How to Race like a Champion in a Cycling Competition

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Following are the two aspects of improving cycling skills.

There are 30 seconds left. You may lean on the start ramp. 20 seconds left, you can click into your pedals. 10 seconds left, you should adjust your goggles. And then five seconds countdown, 5, you stand. Four, you lean back. Three, you have a deep breath. Two, Ok. One, your mind goes silent. Go! At the same time, your body erupts. You try your best to pedal, pedal, pedal and then turn, turn, turn. You ride over the rocks, down the chute, off the drop. Actually, there are as many various kinds of downhill as there are mountains. Most of the competitions are lasting two to five minutes. But a few, just like the Downieville Downhill, can run up to an hour or longer. The speed you ride may vary according to the terrain. You know, top downhillers must be capable of quick reflexes, otherworldly bike-handling skills, total-body strength, and a mix of anaerobic and aerobic fitness. Of course, being confident doesn't hurt.

So here are some techniques to help you dominate your next downhill competition. And you will race like a champion.

1.1. Get a better knowledge of the course

You should keep the state of your mind normal, regarding the downhill. To know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat. l racing as a normal trail riding. You get to memorize the course and go as fast as you want. The better you know the course, the faster you can ride. But at most races, you have not enough time to learn the course, so effective practice is most important. In the following part, there is some advice from World Cup champion downhiller Steve Peat.

1.2. Get a general understanding of the course before you ride it

I mean general understanding not to memorize the whole course. I mean, you can get the overall layout. Predict how you will handle the tricky sections and imagine yourself riding the course. Make full use of a short, crowded practice session and check out the course for the first time. It's helpful for you to make a plan while walking the course. It can make you ride faster sooner.

1.3. Practice many runs

You know, Peat, the champion, usually gets six to seven runs on day 1 of practice, and then four to five on day 2, and two runs on race day. But attention, make sure that you can learn something every run. After all, doing runs blindly just tires you out. When you do runs, do full runs. Peat rides top to bottom every time. He puts the emphasis on the different sections on every run. Finally, when the downhill race comes, he knows exactly how long he has to stand the pummeling.

1.4. Thinking is your weapon

You go over the course, your lines and your speed between runs. You may think, which lines should I try this time? Where can I go faster? Compare the notes with people you believe. Watch the faster riders, and bear in mind that pros do things easily which would hurt you.

"Sometimes it maims to watch other people," says Peat. "It looks like they're hauling ass, and you get worried, but if you watch yourself ride the section, you're hauling ass too. It's a big mind trip. You have to fix on your own thing."

Pay attention to people you respect. If Peat is at a 4X and he is watching or maybe getting eliminated early (ouch!), when he tells you, "You got it," which assures you that you definitely have it. You may know already, but when you hear that, it really clicks.

2. Cross-country

Cross-country racing is usually a tiresome riding whether it's 20 minutes, two hours, or a whole day. It's only faster, harder and more painful. You may ride in a tangle of type-A-go-getters. When it comes to cross-country races, the first thing is the traffic.

2.1. Tackle the traffic

You will eventually choke dust, annoy slowdowns, and perhaps a poor result unless you start like a nitro-burning funny car. To tackle mass-starting racing, you had better learn to pass.

2.2. Don't follow others

This means that treat other racers as obstacles, like trees. You wouldn't ride up to a tree, hit the brakes, and wait for it to get out of the way, would you? As a matter of fact, most cross-country competitions have to end up due to the parades. You cannot keep an eye out for passing spots as long as you follow. And in the end, you end up part of the flock.

2.3. Pass smoothly

Don't keep the stupid idea that you try to catch someone, slow to the same speed, and then accelerate past. You should plan your pass so that you can whiz by without any braking or accelerating as you overtake another racer. Actually, passing in corners is the most effective. I'm sorry to say this, but most cross-country amateurs cannot turn worth a damn; they slow down too much to carve the corner, take early apexes, and stall on the exit. Get out a high-low or low-high pass, or blitz by a far-inside line. Do remember that if it's within the course markings, it is not illegal. That kind of narrow strip of tracked dirt is fine for slow sheep, but not for a speedy wolf like you.

So much about the skills that can make you race like a champion. In effect, these are only narrow skills. You are far from the champion if you just get these. If you would like to master further cycling techniques, you can read other relative texts on our website(