Cycling time trials - what you'll need to know before your first race

Fancy yourself as the Wiggo of your local club? You'll need a time trial bike and the knowledge that if all goes wrong before the big day you could be back on your bike in no time.

Are you ready to face 'The Race of Truth'?

Sounds dramatic, but it's more the actual reality of you, your bike and a stopwatch. There is no slipstream of a rider in front, it's all about your ability with a little bit of bike set up and aerodynamic gear too. Is it really competitive? Yes and no, it is more about racing yourself. However, there are plenty of come and try it for yourself style events across the UK.

What do you need to do in your first-time trail event?

  1. Don't race on a full stomach. Have a banana a couple of hours before and drink plenty of fluids.
  2. Arrive with plenty of time before your start time, check over your bike, and pin your race number low down your back so it can be easily seen and won't irritate your back or create even a little drag.
  3. Warm up - if the start is right where you arrive, have a little cycle down a local road to ensure you aren't tight, just don't push yourself yet.
  4. Be at the start with a minute to go, get held up, clip yourself in and make sure you are in the right gear.
  5. GO GO GO hell for leather...well yes you need to start strong, but don't kill yourself early on. Find your rhythm - hard, fast but something you can do for the distance.
  6. Remember this isn't a race against others initially, you are racing yourself, people will pass you, you may pass others, everyone has different experience and abilities. Just make sure you don't sit behind in someone's slip stream as this is very much against the rules and the point of the discipline.
  7. Go hard as soon as you see the finish, head down, power into the pedals and don't slow when you are near the line, go as hard as possible way past the finish.
  8. Slow down and recover and wait for a invigilator to bring over your time.

Best of luck!