We had our friend Juan Pablo Castro, who has been a professional cyclist for several years, put together some tips for you racers out there. Pablo rode for several years on the (USA) Ideal Tile/Brielle Cyclery team. When asked for the top 5 things he learned from his career, this is what he said. Check it out.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced cyclist, you will find these 5 points very helpful to further improve your racing skills. Keep in mind that the more racing you do will ultimately be your greatest teacher.
1. Proper diet and hydration along with proper training to build endurance and power will ultimately make you stronger and faster. What you have in stored energy for Sunday’s race depends on what you ate and drank the day before. Energy drinks and energy bars are great for race day supplements, but complex carbohydrates, proteins and fiber are the building blocks for proper energy reserves and fuel for race day.
2. On raceday always remain calm and focused; don’t waste valuable energy mingling around. Save all your energy for the race. Let your legs do the talking during competition and you can then socialize plenty afterwards.
3. Know your competition so as not to waste time and energy with unnecessary breaks or attacks. Race conservatively, learn how to be patient and stay out of the wind. Drafting efficiently can save valuable energy needed for a final sprint to the finish.
4. Know the terrain you are racing on. Whether racing a criterium, road race, or time trial, every course will have characteristics that determine strategy for final selection to aim for a possible win. These course characteristics will determine when to be on the alert for a possible break or when to reserve and remain sheltered by the moving peloton.
5. Be a professional in all aspects. Your racing equipment should always be clean and properly maintained. Your clothing and appearance should always be sharp. Race smart and be humble yet aggressive when race conditions call for it. Remember: talk by using your legs to ride away from your oponents when the opportunity arises.