patience and discipline takes time and maturity to hone, especially when our Perceived Effort is low and power output is high. But as you can see from Joesph's success, the tactic is well worth the time to hone and fine-tune.
It is great to see that Joseph’s confidence with TT-pacing is growing, this will play a significant role we he tackles the big events on his calendar next season.
Achieving our best is a team effort and Joseph is thankful to have the endless support of his long-time girlfriend Pabla at most of the races throughout the year. Photo Credit: Joseph Garey
Question #3: What is one of your long-term cycling goals? And what is next on your cycling ‘to do’ list?
JG: My long-term goal is to make it onto a professional team and make a living doing what I love, riding my bike. Specifically, I want to improve as a stage racer and become a General Classification contender.
I want to stick with the climbers as much I can to limit my losses in the mountains. Then I will go about clawing back as much time as I can in the TT.
I've been working on my TT more than in recent years and I've made huge strides, so I look forward to improving my GC placings in the upcoming season.
My hope is to crack the top 20-30 at various events on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour.
Then I plan to work my way up the GC standings as far as I can!
As for the next couple of months, I plan on attending the Tour de Tucson and hitting a few Gran Fondos in the process of building for next season.
Coach Brian: These are excellent goals, ones that I am excited to help Joseph achieve.
Placing in the top 20-30 riders in a time-trial stage of a PRT (USA Cycling Pro Road Tour) race is incredibly challenging, as teams always scour the result sheets looking for “the next big thing” in cycling.
This reality makes time-trial day hotly contested by nearly every rider in the peloton, but especially those that fancy-themselves to be a "TT-specialist".
With focused effort, dedication, and discipline Joseph can absolutely make his way into the upper-echelon of professional cycling and earn a spot on a professional squad.
Although Joseph has a big engine and strong pair of legs, his biggest asset to achieve these goals is his humble nature and desire to learn. As a “student of the game” Joseph is always looking to grow and improve, something that is not always true of riders at the professional level.
Jospeh Garey is working to make his way onto a professional team through his results in time-trials as well as in the G.C. of stage races. Photo Credit: Joseph Garey
Question #4: Describe your favorite workout in your training program, also, please share a ‘knowledge-bomb’ you have learned while training with Big Wheel Coaching.
JG: Getting ready for the Cascade Classic Coach Brian had me doing 3x 1-minute all-out efforts with 1-minute rest periods between intervals… every hour.
To make it more challenging, I was prescribed steady Endurance/Zone 2 work between sets.
Talk about a workout!
Although it sounds easy, the last set always had me screaming ‘uncle’!
Knowledge-bomb: Give your body the rest it deserves, it will work wonders!
Coach Brian: This “knowledge-bomb” is perfect!
I often tell my Athletes that the harder they train, the harder they must rest.
Although most Athletes don’t usually dedicate themselves to recovery practices with the same fervor and commitment they give their training regimen, proper recovery can single-handedly make the greatest gains for an Endurance Athlete looking to achieve his or her best.
And given Joesph’s enjoyment of doing multiple sets of one-minute all-out efforts, it is a good thing he has come to embrace his recovery practices!
We hope that you have enjoyed reading about Joseph Garey’s Red Rock Canyon Time-Trial success and that it has inspired you to seek gains in your own training program.
As with nearly every aspect of Endurance Sport, Joseph’s big win was the result of a full year of training, racing, and honing the craft of time-trialing. His success is a reminder to each of us that:
“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper-currency, no promises to pay- just the gold of real service.” -John Burroughs, American Essayist
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian & Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching