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The Cycling Blog

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The Sprint & The Long Way Round (Part 2)

sprint tactics Jul 30, 2017

In the previous blog (The Long Way Round) our Performance Analyst Michael, wrote about the extra distances ridden when riders move up from the black line, the datum line. 

Michael’s blog last week initiated some interesting debates about the benefits of both staying in the sprinters lane, and what happens when you move up (or out) to go around another rider… As you move up the track, there is further to ride and it also means that you are out of the slipstream of another rider.

If you’re new to track cycling and unfamiliar with the ins and outs of ‘The Sprint’, it’s important to know that in the final lap/s of the sprint, once it’s deemed that a rider has initiated the ‘final sprint’ (meaning no more cat and mouse tactics), the rider in front cannot leave the sprinters lane once entered. Therefore, in order to win, the rider from the back, must go up and and around the rider to get in front. 

We know that the rider on...

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Here's a Tip to Help you Nail Your Individual Pursuit!

racing tactics training Feb 13, 2017

The individual pursuit is no doubt one of the toughest of the track cycling events, particularly if you're lining up for a longer distance - 3k or 4k pursuit.

With advancements in sports science, and feedback systems such as power cranks, training and refining, the pursuit has never been easier - not that it's an easy event to train for!

Sports science and power data aside, there's one simple rule that many riders don't quite 'nail' upon starting their pursuit...

The point at which you transition from an out of the seat acceleration into the saddle and pursuit bars.

So when do you transition?

When we coach athletes for Individual Pursuit events, we often give them three tips, one of which covers off on the transition statement above:

  1. Nail the countdown, breath through on 3 (3 seconds to go before start).
  2. Strong (pedal) strokes on go!
  3. Transition into pursuit bars when you've reached the speed you want to hold for the remainder of the pursuit.

A strong start and transition will...

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The fastest entry line for the 200m time trial

racing tactics training Jan 23, 2017

With the change in the UCI rulings, the importance of a smooth and fast 200m time has never been more important yet we have watched many cyclists get it wrong and end up with a poor seeding going into the sprint rounds. 

Finding the right entry line will differ from track to track based on the differentiation in banking gradients, transitions and track distances (e.g. 250 or 333m etc.). 

Have a look at the image below...

You'll see in the image above, we've marked out the top of the banking and placed stars which represent the position or line you may take on entry into the flying 200m.

The green arrow indicates the point on the fence line where the track starts to 'run up hill'.

One of the first things worth doing when arriving at a new track is:

Study exactly where the fence line starts to run up hill in the straights.


Because if you stick to the fence line too long on entry into the 200m effort, you'll find yourself running up hill before proceeding down hill...

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Sprint Tactics: Part 2 - 3 Strategies to Race the Sprint From the BACK!

racing tactics Jul 25, 2016

In this two part sprint tactic series we’re talking about tips and training suggestions to help you get the most out of your sprint racing!

In part one, we looked at 3 strategies and key focuses when you’re riding the sprint from the front or bottom position.

In this blog, we’re going to look at 3 strategies and training tips to ride the sprint from the back or top position.

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, sprint tactics will encompass 3 fundamental principles:

  1. Distance 
  2. Speed 
  3. Position   

Distance = The amount of distance between you and your opponent

Speed = The speed in which you ride at during the race at various stages

Position = The position you occupy on the track in relation to the track itself (e.g. how high you position yourself from the top, or how close you are to the bottom/sprinters lane)

So with these three fundamental principles in mind, let’s talk about 3 strategies you can implement in training to...

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Sprint Tactics: Part 1 - 3 Strategies to Race the Sprint From the FRONT!

racing tactics Jul 18, 2016

When it comes to mastering the craft of the ‘cat and mouse’ there are a few simple strategies that if adhered to, will give you the best opportunity tactically to out-smart your opponent.

In this blog we want to offer your 3 simple strategies to ride the sprint from the front position.

If you find you draw ‘1’ or ‘bottom’ before the race, you’ve got the job to lead the race out for the first half lap (unless of course your opponent wants to take the front position from you).

When you find yourself in this position for the first time, it can be a bit daunting and unnerving and at times you might find yourself wondering what you should be doing in this situation, this is why it’s really important to have a race plan!

Whilst your race plan may not eventuate entirely due to the unpredictability of the sprint and differing agendas of the riders, it’s important that you have a plan (even if it’s flexible) in place to...

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Race Mistakes & How to Avoid Them! [Part 2]

If you missed Part 1 of this blog, we’d recommend you go back and have a read by clicking here before continuing on to Part 2 below. 

In Part 1 we talked about 3 different types of race mistakes which occur in race events (namely bunch events) and how to avoid them.

Below, we're going to cover three more common factors which influence results and give you a few more strategies to get the most out of your riding. 

The first one is a big one... 

1. Nerves  

“Getting too nervous before your big event can affect performance!”

Pre-race nerves are a GREAT thing, but too may of them (or not enough of them) can affect your performance.

This is why it’s really important to find an optimal arousal level before your big race or event, which will enable you, perform at your very best. 

We've included a diagram below which demonstrates the relationship between nerves and performance.  

If you find you get too nervous, or the...

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Race Mistakes & How to Avoid Them! [Part 1]

racing skills tactics training May 09, 2016

We’ve all been there…

Bell rings ding ding ding, final lap...

...and you’re stuck, boxed in, and in the middle of the race field.

This is THE MOST common mistake of a guaranteed 1 in 10 riders.

Only 1 RIDER can win the race, so how do you make that rider you?

How do you avoid getting caught in places you definitely should not be with a lap to go?

In this blog, we’re going to talk race mistakes, and give you some tips on how to avoid them when you next line up on the start line.

1. Trigger-happy: When you start the sprint far too early.  

The diagram we’ve drawn above highlights what happens when you ‘hit out’ too early as you’re approaching the finish of a race.

The type of rider that you are, will dictate just how far out the most optimal place to sprint or attack will be.

For example, if you’re a really 'explosive' type of rider, suited to very short high intensity sprints, then you’ll be wanting to leave your...

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How to be a Great Track Cycling Sprinter

tactics training Apr 19, 2016

In this video, World Champion Track Cyclist, Kerrie Meares shares her secrets on how to become a great track sprinter... and it requires more than just pedalling fast.

Kerrie will share with you...

3 major elements you need to focus on, and...

6 key tactics when racing an opponent.

Leave us a comment below, we'd love to hear from you!

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