Post game video analysis is invaluable in most sports these days. There isn’t a professional football team, hockey team, ping-pong player, or basketball team around these days that doesn’t utilize video to analyze past games or review competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. Its a tool that can be extremely useful for cyclists as well. There is a ton of valuable information in those fancy moving pictures these days that all cyclists can learn from.
While most amateur, and unfortunately domestic Pros, will never see good quality video of their own races there are a lot of past ProTour and UCI Cross Country races on You Tube where your can see what worked and didn’t work for the Pros. How did Freire position himself at the end of Paris-Tours to win? How do break aways get away in Liege-Bastone-Liege? Do they succeed? How do those courses compare to your key races coming up? Even Mountain Bikers can learn valuable techniques and strategies by watching past race videos. How did Burry Stander ride the technical portions of the 2009 World Championship race and what can you use to improve your technique?
Its important when watching these to think about your own strengths and weaknesses as well as your relative fitness before trying to put these techniques into practice. For example just because Rabobank starts their lead out 5k from the line doesn’t mean you or your team can do the same. It takes extremely talented and fit athletes to pull that off. Instead use their technique but adjust it to your current fitness levels and start the lead out at 2k from the line instead of 5k.
Of course it helps to know a little about tactics to understand what you are watching. There are a few great books that detail race tactics and there are great skills clinics available in most areas as well. If you want a little help learning how riders utilized tactics to win races I would suggest checking out Cyclocosm.com’s You Tube Channel for his great series of breaking down past races. Get your popcorn ready. There are lots of videos and lots to be learned!