With 'cross starting in late August in many places, we have the opporuntity to experience dry and fast courses, relative to what they would be like later in the season. You preparation for these races can and should be different than for the later season cold, muddy, and possibly snowy events.
This article presented by CX Magazine discusses ways to help you make the most of these dry and fast courses, as well as how to use them as a springboard for the rest of your season. And although it's no longer September, we've been experiencing dry and fast courses well into October. I certainly don't mind the ease of bike cleaning!
I particularly like the paragraph:
"Feel free to give yourself some space on these courses too. There’s no sense in letting someone else take out your front wheel in a corner because you were following too closely. You can conserve a lot of energy leaving a small gap into the corner and then coasting through it to close the gap rather than having to brake and sprint hard. This is assuming, of course, you can keep the riders behind you from trying to jump into the gap."
Far too often I've watched racers in all fields follow too closely in these fast races and get taken out by the rider in front because they had no time to react due to the speeds. Or, they try to force a pass and end up taking out the rider in front, themselves, and many times a rider or two behind. When the speed is up, a little space is ok. Keeping in mind the idea also presented above that you don't want to create a gap so large others will want to close it, or one too big to close down yourself.
Enjoy the article!
TRAINING TUESDAY: USING RACING TACTICS ON FAST SEPTEMBER COURSES TO JUMP START YOUR SEASON
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.