By ALP Coach Alison Powers

My first roadie race was in 2005 in New Hampshire. It was a Criterium, and other than watching the Tour de France on TV, I had never seen a road bike race. I knew nothing about racing a criterium and I made many mistakes that day. Tomorrow (Saturday) my fellow ALP Cycles Coaching coaches and I will be coaching a criterium clinic in Boulder. We are going to teach the things I didn't know 13 years ago in New Hampshire. 

4 things I didn't know.... we'll teach tomorrow. 

1) Tactics. I had no idea about race tactics in a criterium or really any race at all. I had a fair amount of mountain bike racing in my past and I just usually rode away from the field on the uphills and hoped to not get caught on the downhills. That tactic didn't work in this criterium. I rode on the front of the race for the entire race, pulling the rest of the Cat 3/4 field around and around. 40min later, with 200 meters to go, everyone- EVERYONE- sprinted past me to the finish line. 

2) How to ride in a group, especially around corners- Part of the reason why I rode on the front of the race, that day in New Hampshire, is because I was afraid to be near any other riders. And, going around a corner in a pack of riders, forget about it. That made me really nervous. 

3) Sprinting- I was a typical ride-by-myself-hammering-at-all-times kind of rider. I never changed pace, I never got out of the saddle, and I had never sprinted on my road bike. 

4) Cornering- I did not know that my "normal" cornering skill and ability was faster and more confident than most other rider's abilities. 13 years ago, I slowed down to wait for the group to catch back up with me after each corner.

I now know that these are common "unknowns" for many bike racers- both new and experienced. Come join Jennifer, Patricia, and me tomorrow for 3 hrs of criterium racing 101 learning, practicing, training, and becoming more confident and faster. It's only $30 and the proceeds go to ALP Cycles Racing to pay entry fees for team races. Registration closes tonight- 

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