Turning yourself into a winning cyclist take three key elements: physiology, ability to endure pain, and aggression. As you move up the amateur categories to the Cat 1-2 or professional levels, genetic variables like VO2 max and muscle fiber ratio become the limiters. But unless your physiology is extremely poor, it is rarely a limiter to success in the Cat 3-5 levels, so use this to your advantage! The second element is the ability to endure pain. Cycling hurts, but the more time you put in, the better. With Cat 5-3 cyclists, consistency on the bike is hugely important. Training won’t take the pain away, but it will let you handle the pain better each time. The final component is aggression. Cycling is poker on ten speeds—show one last bluff that you could keep this pace up all day and it may just be enough to crack the rider who should have beaten you.
—Francisco Liuzzi is the head coach of the NYVelocity Men's Development Cycling team for 7 years and 2011 coach of the Innervation Fitness Women's Racing Team.
As reported by Bethany Marzewski.