This past Wednesday evening was our June ALP ride and the topic was criterium racing. Criterium (crit) racing is a lot more than going around in a circle for 45min and sprinting at the end. Tactics, skills, team work, and fitness all come into play when racing a crit.
The things we talked about and practiced were:
-Tactics- decide on a race plan (tactic) pre ride, and execute it in the race. However, be open and prepared to switch to a Plan B if Plan A doesn’t or won’t work.
-If you are racing on a hilly crit course, there are places where you need suffer and push hard (uphills and toward the finish) and there are places where you can recover (downhills and corners- if you have proficient cornering and descending skills).
-Depending on the course, you may need to switch into your small ring to save your legs and carry speed. We talked about where to shift, what gears to use, big ring/small ring?_____________________________________________________________________________________
June Coaching Special! Join ALP Cycles Coaching and we’ll waive your start-up fee- a $75 value. When you’re an ALP Cycles athlete you get to ride with your coach, receive feedback on every workout and race, and learn race tactics by some of the best bike racers in the country. ALP Cycles Coaching takes the care needed to develop each person into the best cyclist they can be. http://alpcyclescoaching.com/coaching.php
-When racing a crit, your line through the corners and around the course matters.You want to choose the shortest line, protect your inside through corners, and take the straightest line to the finish.
-A really important race tactic is to read other people and other teams in the race. Watch and listen to what your opponents are doing and anticipate their next move.
– Lastly, positioning in a crit is very important. The better you are at keeping a position near the front of the race, the more energy you will have at the end of the race for when the going gets tough. Being at the front of the race makes it easier to carry speed through corners, follow attacks/accelerations, and sprint for the win.
We practiced these tips and skills in 3 mini races- each person for themselves- no team work. It was hard, it was fun, and we all learned a lot.