Matt Clin­ton’s top tips for hill-climb­ing suc­cess

Cycling Weekly - - Fitness -

1 Take what’s not needed off your bike. Bar tape is sur­pris­ingly heavy. Sad­dle packs, bot­tle cages — ditch them too. Hill-climbs are timed to the 100th of a se­cond, so ev­ery gram counts. 2 Recce the climb be­fore the race. Make sure you know what you’re let­ting your­self in for. Of­ten, the guys who win on tech­ni­cal climbs are the ones who have rid­den them lots be­fore. Do­ing a recce will help you de­cide on what tyre pres­sure you need (to main­tain trac­tion) and what lines to take. 3 Pac­ing. The recce will help you with this. Hill-climb ef­forts are well above your thresh­old power, but you need to con­trol it and not blast off at 1,000W. You want to be on the limit but with­out blow­ing un­til the end. 4 Tyre pres­sure and choice. Hill­climbs take place in au­tumn, when the com­bi­na­tion of steep gra­di­ents and wet leaves can cause wheels to spin, so 19mm tyres, al­though lighter, aren’t a good idea. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s best to use a heav­ier, wider tyre. 5 Warm up well. Hill-climb ef­forts are ex­tremely in­tense, so a good warmup of around 20 min­utes is es­sen­tial to get your best per­for­mance. It loosens you up for the race, gets your mus­cles nice and warm and gets you in the zone. Aim to fin­ish the warm-up within 10 min­utes of the start.

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