Cycling News

How do I stay at the front of the pack?

How do I stay at the front of the pack?

In a big pack, riding near the front at the right time is crucial in a race or spicy group ride. It’s not always easy either, or simply about the final kilometres to the finish or town sign sprint. If there are obstacles, hills, corners, or key sections of the race or ride, you need to make sure you’re with the front ranks of riders or it could hinder your chances of making the front group or being there in the finale.

And it’s not just a question of sitting in the second row either. The peloton is a living organism, with riders constantly circulating. Which means if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll get swarmed and end up at the back.

Ben Perry, former professional cyclist, now gravel racer, has plenty of experience in staying at the front. He says that part of knowing when to be at the front depends on what’s coming up. That’s why it’s key, he says, to be aware of various aspects of the route.

“It is important to know when to ride near the front,” the 29-year-old pro says. “Make a strategic decision on when you need to stress, and when you don’t need to stress. It’s based on what’s coming up on the course, such as a hill, narrow roads, or a windy section.”

He also says that riding in Europe means you have to learn how to be good at moving up, or you’ll have problems doing well.

“In North America, it’s a very different question than in Europe,” he says. “You see guys who are successful in North America as they are physically strong. They see a climb and use their power to end up at the front. But some of those guys can’t really do much in Europe as they don’t have the skillset to move up.”

Part of those skills means to be constantly in motion and never being complacent.

“I always tell people, If you’re not moving up, you’re moving back,” Perry says. “If it’s a fight, you’ve gotta keep fighting. You can’t just sit somewhere and think, ‘I’m safe here.’”

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…