Road Racing

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Road racing is the the term we use for mass start races, whether they are on off road circuits like Castle Combe or Odd Down, closed road town centres or the open road. For many British Cycling members road racing is something people always want to try. And they are the pinnacle of the sport, the Grand Tours and Classics are all road races.

One of the fascinations is that they demand great endurance, bike handling, skill and tactical know-how. You can spend a life time mastering them and there is always something to learn.

There’s also a type of road racing to suit many kinds of rider – from circuit racing for punchy, powerful riders to multi-day stage racing for the ultra-endurance athlete. Cyclists might find themselves suited to one or more of the different disciplines based on their body type; compact, well-muscled riders like Mark Cavendish suit sprinting, lithe, wiry cyclists like Chris Froome would be better suited to climbing and those somewhere in between might make great time trialists, like Sir Bradley Wiggins.

In the UK there are different racing categories for different abilities with beginners starting at Cat 4 and progressing all the way up to Elite. Men and women are separated although women can ride in men’s races if they want to. It is in the youth categories where British Cycling has made the most progress over recent years. Riders can start racing at 8 years old, although in a very low key way and there are national championships and series for those above 12 in Under 14 and Under 16 categories.

In the South we have many stand alone road races and a high number of road race leagues through both the winter and summer. There is a strong drive to support and promote youth racing.

A good place to look for getting into road racing is here on the main BC site: Road Racing for Beginners

The racing categories are explained here: British Cycling Categories

An explanation of the ranking system can be found here: British Cycling Ranking System

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2022 School Games (1-4 September)

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Chitterne Men’s Race

All photos below are available for social media purposes, but please credit David Partridge where appropriate. More photos available here: https://www.davidpartridge.co.uk/Cycling-Road/Chitterne-Road-Races-2022/