Go-Ride Racing: An Introduction to Closed Road Circuit Racing
Two of the most popular types of competitive cycling are the traditional disciplines of road racing and time trialling. Riders often have particular strengths; climbing, sprinting, or the ability to race against the clock in individual or team time trials.
Under British Cycling regulations all Under 16 races must take place on traffic-free roads or a closed road circuit, this is often referred to as ‘Circuit Racing'. Circuit racing is a test of stamina, fitness and tactical expertise with a large number of competitors riding in close proximity, commonly referred to as riding in a ‘bunch'.
Learning to ride safely and efficiently in a bunch is a fundamental skill to be developed at entry level. Skills learnt in Go-Ride Races will help to lay the foundations for riders to develop the tactical awareness and race skills needed for higher level competition.
At a higher level circuit racing is amazingly varied, the tactical options for a rider or team are almost endless and will depend on the specific layout of the circuit being used. This is what makes it such a wonderful and unpredictable discipline. Often the strongest teams and riders prevail, but the outsider who is prepared to take risks and commit to daring tactics always has a fighting chance. Open Youth circuit races are often up to 20km in length but distances in Go-Ride Races are much shorter, whatever the distance, on the last lap the first rider over the line is the winner!
Time Trial (TT) races involve individual riders racing against the clock over a set distance and this is often called ‘The Race of Truth'. Time Trialling requires supreme concentration and pacing for the duration of the event with riders aiming to use every last ounce of energy in order to record the fastest time possible. Although competitors race individually bike handling and technical ability is essential to record a fast time.