Season start strategy: struggling in the first cycling race?


Hello and welcome on my blog about Cycling Tactics and Strategies!

I am Sylvain Jeuland a French 3rd category racer and today I will share with you my view about the first race of the season.


At the start of the first race you have two kinds of racers.


You have the ones who arrive at the start line with loads of intensive training done in the winter: they ride a lot in groups, do many efforts and get their heart rate very high for months. I call them the fast-trained racers.

fast trained cycling racers

Groups train fast.


On the contrary you have the others who ride quite slowly in the winter. They train alone or with a friend, make endurance training, keep their heart rate low. I call them the “slow-trained racers”.


Slow-trained cycling racers

Solo or duo riders can train more slowly.


When the bang goes off, everyone try to go to the front of the race but inevitably the fast-trained racers go faster and the slow-trained ones struggle and have difficult times during the entire race.


Since the fast-trained racers perform better results than the other ones, are we obliged to ride a lot with fast groups? Is there a benefice to do endurance training in the winter and to keep the intensive training for the racing part of the season?


There is no absolute answer these questions. It depends on when you decide to be in shape:


(1) If you want to be in shape as soon as the first month of the cycling season, you have to ride fast with the other racers at least one month before the start.


(2) Nevertheless if you want to be in shape after the second month on the season, you can train in an endurance way but you will have very difficult times in your first race. This is my favorite strategy but I always struggle in the first race and get a bad mood for one week. That’s the moment when I begin my intensive training.

sylvain jeuland first race

I was not very fast in my first race.

(3) You can choose a hybrid approach: making efforts with groups about two or three weeks before your first race. You should get in shape at the end of the first month.


Months before the season start date, you have to decide how in shape you want to be for you first race. Build an adequate training plan to reach your first race goal with your coach.


I hope you liked this post. If you did, write a comment below.

See you soon on my blog about Cycling Tactics and Strategies!


Sylvain Jeuland

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