Braking points, entry points, apex’s and lines. Are these things a cyclists needs to consider?
Totally… In fact this is much harder to do on a bike when there are potentially 20 or more of you trying to get round the same corner. If there are a lot of corners on the circuit, like a crit for instance, then a lot of time and vital energy can be lost in cornering if you keep getting it wrong. The aim is to use the corner to your advantage, stay smooth and predominantly upright! Read on to get our expert tips on how to corner so that you can master your race perfectly and get on the podium.
How to Corner in a race:
Positioning is Key
Get in the right place. On a tight circuit in a bunch the “yo yo” effect can be massive with those at the front of the race barley changing speed around the corner and those at the back having to brake hard then accelerate to catch up. Therefore staying near the front for a race with lots of corners can be more efficient as well as safer.
Your speed can depend on various things like how fast the bunch is going, the degree of the corner, the tarmac quality and the weather conditions. So knowing your conditions and situation is essential!
Carrying your speed will save a lot of time and energy throughout the corner. If you scrub off too much speed or lose your line then it’s quite hard to keep having to accelerate hard to get yourself back in the right place. The better you can corner the more energy you will save.
Struggling to know when to accelerate and how much? You don’t want to be pedalling mid-corner as there is a potential to scrape your pedals on the ground and cause you to get out of shape or even crash. So look at your exit and gauge where you will be able to accelerate safely.
Position on the Bike
Ensure you are always on the drops to help you with controlling the bike, stay light on the saddle so you can soak up any unwanted bumps and lumps in the corner. Keep your elbows relaxed and try to stay lower to help with your centre of gravity. The minute you tense up you will start to make mistakes. Dependent on whether the corner is a left or a right hand corner, ensure the inside leg is bent. This gives you more stability around the corner and helps to avoid the pedal hitting the tarmac.
Always look toward the exit of the corner this way you will be able to gauge the apex of the corner and remain on the right line. If you can’t see the exit then it’s worth scrubbing of a bit of speed beforehand so you don’t run the risk of running wide and crashing. Also avoid braking mid-corner as this will upset your rhythm and could cause the front wheel to ‘tuck’ if the road is slippery or has a bad surface.
Although this seems to be a lot of information to take in and execute it’s an essential skill to have in order to be safe and smooth in bike racing. Apply and Practice these to become a confident rider in a corner.