Keys to excellent cycling
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