It was the final day of our first Tenac Training Week in Chianti. Bags were being packed, goodbyes being said. But for one of the riders, there was still some unfinished business, the small matter of securing the fastest time on the ascent up to Lecchi, a short climb, but a storied one among the inGamba crew, because it’s the end of most of our rides and it finishes right outside our service course.
Adrien Costa, one of the brightest young talents in world cycling, currently boasts the best men’s time on Strava, a title held in the past by World Tour veterans Dominique Rollin and Laurens ten Dam. But after a hard week’s training under the watchful eye of her coach, Tenac founder Jason Tullous, Shawna Glazier felt like the women’s crown was up for grabs. And so, with her eyes on the prize, she set off from inGamba HQ with her coach, her husband Andy Byrnes, and inGamba’s resident Tour de France legend Eros Poli in tow as willing domestiques.
“I’m a climber,” said Shawna, when asked about her mindset going into the challenge. “I tried to just focus on that, because it was the only positive I could find while thinking about going all out in the pain cave for six minutes. That, and listening to anything my coach had to offer. He’s a world champion, so I take his advise seriously!
“Before the climb, Eros coached me on how to take the turns and when I should stand and sit. Winning for both of them was important to me. Jason kept me calm about the climb and rode beside me for 80% of it. He read me splits and then forced me to push myself out of comfort zone towards the end. Not letting him down became the goal.
“At the finish, I was so excited to see I got the QOM! Up until that day, the record was 6:19 – and was set by a badass friend of mine, Laura Spencer. I went 6:17 to take the it … and then Strava ended up adjusting the previous record to also 6:17 for some reason. So now Laura and I share the crown. Given her friendship and athletic ability, I’m happy to be sharing it with her, but if we would’ve been in town for one more day I think I could have gotten to 6:16!
“I have a feeling both Laura and I will want to claim a solo crown for that segment in the future. It would be fun to see if we could go heads up on that climb without our entourage behind us,” she went on, before adding with a smile, “but I think we’d both end up laughing about how silly the whole thing is in the first place as we sprint for the finish line.
“Normally my coach only has the data from my Garmin to analyze but this week he got much more. He was able to evaluate everything from my pedal stroke to my descending and turning skills and then provide feedback in realtime and watch me make the adjustments. Most coaches can offer training camps – but there’s nothing that can beat an inGamba/Coach training camp! The unlimited support gave my coach the freedom to evaluate all of his athletes and give them the coaching they needed.”
“Our number one goal was volume,” said Tullous, as the dust settled on Tenac’s first training trip with inGamba. “Volume trumps all in cycling for most of us. When you can add intensity to the volume, that’s the icing on the cake and we can expect an increase in fitness.
“With inGamba’s support, we were able to accomplish this goal. We had nothing to do but ride and recover. Everything was taken care of for us and all we had to focus on was our riding and our recovery. Riding was simple. Recovery was made simple with the best food ready to eat, proper hydration and nutrition on the bike, massage and the biggest recovery —a good night’s sleep.
“The trip went smooth from start to finish. From our delivery to Lecchi to having our bikes properly fitted and ready, we were treated as you would think a professional training camp would be. With plenty of climbing to choose from, we were able to select those that best suited the needs and goals of our athletes. Recovery days are for riding recovery, and hard days are for riding hard. We had both.”
“You can’t just call this a bike trip,” says and Shawna’s No.1 domestique, Andy. “How often do you get to spend a week in paradise with your heroes and loved ones?
“On this trip we were riding with a group put together by our coach, Jason. I have followed his cycling career for the past 15 years, and honestly, I can’t believe how lucky we are to ride with and learn from him. And to have him leading rides along with Olympic and World Champion, Eros “Monsieur Ventoux” Poli? The man is bigger than life and he energizes the entire experience.
“Eros is accompanied by a group of other amazing characters in the inGamba crew, each of whom have had cycling careers anyone on two wheels would envy. And it’s hard to believe that someone like Benji is my soigneur. He is a former Portugese national champ, and from what I’ve been told, he was the fastest in the bunch back in the day. We don’t speak, but he knows just what to do. My legs get rubbed back into condition, and my hip – wrecked from a surprise visit to the pavement – is cleaned and dressed. He always makes sure I am ready for the next day.”
We had an awesome week in Tuscany with Tenac Championship Coaching, who are the masters when it comes to guiding cyclists to become better athletes, and there’s been plenty of detailed discussions about how to make those all-important gains, but ultimately, the simplest advice we can offer to anyone dreaming of becoming fitter is this: Ride your bike. Check out their site for more info on coaching packages, or for our interview with Tenac founder Jason Tullous, click here!