I'm really looking forward to this season. http://bit.ly/1gY91V2 I got an early start this year, working out in the cooler weather. I think it increases aerobic capacity. I resisted the urge to put on a coat, when I knew that I would adapt to the cold, and rapidly acclimatized to winter temps When the the temperature got into the 40-50 degree range, I went on some long rides. I thought I had a heater on board. It is necessary for mitochondria to uncouple to produce the necessary heat, so that cold adaptation can increase aerobic capacity by increasing the demand for oxygen. I realized this yesterday, when I went and gave blood, and I looked at the blood. The difference was obvious.
On the subject of blood donation, it may be possible to leverage a competitive advantage by giving blood. Skip the donation prior to competition. It is very likely that regular blood donors have an increased capacity to produce red blood cells. Add training and cold adaptation to make use of the increased hemoglobin production. Rich blood is likely a main reason athletes have lower respiration rates,but also higher capacities. It's enormously beneficial. One thing leads to another. There is evidence that higher RBC counts lead to increased healthful angiogenesis. In practical terms, I noticed right away I was far more likely to be found accelerating up the hills. Extend your range.
As always, I recommend combining strength training with this regimen. Many bicyclers could be doing more leg presses. Bicyclists training on leg presses should aim for strength improvements. It really helps get you up the steep hills.