We’re delving into the second part of our series on strategy and training for particular races. This episode is all about hilly road races and winning the GC at a stage race. If you salivate over 12 percent grades, if your heart beats faster when you think about suffering in a race against the clock, then this episode is for you. Last time we talked about flat races and crits where the sprinters tend to come out on top. If that’s you, don’t worry, we’ll still talk about what you can do in these races as well.
Some of the themes we discuss include:
- Is there ever a race where you truly don’t need a sprint?
- The difference between hilly and flat races, including which are usually more dynamic, and how to know if you should favor sprint races or the tougher hilly races.
- How to approach a hilly race, both in terms of strategy and how to train for them. Hint: it’s not just about dropping weight.
- The elements of a stage race, including the crit, time trial, and road race, and which you should focus on.
- And finally, the difference between how pros and amateurs race these events, and why trying to imitate what you see at big pro races may not always work.
We caught up with two members of Rally Pro Cycling. Team Manager Pat McCarty has spent much of his adult life racing, as a junior, U23, on the WorldTour, in Europe, in the U.S., crits, climbing races, on team’s big and small. One of the Rally’s team leaders, Evan Huffman is known for his skills as a breakaway rider and time trialist. He’s coming off a phenomenal 2017 season. We reached Pat and Evan on the road while racing their spring campaign in Europe.
We also had a chance to catch up with two riders on the Trek-Segafrado WorldTour team: Kiel Reijnen shares thoughts on how the region you come from helps determine what style of racing you may like, and Toms Skujins discusses how grand tour GC riders and classics riders have to train differently.
We should also note that the training piece in the May issue of VeloNews magazine is all about how to approach both flat and hilly races.
So, click into your pedals. Put it in the big ring. Let’s make you fast!
Pat McCarty: Rally Pro Cycling team manager
Evan Huffman: Pro cyclist on Rally Pro Cycling