So I recently finished the last race of my first season, and it was my first race in inclement weather. Thankfully there was no lightning so the race wasn’t called off, but it rained for most of the race. In trying to draft, I found myself just getting a face-full of water mud and probably plenty of stuff I don’t want to think about from the road surface. When it got really bad, I would actually dip out into the wind, take a deep breath, and pop back into the stream holding my breath.
What is the best way to get a solid draft during a wet race when being behind someone feels like someone is just unloading a super soaker right in your face the entire time?
Unfortunately, aerodynamics takes no notice of the weather!!
The draft is always going to be in the same place. Although, the likelihood is that the pace is going to be slower so riding in a less favourable position (in the wind) won’t have such a detrimental effect!
In this case it was a straight slight decline into a headwind, so the draft was life lol. I ended up just giving up and getting mud in my face for an hour and a half lol
If there is any appreciable wind, the perfect draft may not actually be directly behind the rider in front. Good time to work on your echelonning
You either make the decision to get covering in muck or sit up and get out of the race!!! It sucks, but cycling isn’t an easy sport!! What I’m covered in here is a mix of cow shit, manure, rotten carrots and sweat. Delightful:joy:
My bike after this particular race🤮
This is more a mindset thing than a technical skills thing.
Learn to love the dirt and the muck. Think about how much it is bothering your competition when they are sitting on your wheel. You have to love riding in the horseshit and just breathe it all in
This is a switch that flips semi randomly for me - I have rainy races where I am dialed in and race very well and I have rainy races where I check out and tail gun and do nothing at all. Sometimes I love the grit and the grime and the cornering - sometimes it just isn’t worth it to me
Two of my first four races this year involved COLD temps and heavy rain. I just had to suck it up and go with it. Late in the second race when I felt like there were people who were just sitting in I purposely moved into the tracks on the road where the water was deeper. If people weren’t going to help me chase the break then they were going to at least get a good soaking
Turn the bad weather into a positive, there’s more oxygen for sure. Use the retisince of others to go off the front. Worked for me and got me a national RR title.
Thin neckwarmer over mouth and nose help, but once it gets wet it may be harder to breath. Alternatively you may go up front and voila - no more problem
MFCC colours not good for those conditions! BWCC colours meanwhile…
Just joking, good to see some other Highlands cyclists kicking around on here
Race a couple CX races in terrible conditions. It will make your rainy road races feel delightful.
I was also going to suggest this! A lot of the time motivation will also be down, so you’d think there is going to be little willingness to chase!