Basics to Passing

This next weekend at Seattle will be one for the history books.  The weather is starting to clear up, but the ruts will still be present.  Even more important than that, making those crucial passes stick will take timing and persistence to make sure each rider gets every critical point.  In any form of racing, passing is a necessity and it is not just about going faster than the other person.  It is a planned strike in order to keep the other person from passing you back.


If you are close enough to the rider in front of you, you can learn their lines and see what they do.  Amateur races are somewhat short so time is of the essence, but if you have time to plan out your pass you will be better off.  Look for sections where the leader is struggling; it could be rutted section or they could be taking a wide outside line.  Pay attention to this and stay as close as possible going into the section where the other rider struggles.

In For The Kill

Once you know the section that you want to make the pass, commit to it.  Life will be much easier if the other rider is on the outside of you because you can control both his line and your line.  If things get tight, you want to try and keep you elbow in front of his which will prevent your front wheel from getting taken out.  When passing in the corner, the best time is to get it done is in the apex (center).  That way, the other rider can’t slide underneath of you.


If you get a clean pass through, charge ahead.  Long battles usually just slow the two riders down and the rest of the pack catches up.  I know racing is a contact sport, but don’t use the other rider as a bumper because there is always a chance that both of you could go down.  By maintaining a clean pass, you save momentum and forward drive.

Not the cleanest move by Alessi, but this video shows the crude basics of passing:

Posted on Apr 12 2011, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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