Road Racing is one of the most diverse and challenging types of cycling. With a wide variety of length, format, and terrain, it takes a specific mix of skill, strategy, and fitness to excel in this type of competition.
Athletes often compete in two common race formats: mass-start races and time trials. Some races take the form of stage races – or tours – over multiple days where riders complete several mass-start or time-trial stages riding consecutively.
Whether you’re new to the sport or a veteran, road racing is challenging and rewarding. The key to success is periodized training that develops your aerobic energy system and sharpens your event-specific fitness.
The right equipment is essential to success in road races: Skin suits, special bikes and aero helmets are all required for time-trials, while deep-race tires and high-clearance wheels are best for mountainous events. A quality set of racing shoes is also a must for any road rider, as it’s easy to lose traction and control while riding on rough roads.
Stay strong in your first crit:
The most popular and most difficult road race format, a criterium consists of repeated laps of a course consisting of short loops. These loops can be a few kilometers or more in length and are usually paced as if a criterium were being held on the track, with a variety of attacks and sprint finishes.
The shortest, most technical, and fastest of the bunch-riding road races, criteriums are a great place to build your skills as a rider. They involve corner after corner of tight turns, requiring strong handling and fast reaction times.