When I started racing 7 years back I had no clue how to go about it. When should I go on the attack and when should I sit back were question racing through my mind and the answers I learnt with experience as time and years passed on. Every race has various scenarios and adapting accordingly is key to winning and today I am going to tell you about the 5 Golden rules every beginner road bike racer should know.
To win any race you’ve got to know about your competitors especially the top 5-6 guys and strategize accordingly. Knowing your competition is an integral part of any race. You can find plenty of data about them online or in magazines etc. Remember, if these guys go at it from the start so will you have to.
These guys are experienced and catching up with them later may not always be that easy. Adapt as per the situation.
Preserve your energy
Remember, races aren’t about who starts the fastest. They usually depend on 2-3 huge speed bursts towards the end of the race. Rest of time you need to ensure you stay close, maintain a good lap time and counter strategically which is going to require loads of energy and thinking.
Avoid burning yourself out too early into the race and keep it for the latter half. Very often the outcome of the race is decided in these stages so prep well for them.
Know when to attack
They key to a good attack lies in the timing. Yes you’ve got to keep it for the final third but make sure you do it before anyone else. Wait too long and you’ll never catch up. It’s an art you’ll learn with experience.
I would suggest you wait till the other racers tire out both physically and mentally. Keep your attacks silent. Be like a ninja by doing it at the right time. This way others won’t see you a threat and will hardly react.
Maintain a certain distance
Yes you’ve got to take it slow at the start but make sure you do not fall behind too much. Maintaining the right amount of gap is important for a good final half of the race. Keep an eye out for landmarks to judge the distance and speed up if needed.
Know the finish line
Since so much of the race depends on the latter half it’s important to know how far the finish line lies. Beginner races tend to end at the starting spot itself. Keep an eye out for descents, climbs and corners.
Memorize the route especially the tougher parts and plan accordingly. You want to avoid a situation where your months and years of training go down the drain because you missed out on the final climb or corner.
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