I recently tried my hand (or rather – legs) at road racing. It was a small field of just 15 or so riders and a nice spacious track so no real crash concerns.
As a newbie I had one real tactic – try and hold onto the wheel in front for dear life! It didn’t really work, the pack split straight away and in my over eagerness I found myself leading out the chasing group and going all out to bridge the gap.
I succeeded in bridging the gap. But then one by one the other riders cranked it up and dropped me like a piece of litter.
I sat up and waited for some support from those behind me who had previously been dropped. We struggled around for a few laps and then I got my second wind. I raced all out until the end and somehow managed to catch a couple of riders and finish in 3rd place for my category. Rewarding yes… but I can’t help wonder how it could have gone if I got my tactics right. Or at least listened to my own advice before the race – don’t go out too hard, don’t do too much work, don’t be a muppet.
For people who don’t cycle or have never watched a bike race, I expect they believe that to win a race you just need to be the guy (or girl) who can pedal fastest for longest.
Not true. It certainly helps but you gotta get the tactics right.
The Limited Edition “Tactician” Art Print by Eliza Southwood represents just that. On the face of it, it looks like 4 riders going about their business. But under those helmets is a cacophony of tactical thought processes going on. Stick with the team or go for a break away? Cover the most dangerous riders or chase down the breaking group? When is the best time to make a sprint for it? What will the other riders do? What form are they in? What form am I in??? Is today my day…
Pictured above in a mock frame, the art print does not come framed as this is a personal process. The image itself is A2 and the border paper has been uncut so you can trim it down to the right frame size. Each one is signed and numbered by the artist.
The prints were originally designed for the Orbital Festival 2013 road race. As the official merchandising partner for the event Stolen Goat has the exclusive rights to sell these wonderful prints. There are just a few left in stock and one is on my wall in the office!