The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best advice and most interesting insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.

In this episode we take a deep dive into race strategy and tactics, and the necessary skills and training you need to excel at bike racing. In this two-part series, we’ll first touch upon flat races where the sprinter tends to win. If you’re not a sprinter, don’t stop listening. We’ll share plenty of great advice and clever tactics that will up the level of anyone’s racing. In the next episode, we’ll dive into races where the road goes up, and also stage racing.

But here we’ll first discuss some of the differences between professional and amateur racing and why that leads to different approaches. We’ll take a deep dive into crit racing: why skills are so important, how to save energy, and how to get comfortable with the speed and fear you might feel while racing in the pack. Next it will be flat road races: the importance of saving energy, how it’s one of the most predictable races in cycling, but why you still need to be attentive to those unexpected moves. And finally, we’ll talk about some of the dynamic tactics you’ll encounter in these races, including sag climbing and breaking away.

Today we’re joined by two veterans of both European and American racing from Rally Pro Cycling. Team manager Pat McCarty has spent much of his adult life racing, as a junior, U23, on the WorldTour, in Europe, in the U.S., in crits, climbing races, and on team’s big and small. One of Team Rally’s leaders, Evan Huffman is known for his skills as a breakaway rider and time trialist. He’s coming off a phenomenal 2017 season.

We also speak with Kiel Reijnen, of Trek-Segafrado. Kiel has an interesting take on approaching different race types: Our fitness and strengths may determine how we approach a race more than the route profile.

So, click into your pedals, and put it in the big ring. Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening. Also, check out the VeloNews Cycling Podcast, our weekly discussion of the sport’s hottest topics, trends, and controversies.


Lucia, A., Joyos, H., & Chicharro, J. L. (2000). Physiological response to professional road cycling: climbers vs. time trialists. Int J Sports Med, 21(7), 505-512.

Padilla, S., Mujika, I., Cuesta, G., & Goiriena, J. J. (1999). Level ground and uphill cycling ability in professional road cycling. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 31(6), 878-885.