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Race Training

Training to race, firstly and foremost, must focus on general fitness to ensure you are ready for the rigours of racing. Then secondly you need to practice riding in close formation to other riders, this can be achieved through the regular weekly club chain gang sessions. Then there are skills sessions that focus on certain areas of racing such as cornering and braking in close formation. There are also race preparation training sessions available through the Surrey League (SL), these sessions are a pre-curser to any of the SRL races at Cat 4.

However there is no better way than just getting started and giving it a try, you can find a local race by searching the race calendar on British Cycling.

Race Fit Training

To get yourself race fit it is recommended that you undertake a certain amount of training. Typically this can be undertaken through a balanced training plan building up to a target race date. You can follow a prescribed plan on apps such as Training Peaks, Sufferfest or TrainerRoad, all of which will start by determining your functional threshold power (FTP) and then, based on this and your target, set a training plan to suit your available weekly hours.

If you dont feel comfortable with any of the above applications or you would like some support then you can contact the race team at racing@vcgh.co.uk

Chain Gang

MEETING POINT:  Bel & Dragon Pub.
START TIME/DAY:  19:15 to 19:30 - ALWAYS CHECK THE CLUB CALENDAR
AVERAGE PACE:  30 kmph to 40 kmph
PROTOCOL: Fast paced group riding to develop race skills and fitness

CHAIN GANG: A formation of riders cycling in a close knit formation.  Each rider taking turns in the wind and then dropping to the back of the group.  The continuous flow of riders and movement in the group replicates that of links in a chain which therefore gave rise to the term Chain Gang.

Road racing requires the mastering of many skills.  Group riding and riding at pace in a chain gang are just two of the skills you will need to be comfortable with to race successfully.  You will often see in the pro race scene chain ganag or 'paceline' riding when groups form a break at the head of the race.  Each rider only spends a few seconds in the wind, before moving to the side and slip[ping to the back of the group.  Chain Gangs are run on the VCGH Bel & Dragon Circuit These will be posted on the website events calendar.

Each chain gang night is different depending on the riders attending.  Generally we discuss what the group is doing before setting off but on a normal night we will do 3 or 4 circuits of 12km.  The first couple of circuits will be done as a solid group keeping together on climbs and perfecting technique.  Average pace ranges from 30 to 34kmph.  Jumps road and the last 1km of the circuit is at pace and designed to push your limits with the group stopping at the Bel & Dragon to re-group and plan the next circuit.#

If you turn up late just wait @ the Bel & Dragon and in about 20 mins the group will complete a circuit and re-group.

FIRST TIME YOU RIDE:  Introduce yourself, tell the group your experience, ask questions and ride safely within your limits.  there is no shame in dropping back if you are uncomfortable.  If that happens then join a club night (see below) and improve your skills / pace.

CHAIN GANG CLUB NIGHTS: On selected nights through the summer the race team will run an open night for ANY VCGH club members who wish to learn about riding in a chain gang but cannot manage the regular pace.  As such, we will purely focus on technique and NOT pace.  The groups will be lead by a regular race team member and will be designed to show you what its like to ride in close formation and the joys of chain gang.  Lookout for news and dates, likely to be the last Tuesday in the month...EVERYONE welcome.

Skills Sessions

The club runs regular Race Skills Sessions at the go kart track at Camberley, these are run based on demand usually at the start of the race seasons in February/March time. To look for these events refer to the VCGH calendar on the home page or contact the race team at racing@vcgh.co.uk

Race Preparation Training

All 4th Category riders must attend 2 race preparation days before they are allowed to ride in any Surrey league (SL) events.  This system was introduced by SL in 2015 and it has proven to be extremely successful in improving riders skills, knowledge, bike handling, confidence and expertise.

To find available race preparation training days visit https://www.surreyleague.co.uk

Race Smart with British Cycling & GCN

British Cycling has a wide range of videos on YouTube to help people get started at cycle racing.

There are many available such as the one below focussed on how to move up in a bunch, once in YouTube there are others also available like how to deal with crosswinds in a race, chasing down a break away and holding your position in the bunch. There is even a video on what things you need to take with you to a race.

YouTube Video

 

Questions? email racing@vcgh.co.uk