Synopses & Reviews
In Reading the Race
, veteran professional bike racer Chris Horner and race announcer Jamie Smith team up to show cyclists how to win races with race smarts. Armed with strategies and tactics learned over thousands of races, cyclists and cycling fans will learn how to read a race -- and how to react.
The Tour de France is so difficult to win that for a century it has been tradition for the champion to share the winnings with his teammates. This acknowledgment of the value of team strategy and tactics is commonplace at the top level of cycling, where the sport is all about teamwork. Yet every amateur cyclist who lines up at the start of the weekend criterium thinks he's in it to win it. By drawing up clever race plans, forming ad hoc teams, and reading the race accurately these riders can transform themselves from loose cannons to podium contenders.
Even better-organized amateur teams have a lot to overcome. The spectrum of fitness and motivation on a Cat-III cycling team is gaping wide. Horner and Smith show how even the most mismatched team can employ strategies and race smarts to better their chances of finishing in the prize money.
For team captains who dream of the podium to the teammates who make it happen to bike racing fans who have no dream of racing, Reading the Race offers a veteran's eye view of how the race can be won.
"Horner's anecdotes make Reading the Race
a worthwhile read for those whose primary interest is the European pro peloton, but really the book isn't aimed at the armchair rider, it's a practical manual for those who want to learn the tricks of the trade." -- Podium Café
"The descriptions of specific group tactics, such as pacelines, echelon riding and the like, are clearly illustrated and annotated. If you have any doubts as to how any are to be implemented in real life, these leave no doubt as to how each ought to be successfuly accomplished." -- The Washing Machine Post
"In the Reading the Race, [Horner and Smith have] outlined the key mechanics of reading a race -- and more importantly, how to win. Starting breaks, forming alliances, managing a lapped field, setting up for a sprint, it's all there." -- Road Bike Review
Bike racing is called a rolling chess game for a reason.
Sure, a high pain threshold and a killer VO2max are helpful. But if youre in it to win it, you need race smarts.
YOU NEED READING THE RACE.
Jamie Smith and Chris Horner team up to deliver a master class in strategies and tactics. From the basics of cornering, climbing, and descending to the subtle art of finding the fast line through the final corner, Reading the Race will elevate your cycling IQ.
Setting up a slingshot attack, blocking from the front, managing a lapped field, gapping a wheelsucker out of a breakaway, assembling a winning team—every page reveals new secrets to moving forward in the peloton and putting time into your rivals.
Whether youre a new racer, an aspiring pro, a team manager, or even a roadside fan, youll find new insight and the keys to victory in Reading the Race.
Thirty years of criterium racing have given race announcer and coach Jamie Smith a rare ability to see, describe, and critique the tactics in the American peloton. This book is his way of paying it back.
Three-time NRC champion and Vuelta winner Chris Horner began his dominating pro career in 1995. His photographic memory has cemented his reputation as one of the smartest road captains in the sport.
In Reading the Race
, race announcer Jamie Smith and veteran road captain Chris Horner team up to deliver a master class in bike racing strategies and tactics. Armed with strategies and tactics learned over thousands of races, cyclists and cycling fans will learn how to read a race—and see how to win it.
Bike racing is called a rolling chess game for a reason. Sure, a high pain threshold and a killer VO2max are helpful. But if youre in it to win it, you need race smarts. Starting breaks, forming alliances, managing a lapped field, setting up a sprint—on every page, Horner and Smith reveal new secrets to faster racing and better results.
Smith and Horner dissect common mistakes, guiding riders with lessons learned from decades of racing experience. Reading the Race reveals the veterans eye view on:
-Assembling the best possible team
-Crafting strategies around the team, course, and rivals
-Reacting instantly to common scenarios
-Making deals and combines
-Breaks, echelons, blocking
-Pack protocol and etiquette
-Finishing in the prize money or on the podium
-Winning the group ride
Whether youre a new racer, an aspiring pro, a team manager, or even a roadside fan, Reading the Race will elevate your cycling IQ for better racing.
About the Author
Chris Horner is a professional bike racer and veteran among the peloton. His popular Tour de France video diaries on VeloNews.com revealed Horner's uncanny photographic memory for every moment of a race and built his reputation as one of the smartest road captains in the sport. Building up a career that he began as a U.S. domestic pro, Horner turned his sharp mind and superior fitness into racing jobs with the most elite professional cycling teams, establishing himself as one of America's premier stage racers.
When he's not on his bike or out in front of the race announcing, Jamie Smith is a cycling evangelist. His first book Roadie: The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer celebrates the eccentric, monkish life that the roadie embraces.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: WHATS MY MOTIVATION?
Why Do You Race?
The Pro Game versus Our Game
Mistakes Amateur Teams Make
How Tactics Have Changed
Tactics in Other Sports
CHAPTER 2: BASIC TECHNIQUES
Drinking and Eating
Looking Over Your Shoulder
CHAPTER 3: ADVANCED TECHNIQUES
Riding in the Rain
Holding a Steady Speed
Pacelines and Rotating Pacelines
Economy of Motion
Peeing While Riding
Recon the Course
Getting Psyched Up (or Out)
Playing the Accordion
CHAPTER 4: ATTACKING
Size of the Break
Working with a Teammate
Breakaways That Dont Work
Chasing, Bridging, Reeling, Catching
Chasing Your Own Team
Not Caught 'til it's Caught
Division of Power
CHAPTER 5: WINNING AND OTHER LOFTY GOALS
Reading the Race
Working the Break
Getting Rid of Them
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
CHAPTER 6: SPRINTING
Get On My Wheel
Picking the Right Strangers
Sharing the Booty
CHAPTER 7: TIME TRIALS
Knowing the Course — Intimately
All Wind is Not Created Equal
Climbing and Descending
Man and Machine
CHAPTER 8: DECISIONS, DECISIONS
When a Crash Occurs
First 5 Laps, Last 5 Laps
When to Relax
Suffering, Tail-gunning, Punching Tickets
Front or Back?
Helping a Brother Out
DNF versus Finish at all Costs
CHAPTER 9: ASSEMBLING THE PERFECT TEAM
Club versus Team
Practicing as a Team
Assessing Strengths and Assigning Roles
Practicing as a Team
Group Training Rides
Picking the Right Ride
Finding the Ride
Making the Grade
Working as a Team in an Open Group Ride
Racing as a Team
How to Win, Place, or Show
Going for It
Splitting the Winnings
An Honest Assessment of Your Contribution
CHAPTER 10: GO RACE