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The Simple Guide How To Improve Your Road Cycling Performance

Updated on December 28, 2014
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Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist and a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

How to achieve better results this bike racing season

Every cyclist is looking for ways to improve their racing performance. Below are a few simple ways that you can adapt and improve your training with the aim of getting that better result this season whether your are a novice road racer or just looking for inspiration for racing.

Working hard during a Circuit race breakaway
Working hard during a Circuit race breakaway | Source

How can you improve your performance

1. Train with stronger riders.

We all push ourselves to go further and faster when we're cycling with better riders. We try to sit on their wheel as the pace pushes on or stay with them for as long as possible as road snakes uphill. Riding with stronger riders makes you a stronger rider.

2. Practice high cadence work

Lots of practice cycling at high cadences helps to give riders a fluid efficient pedal stroke. It also means that a rider is comfortable cycling while using the same gear to 'spin up' to higher cadences when the pace picks up in a race

3. Always aim to be near the front of the peloton.

The closer you are to the front of the race the more you can see going on in front of you. You can see riders attacking to try to form breaks and can react accordingly if you want to chase, jump across or simply let someone else work on the front of the bunch.

4. Be aware of the course that you're racing.

How many races have you seen a breakaway go up the road on the first lap and never be seen again? I can give lots of examples. Where possible you need to have either ridden a lap or driven around in your car. This allows you to spot opportunities and points where you may be strong, or have weaknesses.

5. Always work on your weaknesses.

What do good climbers often do when they go out training- Climb, climb and... Climb. However this can put them at a disadvantage in flatter races. If you struggle when the road goes uphill you need to consider what you can do to improve- every cyclist has potential to improve.

6. Regularly practice sprints and jumps

Cycle Road races often involve large numbers of accelerations and you need to be prepared to deal with these and be able to follow these accelerations or you will end up going out of the back of the bunch chasing the peloton.

7. Chaingangs

Regular group riding and practice of 'through and off' technique hones your ability to maintain a high race pace within a bunch and is also great practice for group breakaways. They condition the body to be able to cope with the demands.

8. Mix it up

Consistently riding a road bike takes a heavy mental toll on a rider. Consider other options to fill your training time particularly in the off season and pre season to keep you feeling fresh. If you have to stay on the bike (as many of us feel guilty if we don't!) consider Cyclo Cross, mountain biking and spinning classes- it doesn't have to be competitive to get the benefits. Other options could be Running, Circuit Training, Cross Country or even Skiing.

Enjoy your racing.

Lowdham Chaingang. The author is in Blue!


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