How to get into Road Racing?

Are you ready to take your cycling to the next level and try your hand at road racing? There are hundreds of road racing events to choose from every year in Ireland. Here are some of our top tips to help you make the transition from leisure cycling to road racing. 

Riding in a Group

Before you take the plunge into road racing it is important that you are comfortable and confident riding in a group. Having experience of riding in a group will definitely stand to you when you start racing.

One of the best ways to build up experience is to join group spins with your local club. You will become used to cycling close to other riders, learn bunch etiquette and pick up tips from more experienced riders.

Additionally, some clubs run specific training days covering these skills so keep an eye on upcoming training sessions in your local area. 

Race Licence 

To race in open road races, you will need a full competition licence. You will not be able to register for a road race without this licence.

Once you take out a full competition licence you will be placed in the A4 category. This category is reserved for new members and less experienced riders. This means you may only compete with other A4 licence holders except for handicap races. In events restricted to Juniors, Masters or Women, A4 licence holders may also compete with other category riders.

As you achieve results and gather points you can earn upgrades to the A3 category and so on. Learn more about upgrades and downgrades here

Choosing an Event

Once you have mastered the skills and ensured you have the correct licence now it’s time to choose an event. Head over to the Cycling Ireland Events Calendar to find a race near you. 

The Women’s Commission of Cycling Ireland also host a women’s only league for Junior and Senior riders held in Corkagh Park, a purpose-built, traffic free cycle track. This is a great starting point for women. 

Event Types

Road Racing: Traditional road racing is the most popular form of cycling and is held on paved roads and surfaces, where the first past the line wins after a mass start. There are different formats of road racing which include: one-day races from one point to another, on a circuit, or stage races.

Individual Time Trials: Time trials sees riders race solely against the clock as they ride individually over a set distance, with the aim of completing the course in the shortest amount of time. Distances can vary.

Criterium: Criterium racing is a type of racing that consists of several laps of a circuit. The circuit in a criterium race is usually short distance of around about 500 metres to 1000 metres.

Team Time Trials: Like the individual time trial, the team trial is raced by teams of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 10 riders battling against the clock to complete a specific course in the shortest amount of time. 

Hill Climb: As the name suggests the hill climb is a form of cycling that involves riders climbing up a hill that continues to gain altitude along a steep gradient until they reach the summit.