The Rag Doll Secret To Stage Racing

The bicycle racing season in Alberta really kicks off this weekend with the Velocity Stage Race. On day 1 (Saturday) cyclists will compete in an individual time trial and a criterium. The event concludes with a road race on the second day.

Recovery Is THE Key to Stage Races

It's not the Tour de France, but it is 2 consecutive days of intense cycling that most of us don't routinely undertake. In any stage race, be it a 2 day event like this, or a multi-week event like Le Tour, recovery is the key to overall success. With that in mind, I have this simple procedure to follow:

1. If you don't have to walk, stand.
2. If you don't have to stand, sit.
3. If you don't have to sit, lie down.
4. If you don't have to be awake, take a nap.
5. And don't forget to eat and drink in between steps 1 through 4.

There, you've finally got the perfect excuse to be a sloth when you're not riding. At least while you're competing in a stage race.

It may seem simple, but many people goof up when it comes to the simple things. After Alex Stieda won that historic morning Stage 1 of the 1986 Tour de France, he told me he got so scooped up in the media scrum of the stage win, the yellow jersey, and assorted attention that he didn't eat or drink enough before the Stage 2 Team Time Trial in the afternoon. As a result, Stieda bonked big time. Imagine the yellow jersey being dragged around like a rag doll by his 7-Eleven team mates.

When It's Okay To Be A Rag Doll

The lesson? Be a rag doll between the stages, so you won't be a rag doll during the stages.

What simple things have you done, or forgotten to do? Post a comment and let us know.