A small number of the many people who take up cycling, go on to reach a very high level of ability, and with bike riding being such an addictive leisure pursuit, it’s hardly surprising that some riders become engrossed enough to go all the way to the top. If you have come up through the ranks and are now ready for some serious racing, here are a few tips to help ensure success.
Join a Road Racing Club
Regular cycling groups won’t be advanced enough to test a good rider, so it is essential to mix with other riders of the same ability level, and only by doing that can you expect to develop more as a rider. Ideally, you would have a mentor, someone who is more experienced, and they can teach you the tactics for successful racing, which involve correct pacing and racing strategies. Most serious clubs would have their own cycling jerseys, and by wearing one, the other riders will know which camp you are training with.
Like most sports, road racing is all about time, and by keeping track of your times, you should be able to consistently shave a little off your personal best, and then you will have a good idea how you compare to the competition. Training rides should be designed to push you to your boundaries, and with some guidance, you should be ready for an amateur race within a few months. Training and preparation are essential for serious competition riders, and with back breaking hill climbs, your stamina and strength will develop accordingly.
Of course, your food intake should be adequate for your physical output, and you might want to think about some supplements, which is an easy way to make sure your diet is suitable for heavy duty riding. This is one area you cannot afford to overlook, as if your body is not receiving the right minerals and vitamins, it will have a negative effect on your performance.
These are learned the hard way, and with regular group riding sessions, you can practice reeling in riders who have made a break, and also breaking away yourself. The timing of a sprint break is critical, as once you have left the pack, you will need sufficient stamina to put distance between yourself and the pack behind you. Very often, if a rider breaks too soon, the pack will not make any serious attempt to catch up, as they know that in time, the leading rider will tire. Once you are out on your own, then you have lost the reduction in air resistance that you get when you have a group of bodies in front, and this does make a difference.
The right training program is essential if you wish to be successful, and with the right attitude and determination, you will soon gain valuable riding experience at a high level, and hopefully, will acquire some trophies before too long.