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My advice to beginner racers #2: Positioning in the bunch

My advice to beginner racers #2: Positioning in the bunch

The question posed by Anneloes (Adventures of a beginner cyclist blog #2) was: Road, Track or Cyclcocross, the Giro Donne or a Belgium classic, wind, warmth or cold conditions, it seems you can win anything anywhere. I am wondering, are there any conditions or races you find difficult to ride and why?

Firstly a great story Anneloes, I can imagine that for the first time it is really difficult to hold your position in the bunch. To be honest I really don’t like chaos in a bunch, mass sprints or positioning yourself when you know you have to be at the front, for example when you know a race will be mainly raced in echelons, they are not my favourite races. But with a few tricks I always manage to handle myself well, here’s some advice.

Try to always stay relaxed on your bike, try to find the small holes but make sure that you keep an overview of the bunch. Look far in front of you and not at the wheel of the rider in front of you.

Also ensure that you focus on your position in the bunch. You need to make sure you constantly find the small holes in the bunch and try and ride through the bunch rather than around it. From experience you will start to spot the girls who always get the in the right breaks and are always near the front, try and stay close to them. I always used to focus on Chantal Beltman, she knew perfectly how to position herself and was always in the break. Unfortunately she has now retired from professional cycling but my teammates Lucinda and Annemiek have an ability to always be in the right position so I try and stay close to them!