Our 5 Top Tips for CX Racing - Kinesis Bikes
CX racing top tips

Our 5 Top tips for CX Racing

We take you through our best five tips for racing Cyclo Cross if your a seasoned racer or total newcomer we have some handy hints to help you on your way to racing success. All words by our in house Cx Junkie Bruce Dalton of Team Kinesis UK

top 5 cx racing tips

Prepare your bike and self

Excuses are easy but getting yourself sorted isn’t always simple. It can be a positively stressful affair on the day of your race despite being a regular racer or rider. Taking time the day before to prepare your bike for the race makes a big difference, its easier to set everything up in your own garage than in a muddy field with 1 hour to go before your start. I have a checklist I follow in my head after the shoe incident (once drove all the way to Scotland and forgot my shoes) this makes it a lot easier to set your mind at ease that all you need is prepared and ready. If it’s easier than remembering, prepare a checklist of everything you need to take to each race.
Preparing yourself, whatever level you are you will benefit is a smart investment of time before any race. This can just be making the time to practice a simple skill. Even just one session a week spent doing CX skills can hugely improve your race ability. Taking time to practice things like pedalling round corners or getting clipped in fast will make racing easier.

Top tip: Have a check list and practice your skills both slow speeds (to get used to them) and racing speeds.

cx racing tips

Practice the course slow and fast

It might sound like an obvious thing to say, but doing two laps of a CX course before you race will do wonders for your confidence. It will help you decide tactics and give you time to remember and plan your approach. This weekend I raced and feel into classic sheep territory, it’s easy to follow the rider in front, taking the same lines around corners seems logical but sometimes you can find other lines and techniques around corners that are faster.
A useful learning tool would be some of the video’s made by iIn the ‘cross hairs. These are great ways to learn how the best riders in the world ride races and around courses. For example, see how Sven Nys, the king of ‘cross, used his line choice while racing to outsmart his competitors at last years Koksijde world cup.

Check here

top 5 tips for cx racing

Warm up and fuel up

If you want a guaranteed way to feel pain, do a cyclo-cross race with zero warm up. To really enjoy your cross racing a good warm up is key. Three hours to go before the start of your race, have a good meal and make sure you have enough fluids to hand. I’d try to drink 1.5l of electrolyte drink in the next few hours in the run up to the race to ward off cramp. Snacking up to an hour to go is acceptable but beware of racing too full or too empty, this is personal preference but even in an hour it’s pretty easy to get hungry or wish you’d drunk a little bit more. Top Tip: surround yourself with easy to eat and digest food and keep several small bottles handy to save searching for one in the heat of your warm up.

cx racing top tips

Get your mindset right

Your head is the most important thing for letting your legs do the talking. Be realistic with your capabilities and focus on your strengths. It’s easy to get carried away on the day of the race, even on the first lap you can expend more energy than you might need to! I have a terrible habit of looking down when I’m suffering, keep your head high, stay alert, back off and make less mistakes.

top 5 cyclocross racing tips

Remember it is just about having fun.. it’s not your day job.

It’s very easy in the heat of the moment to fire off, to explode with rage at being pushed wide around a corner or end up eating dirt and it “ruining your race”. But don’t forget you’ve made all the effort to get to that moment so it’s far easier to enjoy it and laugh at the face of your misfortune than it is to be angry at something you can’t control. The great thing about racing is that you can improve your own performance lap on lap and falling off on muddy grass is far more pleasant than crashing on the road, sometimes you can even laugh! Don’t forget that it’s supposed to be fun.

cyclocross racing tips

We wish you all the best luck this season! #WeAreCross

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