Mountain Bike Time Trial Tips | LIMBC Malaysia 2015

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Mountain Bike Time Trial Tips

0 Comments 📁 Community, Info 🕔12.October 2014
Mountain Bike Time Trial Tips

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These days it is common for a mountain bike stage race or tournament to include a short time trial leg. It give riders a chance to thrash out some of their nerves.

It may also be an oppurtunity of this short individual stage to showcase some technical singletrack outside the race route.

If time trial is not your specialty, here is some basic tips to  help you out in the stage.

Prepare

  • It’s a great advantage if you can get to know the course, even a little bit, in advance by riding it in the days before racing, but if this isn’t possible (and often travel gets in the way), have a chat to locals or other racers, and scrutinise the course route and profile. Reduce your chances of getting caught out by a long climb to the finish when you’ve burnt all your matches, or taking a big wrong turn.

limbc time trial

Don’t Panic

  • Given that time trial are often right at the start of your stage race, there’s also a good argument for being a conservative. Big time gaps are likely to come about in longer stages, so it could be that loading your legs with lactic acid that will cripple you for the next three days is a poor strategy.
  • Strategy aside, the slowest things you can do in any race is crash or have a mechanical. Sometimes these are unavoidable, but don’t tempt fate. Try to keep your thoughts calm, encouraging and positive. Your inner critic isn’t going to help you go faster in a time trial.
  • The thing we fear most in a time trial is being caught by the rider behind. In mountain biking this fear can be compounded by the fact that trails loop around and around, so riders can appear closer and further away than they really are.
  • Think too much about this and you’re going to tie yourself in knots and your riding will suffer. Riders are usually set off about a minute apart, with the top seeded riders taking off last. Your first task is to shake off the feeling of being prey and become the predator. Every time you’re tempted to look behind you, take it as a sign that you’re not going hard enough and put the boot in immediately.
  • Focus on keeping smooth, and look in front of you instead of losing time looking over your shoulder. You can only control what you’re doing, and what you’re doing is going forwards, not backwards.

Look Ahead

  • The thing we fear most in a time trial is being caught by the rider behind. In mountain biking this fear can be compounded by the fact that trails loop around and around, so riders can appear closer and further away than they really are.
  • Think too much about this and you’re going to tie yourself in knots and your riding will suffer. Riders are usually set off about a minute apart, with the top seeded riders taking off last. Your first task is to shake off the feeling of being prey and become the predator. Every time you’re tempted to look behind you, take it as a sign that you’re not going hard enough and put the boot in immediately.
  • Focus on keeping smooth, and look in front of you instead of losing time looking over your shoulder. You can only control what you’re doing, and what you’re doing is going forwards, not backwards.

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It is important to not  make any big changes to your riding position or bike. Mountain bike time trial  are different from road time trial in this regard. We still need to move around and move our bikes around below us, the same traction, the same balance.

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