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Road Stage Racing

Road racing takes place on predominantly paved surfaces. Teams are very common in road racing, which contributes to its tactical nature, and very often you do not get to pick your own pace; the group as a whole picks the pace for you. This tends to make road racing more dynamic and stochastic in speed than a Gran-Fondo event, for example. As teams or individual riders try to gain an advantage over other riders, there will be attacks and breakaways that will require you to react to hard efforts, and recover in time for the next one. This requires a very well rounded rider who is able to spin comfortably on the bike for hours at a time, but also respond and recover from hard efforts throughout the race.

Two Approaches to Road Racing:

Dynamic Approach

A dynamic approach to Road Racing is appropriate for the rider who likes to "animate" the race. These riders will attack early and often, creating a bit of a hectic race environment. This approach is especially useful for courses with rolling hills since these dynamic riders are able to ride very hard for the duration of the hill, recover, and then hit it again shortly after.  

This approach can be used to some degree for mountainous road stages as well if you are the type of rider that prefers to conduct multiple attacks on the way to the summit rather than one, steady and sustained effort.

Optimal Training Approach (Dynamic)

Base:  Sweet Spot Base I&II   

Build:  General Build

Specialty: Rolling Road Race

 

Steady Approach

A steady approach to Road Racing would be what many describe as a "diesel engine", meaning steady power output for extended periods of time. This is a great attribute for long, mountainous stages where reaching the summit while spending the least amount of energy is crucial. This approach is also a great option for breakaway artists because it will allow you to maintain very high amounts of power for an extended period of time while you slave away to keep the peloton at bay.

Optimal Training Approach (Steady)

Base:   Sweet Spot Base I&II   

Build:  General Build

Specialty: Climbing Road Race

 

Aerodynamics

Due to the high speeds encountered in road racing, your aerodynamic drag plays a big role in how fast you are able to go at a certain wattage.  Of course, aerodynamic drag is not something we can get rid of entirely, however, by taking steps to minimize drag, we can reduce the watts wasted to the wind and go faster for the same power output.

How to Make Your Position More Aerodynamic

Aerodynamic Equipment Choices that Make You Faster

Strategy

Conserving Energy in a Pack

Pre-Race Fueling

Recovering Between Stages

Not quite the perfect fit?

Road Racing:  If your target event is a standalone road race rather than a stage racing event, check out this article.  

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