From Winston Endall, Owner Cambridge Cycle, Cambridge Ontario.
I own a bike shop and we have our own little CrossFit gym set up in back. This season will be an interesting experiment as I have a whole race team (road and mtb) who have been training CrossFit, replacing running with cycling, instead of the traditional periodized approach to cycling. The information from Coach, Mark Twight, Eugene Allen and our own experimenting has helped us optimize on and off the bike performance. So far I'm 20% ahead of where I was the same time last year. Many of our athletes are in a similar position even though we are spending less time training each week than we had in years past.
We do 3 off the bike CrossFit workouts per week plus one interval trainer workout or single speed ride and one long (2-4 hours) bike ride outside at an aerobic pace with some sprints. Some are the actual workouts of the day and others are our own creations. I don't have them do Olympic lifts as I'm not qualified to teach them. I do cleans and snatches myself as they are the best way to build explosiveness.
We do a fitness test on the computrainer every six weeks to assess cycling performance and this mix of training has everyone improving aerobic capacity, anaerobic theshold and anaerobic endurance. As a side note I also have a few of them get blood work done and we've seen an increase in hemocrit level which make sense considering the oxygen deprivation and endocrine response from CrossFit training. More testosterone will lead to more epo production.
As cycling needs both aerobic capacity and muscular strength and endurance with powerful hip extension it just makes sense that CrossFit will improve performance.