Circuit racing is a test of stamina, fitness and tactical expertise with a large number of competitors riding in close proximity, commonly referred to as riding in a ‘bunch’.
These take place on traffic-free facilities, either purpose built for cycling or repurposed motor racing circuits or airfields. Races begin from a standing start and are shorter than road races, often only lasting for an hour for senior riders. Closed road circuits often have demanding corners with lots of braking, accelerating and cornering, demanding power and riding skill. Often called ‘criterium’ (or crit for short), these races are most often part of a league that lasts all season, allowing riders to compete for overall victory.
Learning to ride safely and efficiently in a bunch is a fundamental skill to be developed at entry level. Skills learnt in Go-Ride Races (under 16yrs) will help to lay the foundations for riders to develop the tactical awareness and race skills needed for higher level competition.
At a higher level circuit racing is amazingly varied, the tactical options for a rider or team are almost endless and will depend on the specific layout of the circuit being used. This is what makes it such a wonderful and unpredictable discipline. Often the strongest teams and riders prevail, but the outsider who is prepared to take risks and commit to daring tactics always has a fighting chance
Open Youth circuit races are often up to 20km in length but distances in Go-Ride Races are much shorter, whatever the distance, on the last lap the first rider over the line is the winner!