“You have to be able to move sur la plaque [use the larger chainring] as soon as you’re at the top. I generally change gear 300m from the top. On a gentle climb, I sprint with my hands on the bottom of the bars, or I accelerate with my hands on the brake levers. I climb cols by feel and I don’t look at my heart meter. That said, I do have a look at my rivals’ heart meters sometimes, to see what state they’re in. Often I look at my computer to see how many more kilometres there are to the summit. When you’re not going well, you avoid looking upwards. In a climb, I look straight ahead 10 metres in front of me to judge my rivals, analyse the gears they’re using, see if they’re rolling in the saddle, if they’re breathing easily or not. You have to sense all that. Some riders don’t show signs of being tired but after riding with them so many times in the mountains I know what shows if they’re not going well. But I’m not going to say what they are.”—
I looked down quite a lot while climbing in the Appalachians. Mostly because I didn’t want to see how far away the top of the hill was.
“Do your time in the wind; nobody likes a wheel sucker. You might think you’re playing a smart tactical game by letting everyone else do the work while you sit on, but races (even Yellow Sign Sprints) are won through cooperation and spending time on the rivet, flogging yourself and taking risks. Riding wheels and jumping past at the end is one thing and one thing only: poor sportsmanship.”—Rule 67 of The Velominati (via jaw5h)