Keys to ex­cel­lent cy­cling

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION - KEALEY

Cy­cling has quickly be­come the “make or break” com­po­nent of com­pet­i­tive draft-le­gal events. The days when all the packs con­verge and the race be­comes a foot race are over. De­vel­op­ing proper cy­cling skills are im­per­a­tive for be­ing com­pet­i­tive.

PROPER BIKE FIT: Have one done by a pro­fes­sional who un­der­stands triathlon (as op­posed to a cy­cling spe­cial­ist).

POWER PRO­DUC­TION: You need to be able to pro­duce power through torque (high re­sis­tance) and ca­dence. The de­mands of the sport re­quire an abil­ity to per­form at a va­ri­ety of ca­dences.

REPEATABILITY: Draft-le­gal rac­ing re­quires re­peated high-power ef­forts. An abil­ity to re­cover quickly and be able to sus­tain mul­ti­ple ef­forts is more im­por­tant than an ath­lete’s FTP (Func­tional Thresh­old Power). While FTP track­ing is use­ful for long-course, non-draft­ing triath­letes, it is less rel­e­vant to draft-le­gal rac­ing.

COR­NER­ING: Learn how to read the quick­est (best) line through a cor­ner.

BAL­ANCE: Proper bal­ance cre­ates con­fi­dence on the bike and helps with ped­alling skills, cor­ner­ing and pack rid­ing. In­cor­po­rate bal­ance drills into ev­ery ses­sion.

CLIMB­ING AND DESCENDING: Learn to climb prop­erly with the right gear that en­ables con­sis­tent leg turnover. Learn how to pedal even while you’re descending to take ad­van­tage of the fastest part of the course.

EQUIP­MENT AND MAIN­TE­NANCE: Know the parts of your bike and how to do gen­eral main­te­nance on it.

PACK­ING AND TRAVEL: Learn how to pack and re­build your bike. Keep a writ­ten copy of your bike fit mea­sure­ments. Buy proper tools.—greg

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