The Benefits Of Bike Racing

  • By Robbie Ventura
  • Published Jun 29, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:38 PM UTC
Illustration by Oliver Baker.

Want to completely overhaul your cycling game? Bike racing may be the ticket. As an experiment, former pro cyclist and coach Robbie Ventura turned some triathletes into cyclists for a season. When they came back to triathlon, they not only blew away their bike PRs, they ran faster with stronger cycling legs. If you’re ready to give it a shot, follow this guide. 

In addition to practicing cornering and drafting, you should learn three major skills: tactics, positioning
and surging. Here’s how:

Test Race Tactics

Race tactics and energy conservation may be the toughest things to learn as a triathlete in bike racing. These are just as important as developing power and fitness—maybe more.

Start with some hard group rides, which can serve as a testing ground to practice your race tactics. (Note: Before you attack your local group or sit on the strongest guy like a barnacle, make sure they’re accepting of your antics.)

Experiment early on in your racing career, focusing on building experience versus results. Instead of sitting in the same position week after week, focus on specific tactics each race: Maybe one race you try to break away or maybe some races you conserve the entire race and attack with a couple of miles to go to try for the solo win. As you build your toolbox of tactics, you will start to understand the flow of racing and you may surprise yourself!

RELATED: Think Drafting Is Easy? You Try It

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