Warminsterwobble – A precise set of legs and lungs stands you in precise stead for cyclocross racing, however the field rewards bike-dealing with knowledge a long way extra than different branches of avenue racing. There are several ‘go competencies you’ll want to climb up the field. Many of those also are accessible at the avenue.
Practising getting on and stale your bike, in addition to jogging with it, will make your initiation to cyclocross racing much less daunting.
Although you simplest do it once, getting out of the blocks fast is one of the maximum critical elements of the race. As you progress, you’ll discover ways to scythe thru corners via way of means of now no longer touching the brakes and scale steep banks with out getting off the bike.
The maximum superior racers will even bunnyhop to precise impact to hold velocity and keep away from punctures. Key cyclocross competencies and a way to preparation them
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A rapid begin in a cyclocross race enables keep away from congestion at the primary corners and may be pivotal to basic positioning.
The term ‘holeshot’ describes the flat-out sprint from the startline to the primary bend. The quickest riders to rise up to hurry can damage clean or make up floor if they’ve began out close to the returned of the grid.
You want to react unexpectedly to the begin signal, clip in at some point of the primary pedal stroke and be in the best equipment to electricity away. The nice cyclocross footwear are a large assist with this.
If you’re new to using with clipless pedals, that is a key talent to practise – you need the technique of clipping in to sense like 2d nature.
How to Improve Your Cyclocross Starts
Find the type of terrain you are likely to start on
Choose a gear low enough to ride from stationary, but not so low you’ll spin out
Clip in one foot, as you would in the starting grid
Practise clipping in the other foot and pedalling away as hard as you can
Dismounting And Remounting Your Bike
Tom Pidcock shows how to leap back on while swinging his right leg over the saddle.
Obstacles, such as barriers, may call for you to get off your bike. Technical sections, such as banks and mud, can often be quicker to run than ride.
On all but the fastest and driest of courses, where you’ll spend more time seated, your aptitude in this area could save or cost you minutes.
Running dismounts maintain precious speed you’ve worked hard to build up. Remounting on the move gets you back to speed quicker after a fall or bike change.
Mastering this is a key skill for any serious cyclocross racer and, as silly as it might feel, practising this is key if you want to be competitive.
How To Improve Your Cyclocross Dismounts And Remounts
Lay a stick or marker on flat ground in front of you as your obstacle
Pedal towards it holding the hoods
About 10m away, unclip your right foot, keeping your left foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke
Bring your right leg over the bike behind your left
Unclip your left foot and switch into a run
From the left side of the bike, push off with your hands on the bars
Take two steps, ending up on your left foot
Leap off this foot and bring up your right leg with knee bent
Try to slide smoothly onto the saddle, making contact with the inside of your right thigh
Once squarely seated, your momentum should allow you to clip back in while turning the pedals
Carrying And Shouldering Your Bike in Cyclocross
World Junior Road Race champion Zoe Backstedt is among many road stars who excel in ‘cross.
Sometimes, lifting your bike and running is the best way forward on unrideable sections or when competitors have stopped in front of you. If you push the bike over rough or muddy terrain, you’ll find it hard to control and the chain will bounce about.
Thankfully, the best cyclocross bikes are exceptionally light and relatively easy to carry. Many will also have specially shaped top tubes to aid carrying. Both techniques for doing so are more comfortable once you’re removed the bottle cages from your frame.
How to practise carrying your bike for cyclocross racing
Once dismounted, hold the brake hood with your left hand and put your right through the frame
Holding the underside of the down tube, lift the top tube onto your right shoulder
Taller riders can pull off this alternative, more secure method
Lift the bike by the top tube and pass your right elbow through the frame to rest it on your shoulder
For stability, grip the the left brake hood or drop
Pump your left arm to propel you as you run
Bunnyhopping in cyclocross
This technique gets you over small obstacles without having to dismount. It can bring high rewards.
At regional races, you’ll see the top riders jump skilfully over wooden barriers and overtake rivals as they remount and clip in.
But, as anyone who has not gained enough air to clear the blocks of wood will testify, bunnyhopping is high risk.
Only a fraction of pros in the men’s and women’s World Cup series will dare try it. Loss of time, injury and a race-ending mechanical are possible pitfalls.
If you’re unsure whether it’ll pay off, it’s best to use the running dismount.
How to practise bunnyhops for cyclocross racing
Imagine an obstacle and ride towards it
Pick yourself out of the saddle with level and bent knees
Lean your weight back while pulling the handlebar towards you
With the front wheel airborne, move your weight forwards and push the handlebar away and down
This should pop the back wheel up
Pulling up with your feet can also help clear the obstacle
Cornering in cyclocross racing
Choosing the right line through a corner increases your exit speed, allowing you to surge out of it.
Look where you want to go, and then your head and body should follow. By holding your weight back, the front wheel can turn freely and will be less likely to lose grip.
A straighter line is a faster line, so seek traction and take the widest line you can before braking and then turning. Tyres struggle to do both at the same time without understeering or sliding.
On reverse cambers and slippy bends or descents, where grip is at a premium, pros often employ a technique called ‘scooting’.
They unclip one foot, usually the inside, and touch the ground for balance or to propel themselves around the corner.
How to improve your cornering in cyclocross racing
Lay out cones in a 20m square and ride round and round as fast as you can before changing direction
Place cones in a line, as tight or far apart as you want, and ride hard, weaving in and out
Although no amount of training will see us rocket up climbs as fast as van der Poel, practising on steep banks is valuable for CX racing and road riding.
Racers who can ride over short, sharp climbs can carry more speed over the crest and put time into rivals.
They dance athletically past us mere mortals scrambling and slipping our way up – made more ungainly by a two-wheeled burden.
But there’s no magic involved. They’ve just perfected the technique, and so can you.
Time taken experimenting with gearing and finding the best line on practice laps will be well spent. Aim to carry as much speed into the bottom as possible, and select the appropriate gear in advance so you don’t falter later.
Adjust your weight distribution between the rear wheel, for grip, and the front for steering and to stop it lifting. It’s a matter of strength to keep the pedals turning.
How to improve your climbing for cyclocross racing
Find a sheer uphill bank or ﬂight of steps 10–15m long
Ride up as far as you can
Dismount if you need, shoulder the bike and sprint up