Regional Schools of Racing (RSR)

Today, 28th May, I attended the regional school of racing (RSR) for road at the Maindy Centre in Cardiff. The RSR is open to all youth riders in their second year of B category so we're mainly ages 14-16. Each coach can nominate riders from their clubs who fit a strict criteria. I have been on the MTB ones and this is the first one I have attended this year for road. The RSR has approx 30 riders from all over the south west and Wales. It is intended to improve our skills by working with similar ability riders from other clubs.

A couple of weeks before the RSR you receive an email from the regional coach for road, who is Michael Heaven. In this email you will get a formal invite to attend. You have a set time to reply and pay for the session. This is sent to you and not the coach as you take responsibility for all aspects of the RSR. A week before the session you will get a list of equipment and requirements for the day. On the MTB one there was an addition of a cuddly toy to make sure you have carefully read the instructions. A good thing about the RSR is it encourages you to advertise your club by wearing your kit. You meet many of the same people on the each of the RSRs that you race against locally and it encourages you to network.

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Today I had to sign on at 10:30 for an 11:00 start. We started with a riders briefing which outlines the objectives of the day. The aims for today were sprinting, counter attacking and bunch riding. We got on to the track about 12 o'clock where we spent 5 hours learning skills and training. We probably only spent just less than 3 hours cycling but we covered 55 miles riding the track. It is an enjoyable day but anyone who goes on a RSR be prepared to work as it is relentless. Today we ended with sprints, learning the best places to sprint from in a group and how to create gaps.

There are many benefits to attending the RSRs as you are competing with similar ability of rider. You learn about nutrition and discuss training plans. Also you are meeting people who you will race against and you are learning with them. Another advantage is looking at other peoples kit and appreciating the sport of cycling.