We are a week into La Vuelta and an upcoming major appointment is the 39 km TT on September 9. While the non-contenders will generally be treating it as a semi-rest day and take it as easily as it is ever possible in pro cycling, the GC battle will be massive here. But are there fundamental differences in pacing strategy between elite riders and lower category riders?
For bike racers, doing time trials is one of those things where you either love them or hate them. If you approach two different athletes and ask them what they think about time trialing, their responses will be night and day. As a coach, one thing I have seen is that riders who decide to work on and improve their time trialing, make a noticeable improvement in their overall fitness and other racing results.
Time trials may seem to be simplistic “may the strongest rider win” events, but even such a blunt test of strength remains open to smart riders who do the best job of thinking through their strategy. One major component of good time trial strategy is pacing – what is the best plan for metering out your precious wattage?
They don’t call time trialing, “The Race of Truth” for nothing, and this year’s Tour of California was another prime example of the importance of TTs to overall cycling glory. While nothing beats proper training, there are still many big and little tips and tactics you can employ to maximize your performance.