Riders To Watch: Todd Herriott

By: news@racelistings.com
Posted: Jul 8, 2002

Todd Herriott off the front at the Tour of Maplewood. Photo credit: Zui Hanafusa
Tell us about your background in cycling. I started racing as a junior in Nebraska in 1985. I raced locally for the most part because there weren't a lot of guys around that I knew who were really going out and doing it. I was reading a lot of Winning magazines and trying to figure out how to get to the bigger races. I was an average rider at best and like most of the guys my age at that time, our training methods were pretty suspect - ride as fast as you can, try to crack everyone, have a Coke and do it again the next day. I went to school in Boston and finally started racing the bigger races. I got hooked up with a local team - Broadway Kitchen, that had some really good riders. After I graduated I started racing and travelling a lot more and hooked up with a really good coach - Tom Erhard, who taught me a lot about HR training and recovery. I started making trips down to Tucson in the winter time and I moved to Iowa City, Iowa in the summertime in the early nineties. I raced for a team called Ordinary, a strong regional team at the time and started getting some good results. After a lot of near misses and financial break downs I left the sport completely in 1996 and didn't race and hardly rode until my first season back, 2001. I missed racing and wanted to try to enjoy it again - I'm enjoying it but man oh man, guys have gotten a lot faster! You had a great ride in the Pro/1-2 race at Fitchburg where you finished 6th (first amateur) on what is arguably the hardest stage of the race - the mountain top finish at Wachusett Mountain. Tell us about your ride that day. After a disappointing TT and a missed opportunity in the circuit race (and fear of dying) the road race offered the only real chance for a guy on a small team to move up on the GC. I knew that I couldn't ride away from those guys but I was confident that I could stay in the race until the final climb. I figured if I could do that I would be able to hold my own on the climb and make up some time and gain some GC spots. The last two times up the feed hill were pretty savage and that made the first real selection. I was tired but happy to be in the company I was in - that no doubt inspired me a little bit. The finish was hard for everyone, it came down to how much suffering could you endure. I'd like to think the hundreds of hill repeats and long long rides throught the winter and spring also had something to do with the outcome You started this season racing in Cuba. What was that experience like? The racing in Cuba was some of the hardest I have ever experienced - period. The Vuelta de Cuba was hard enough at 10 days with many stages of 200km with serious climbing but the two shorter stage races we did leading up to the Vuelta and the 12 days of training camp rides were probably a little more than I was prepared to handle, especially after just having come back to racing the season before. Perhaps too much too soon. Recovery was very difficult becasue we didn't have access to the right foods and if you aren't recovering you're digging a hole. My hole became very deep and on the 5th day of the Vuelta, I couldn't even turn the pedals. I spend the next week on the toilet and I lossed around 8-10 pounds. These were not happy days. The illness pretty much ruined my aspirations for March in California but those miles and that racing has started to pay off more now. I placed 3rd on GC for the 2nd stage race which had a big mountain day and 5th on day 2 of the Vuelta. Not a complete wash racing wise and really good cultural experience. I'll go back but I'll bring more handy-wipes this time. What are your goals for the rest of the season? I'm looking to have a good ride at Nationals and during the six NRC days of Superweek. After that I'm going to chill a little bit and I'm looking for some good rides at Altoona and Green Mountain. Univest and Bear Mountain are big goals for the Fall and a good finish at the Michelin Classic would be a proper ending to the season - but there are so many factors. What do you like best about cycling? What do you like least?
Todd Herriott at the Blue Bell Cycling Classic. Photo credit: Zui Hanafusa
I like the travel and running into guys I haven't seen in say 10 years who are still hitting it hard. I don't like the in-fighting and the elitist attitudes that many cyclists tend to have. At the end of the day it's supposed to be a good time. I'm as competitive as anyone but thee aren't enough of us to be going after each other all of the time. We are riding bikes, not saving the planet - we need not take ourselves so serious all of the time. For those of you also trying to save the planet - I take back what I just said. What is a typical training week like for you? Now that I'm in season, my hours have dropped pretty dramatically and I'm spending a lot of time recovering from not only the race miles, but the travelling as well. I'll ride some volume and do some specific workouts as I prep for Nationals and the big one day events. For me, being rested and recovered is a good recipe for a good ride. I logged big hours in Dec, Jan and Feb and all of that work has really paid off. What pro rider do you admire most? There are many. Anyone who makes it to that level and lives the life is due some admiration. If I had to pick one in the U.S., I'd say Gord Fraser. I was lucky enough to spend time training and hanging out with Gord during my days in Tucson and he showed a lot of class then, well before he became big news. I ran into him last year after about 8 years and he was the same great guy only a little faster and a lot more well known. He trains hard and races really smart. In Europe - David Extabaria. He can do it all and he's small - like me! I don't know him at all but I like the way he rides. What is your favorite race? Snake Alley Criterium, Illinois. A great course with the famous Snake Climb, cobbled and bottle necked, it's a strong man course. My best result there was only 7th and that was in 94'- I haven't done it since but I plan to hit it again next year. What are your long term goals in cycling? After so much time away, I feel like I just started again but the reality is that I probably have 4 years or so to ride at the elite level, so I plan to make the most of every day. Ultimately I'd like to play a support role on a domestic pro team for a few years and I've always wanted to ride in Philly. Todd Herriott Bio: Birthdate: 5/6/69 Born: Witchita, KS Resides: Manhattan, NY Maximum HR: 186 Resting HR: 43 Watts/KG: unknown max watts per 3 min int 400 mx watts/bodywt ratio 8.5 Height: 5' 7' Weight: 145 Current Team: CRCA-Think Racing Category: 1 Do you have a full-time coach?: no Do you train with a hear rate monitor?: yes Favorite Food: Mrs. T's Perogies w/ a massive amount of Olive oil, parmesean cheese and pepper. Best enjoyed with a Rolling Rock and chased with a handful of pitted prunes to help the process. Favorite Book: Aesops Fables Favorite Type of Music: real 80's alternative