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Bike Track Racing Improves Road Racing

CYCLING NEWS & REVIEW: Ride Cobbles Confidently

By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist 


Photo Credit: Duncan Robertson, 2015, Newport Velodrome Icebreak 2

So, what’s it like to ride a track, rather than ride on the road? Come with me and find out as we explore Track Racing together.


Being a relative newcomer to track racing after over 10 years on the road, I have discovered the speed and excitement of whizzing around in circles. Plus, I like staying warm and dry (very appealing when living in Scotland).

However, in saying this, it’s only been in recent years that cyclists have focused or specialised on one discipline alone. Prior to this, it used to be very common to ride a bike competitively on both the track and road and excel at both. Having done track league at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow quickly followed by successive road races I am now convinced that road cyclists should add some track skills into their programme to help them on the road.

Having completed the track league at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, quickly followed by successive road races, I am now convinced that road cyclists should add some track skills into their programme. Why? Well, they will find that track racing increases their road racing skills.

Track Racing Benefits

Track racing helps with:

# 1 Positioning

We ride close together on the road, but you feel this even more on a track because you simply have to stay in the mix if you want any chance at a good placing. If you are someone that struggles with bunch positioning and having the confidence to move around comfortably, you could benefit a lot from some track sessions.

# 2 Reading Races

Track riders are notorious for finishing well in road races because they know how to read the tactics. Why? Because they’ve spent hour upon hour on the velodrome riding races that are purely designed around tactical awareness. Go try the ‘elimination’ race on the track a few times over and see how much better you feel on the road.

# 3 Speed

On the track, you have one gear and you get used to riding a very high rpm (cadence). This type of leg work out does wonders for the sprint finish on the road. Get your leg speed up and watch your places move up.

#4 Interval Workouts

Some cyclists find it really hard to push themselves on the turbo or in lone training sessions. Just 3-4 track races in a league are enough to give you the same workout as an interval session, without having to psych yourself on your own! Get in touch with a local club or National Federation to find out how you can get into track racing – highly recommend!

Thanks to my sponsors at www.genwhitson.com. You can now find me on Twitter @GenWhitson https://twitter.com/GenWhitson.

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves riding rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side. She also is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…



Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not substitutes for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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