Former World Champion track cyclist, New Zealand and Subway–Avanti Pro Cycling team member Hayden Godfrey shares training tips and advice for teams training for the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit and comments on talented Southland cyclists Tom Scully and Eddie Dawkins.
24/05/10 - Team work and trust are the key phrases for performing on the track Godfrey says. “In sport just like business, you can achieve more working well as a collective rather than alone in isolation, and you have to have trust in your team mates – that’s vital.”
Cycling can be viewed as an individual sport, but once involved it becomes obvious it is a team sport, both on the road and especially in an event like the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit.
“You save massive amount of energy sitting on someone’s wheel and everyone in the team has a role to play so getting track time to practice is very important.”
The Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit is raced on bikes with one fixed gear and no brakes in the exciting Italian Pursuit format which involves two four person teams racing four laps of the 250 metre track with a team member pulling off after each lap, meaning only one team member does all four laps.
Godfrey says the Italian Pursuit format is great for team work and bonding as you get to know your team mates strengths and weaknesses and it’s a very exciting format with two teams on the track at the same time.
His advice for teams wanting to go fast is simple, “get out there and do it. Spend time training, get used to following wheels closely and get good coaching. Riding as a group you will go faster, so you need to practice riding as a group and trust the people in front of you.”
He stresses learning good pacing judgement is also very important. “You can’t just go out and give it full noise in the first 200 metres and then blow up and lose time, you have to learn good pace judgement, and again, the only way to learn this is to go out and practice.”
Good pedalling technique is also important. Our top elite track cyclists can use different gearing for different events, but those racing in the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit all have the same set gearing, so having a good efficient pedal stroke is very important.
“Remember to pull up through the pedal stroke as well,” Godfrey says. “This will mean you won’t have a dead spot or subtle pause in your pedal stroke – try to keep the pressure on the ball of your foot all the way through the pedal stroke and practice this feeling.”
Getting some training out on the road will add to performing on the track as he says you do need to build up some endurance fitness as well as having some explosive speed.
While based in Christchurch Godfrey travels in Invercargill regularly to attend training sessions in the ILT Velodrome.
“Invercargill has become the focal point for high performance cycling in New Zealand because of the city’s investment in the ILT Velodrome, and as a result lots of money is injected into the local economy and Southland is producing some of the country’s best young age group track cyclists.”
He points out Tom Scully and Eddie Dawkins as two examples of young Southland riders with “loads of potential” that have already achieved significant results.
Former World Champion Godfrey has his sights set on making the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team and leaves the country early next month to train and race in the United States and then in Belgium and France as part of his build up.
“Who knows, maybe there could be a future New Zealand cyclist hidden somewhere in one of the corporate teams.”
“I hope lots of local people get down to the track on race day and watch the action as it will be very exciting with mate against mate and business against business and with great music and commentary the atmosphere will be awesome – these events can be like mini rock concerts with great sporting action.”
For more on the Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit click here.