Making the step up from your local club run or chaingang to your first race can be a daunting experience.
The fast-paced, handlebar-to-handlebar nature of life if the peloton can appear intimidating and there’s no doubt that your first race will be a steep learning curve.
Needless to say, it’s a completely different experience to riding solo or in a sportive. The speed is higher, space is tighter, and there’s more at stake.
However, besides the requisite training to prepare for your first outing in the bunch, whether it’s a road race or criterium, if you can master a few basic skills, from eating and drinking at speed to sprinting safely, then you should be ready to make the leap.
Mastering these basic skills (you can practice most of them in training in the build-up to your race) will not only mean you get the most out of your first race but will ensure that you stay safe in the bunch.