Criterium racing training strategies:
Ride in groups
learn the signals
comfort in close packs
practice wheel bumping / shoulder bumping
dont overlap wheels
Sprint Intervals (30 secs) followed by 5-10 min rest
Know time to fastest point – x finish
How long can you maintain max speed? (buffer)
High cadences up until sprint – then mash
What cadence results in max speed?
What position on bike results in max speed?
Play games with friends – missing outs , stand still to sprint over 1/4 mile, gear restrictions
practice drafting – learn how to find “the bubble”
learn the race course – pre ride
practice your bike handling – use cones, parking lots
get to know the riders in your community, make friends, find allies
learn the winds. How do the winds favor you? How can they hurt you?
shave your legs (crashes are common in the crit)
Know the environment and learn how to ride in a variety of conditions.
Learn to drink strategically – don’t want to sprint with water sloshing inside
Fuel and hydrate before race
inflate tires to max pressure 120 (clinchers)-140 (sewups) psi
show up early – get your number and warm up
work out butterflies – warm up thoroughly, do not sprint – light easy warm up
Who else is there racing with you? Scope out the competition.
Get on line. Up front is better, but, start with a little shoulder room
inexperienced racers tend to go hard at the start. Pick a spot in the middle to front pack and just hang. Wait til they tire and then position yourself strategically.
Be careful at the start, riders in the middle to back of the pack may fall off, split and leave you looking for a way to get up to the front pack.
If this happens, look for a wheel and get on it. Try not to do this alone, try not to take a pull.
calm the nerves and just ride safe, stay towards the front end of the pack. Find a steady wheel, someone you know, or someone who wants to maintain a place up front and just stay on the wheel.
drink water sparingly
learn to move up
don’t be afraid to bump shoulders, don’t be intimidated
maintain awareness of the flow of the race. Keep your head up, don’t get tunnel vision
stay up front (6th-8th position)
work with a friend (double victory)
Tell Dave Fish story
Learn your opponents
sandbag or show no pain – depends on who you’re with and if they know you (don’t reveal that you are a threat)
Best sprinters: observe styles, timing. How do they get up front?
Tyler Ferrar – low out of saddle in drops
Thor Hushov – in the saddle
Tom Boonen – low out of saddle in drops
Mark Cavendish – in drops out of saddle
Save your power until the last 30 seconds
There is a 30 sec lag between power and heart rate, once your heart reaches 100% of max, you only have a few seconds left
towards the end of the race, look for someone you know who will give a strong lead out
define lead out
or, look for someone who sprints well and stay on the wheel
inexperienced riders tend to start the sprint too early
don’t be lured by an early sprint, dont get out front, stay on a wheel and ride it until you reach your optimum sprint distance, Then, go from wheel to wheel until you cross the line