Your Post-race Homework Assignment

Team Meetings

You've taken care of yourself, now it's time to focus on the team. It's very important to have a team meeting after the race is over to discuss each other's experiences and views, of course assuming your team or a teammate was present. A lot of teams meet before the race and come up with a race strategy (that usually changes), but few get together and talk about what transpired when things are fresh in their minds.

I highly recommend this be done in person and not via email. Email can be used as a follow up. Getting together in person, face-to-face while things are fresh, is the best way of going about it. No one is excused. After the race, do a cool-down, get changed, and then get together and talk about what happened.

Make sure that it's an honest but non-accusatory meeting, where everyone gets an equal opportunity to talk about their experiences, and by all means, be honest with no excuses! This is a perfect opportunity for all riders to learn and improve their bike racing skills. Perhaps each week, a different rider can be assigned to take notes for future reference or to add to the KB.

Talk to the Winner

If you've been racing for any length of time, there is one thing for sure: bike racers like to talk about their race experiences. If there is one of those riders you should listen to, it's the winner.

It's important to first show sportsmanship and congratulate the race winner, and then, if there is an opportunity, ask them how they went about winning the race. Chances are they will give you some keen insight about their thought process that enabled their victory that you can use in the future.

Top 10

List down the top 10 riders and, if you know them or knew what they were doing during the race, write down key characteristics of each rider. Knowing your competition is absolutely key to battling them in the future.

Also, make note of how their teams operated during the race. I can't stress enough how important it is to learn about your opponents. As your race career continues, you will truly start to understand the necessary components to reading a bike race.

Annotate Those Power Files

Not only annotate those power files with significant events that happened during the race like, "Break begins here", "where I attacked" or "where I lost contact," but include detailed comments about those events, like how you were feeling at that point and anything that you would find useful for future reference. Try to create some type of documented story that will be easy to read and comprehend in the future for you, other teammates or your coach.

Certainly, there is a lot of important information that can be added to this knowledge base. There should be no limits, the more creative you can get the more helpful it will become in the future. Amongst teammates, communication is vital. Take that extra time to do this type of homework. It may not provide immediate results, but over time, it's sure to help you be more tactically successful in the sport.


Bruce Hendler created AthletiCamps to provide cycling-specific coaching and training to athletes and cyclists of all levels. Find out more at www.athleticamps.com and check out the AthletiCamps Blog.

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