Wahoo Kick'r Challenge: The Inaugural Segment of the Week

wahoo-fitness-announces-kickr-trainer-pricingavailability We've finally got our fancy Wahoo Kickr trainers hooked up and dialed in. And it's completely blown our minds.

Want to climb Alpe d'Huez? Go for it. The Tourmalet? Sure. Wahoo's setup is open source, and the brilliant people at Strava immediately teamed up with Wahoo to integrate all its segments. It opens the door for indoor training to not only 'get out' on your normal routes from the warmth of your basement, but riding around the world.

KikoMap is another great app that pairs real video with the Kickr. It gives you actual footage from climbs all over the world. You can upload your own footage, too; we're in the process of adding the 2013 Iceman Cometh Ice Bike race. It gives you a little bit more to stare at than just your 4,193th viewing of Top Gun. 

We'll start hosting our Kickr Challenges next Monday, with the Competition running from Monday at open until Saturday at 3pm. We'll announce the fastest time by 4pm on Saturday, before the shop closes. You can stop in during business hours, hop on the Kickr and take on the Segment of the Week.

For November and December, we'll be focusing on some of the Ardennes Classics legendary climbs. The Ardennes Classics come after the Flandrian Classics each spring. They're usually long, very hilly one-day races that culminate on tough, difficult climbs that usually rules out the cobbles men, who usually just hit the beach instead.

Two years ago, Phillipe Gilbert took an historic Triple Crown, winning all three of the Ardennes race. That triple-header includes Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Walloone, and the oldest race in the world, Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

The three races usually come in quick succession, starting with Amstel (usually the second to last weekend in April), with Fleche mid-week and the Spring Classics season capped off with La Doyenne Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Each of the races are known for their trademark finishing climbs. Amstel finishes atop the Cauberg, and it's where we'll start on Monday. Phillipe Gilbert has won atop this climb multiple times, and it's special for a lot of reasons. He's won Amstel there, but it's also where he took his World Championship.

The climb is .5 mile long and 192 feet of vertical, but you're hitting it at full gas. The gradient is 7.5% so it's steep enough that the little guys might be dancing out of sight.

And you're getting it fresh. Amstel Gold is an unbelievably tough race, as Peter Easton explains:

..applying logic to overcome a sense of incomprehension is the key to understanding this race. And there is truth in numbers. Six of the climbs come in the first 92 kilometers — one every 15.2 kilometers. The remaining 25 come over the final 165 kilometers. That’s one every 6.6 kilometers. Breaking it down further, the final hour of racing has eight climbs in 42 kilometers. Now we’re down to one every 5.25 km. At 40 km/h, that’s one every 7 ½ minutes. Not overly funny, and definitely all business.

Remember, the competition starts Monday at 10am. Now is the time to get your legs ready. Dream it, believe it, achieve it!