Racing without a fundamental understanding of tactics is like going to a joust without a lance. You’re going to get skewered. In the absence of tactics, the strongest riders would win all bike races. Strategy and tactics are the tricks that allow an athlete or team to beat others with equal or better fitness and speed.
On May 25, 2013, Jade Wilcoxson was crowned National Champion at the USA Cycling Pro Road Race in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has been racing only five years altogether, and only two years as a pro. That’s a pretty quick trip to the top. As Jade says, “In recent memory most women’s National Champs have been riding many more years than that.
In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.- Johann Wolfgang von Goeth
Several years ago, the training blogosphere was atwitter with posts from and about a masters racer who had done well for many years, including some podium spots at Nationals.
This article by Scott Saifer, M.S. first appeared in ROAD Magazine in April of 2014.
“Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.
Aspiring elite bike racers must prepare for success over several years. Elite-level performance requires numerous specific skills and aspects of fitness, each of which takes time to develop. Some, such as aerobic power or descending skills, will develop gradually over several years and will last even if they are not specifically practiced for a few months.
“Hands in the drops, please!” As the Head Mentor for the NCNCA (Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association), this is a phrase I find I have to repeat over and over as I am instructing beginning racers. Riding in the drops (the lower, curved section of your handlebars) is a basic skill that takes time to learn and perfect.
A strong drive to win is a necessity for bike racing success. Something has to make one keep training, keep eating right and keep pedaling no matter what happens. Some riders have plenty of motivation, while drive is a limiter for others. As is the case with other limiters, the off-season is the time to work on correcting this deficiency. Strong motivation must be in place before racing starts.
Road riding and racing season is here, and with this may come some anxiety. Many riders, already nervous descending on the road bike, are really frightened by the prospect of descending in a peloton or group. Use these tips to help you to gain confidence in your ability to descend.
A peak is a period within a racing season when a rider is at his or her competitive best. Most serious riders plan to do many races during a season, but have a few particular races or periods of racing at which they want to do especially well. Some get fired up for the biggest races in their region or in the world, while others just want revenge or another shot at a favorite race.
Exercise physiology textbooks generally devote several chapters to the three energy systems that power muscle contractions and how the three systems interact to support various intensities and durations of exercise. They tell us that adenosine tri-phosphate or ATP is the carrier that finally delivers energy for muscle contractions no matter what the source of that energy may be.