How exactly do you race better?  Coach Sam Bassetti and myself have put together this flow chart to highlight a few nuggets that might just get you over the hump and in the win column in your next race.

Training can be confusing. In our free eBook, we’ll show you four ways to use your data and insights from science to ride better than ever.

A few details for how to best use the graphic below:

  • Start by asking yourself the question, “why do I race”?  There’s no right/wrong answer.  Some riders love to simply line up and experience the thrill of competing in a group environment.  Others are focused on winning, or helping a teammate win each time they pin on a number.  Either answer is fine, just be aware that for the most part, the two choices are mutually exclusive.  If you’re racing like a participant, while hoping to win, you’ll likely never step foot on a podium and be frustrated the entire time.  Figure out your motives and pick a lane.
  • If you’re racing to win, start with the most basic race skills of maintaining and improving position in a peloton.  From there you can move to more advanced “race craft” tactics.  Obviously this list is not exhaustive.  The infinite possibilities in a bike race are what make cycling so amazing.  The main point is to use this flow chart as a starting point to begin thinking more methodically about how you (or your team) races.

One final note.  Trying to remember hundreds of skills in the middle of a race can feel impossible.  Save the in depth analysis for after the race.

When you’re in the thick of the action, focus on these two simple questions.  1.  Am I where I want to be?  2.  How can I get where I want to be in the most energy efficient manner possible?

Best of luck as you jump into your next race and continue to explore the incredible sport of bike racing!

Feel free to click on the image and download a full resolution graphic

Written by Nate Dunn M.S.

Nate Dunn has spent his entire career in education and coaching. As a former teacher and now founder/head coach at Data Driven Athlete, he is most excited about helping cyclists discover their potential as they experience more great days on the bike.