Course inspection. 9/7/2016
So last week’s cccx cyclocross race posed a great topic for this week’s “cross findings” around cyclocross race course inspections.
First off, many racers make the mistake of not showing up to the event early enough to get registered, set up, warmed up and inspect the course. As a good rule, I encourage my athletes to get to the about 2 hours prior to start to get race ready.
Using the 3 lap theory of course inspection is a great way to get started. Keep in mind that during your inspection (especially lap 1), stop if you find a technical spot that may trip you up, and re ride that particular spot. Stopping and observing others taking a turn, downhill or off camber help too.
Lap 1 is ridden at a reconniacse pace, looking for any possible spots that may need some more practice. During lap 1 is a good place to check tire pressure and tread selection.
Lap 2 is a bit faster and working on flow or consistency pacing.
Lap 3 faster than lap 3 and thinking about the places you may be able to pass other racers.
Then go checkout the start. I suggest a few runs at the hole shot. Mostly look for the best lines and where you may grab a few spots prior to getting on the course. Pace, pace, pace!
In cyclocross, every race course varies even if it is held at the same venue week after week. This makes getting on course vital. Race promoters try to abide by the CX rulebook by keeping 3 meters wide course, places to pass, and starting standardization, but sometimes it just isn’t safe or make logistical sense. This week the original start was a bit short and would have bottlenecked the race in the first few minutes, so it got moved. Good thing teammates and racers were talking; we got to the place where the start moved to and got to do a few trial runs of the start prior to the gun and the rest of the warm up.
See you at the races!