Tip #4: Practice clipping in
This tip comes from Matt O’Keefe (XXX Racing-AthletiCo), who read more than one report of riders clipping in poorly at Snake Alley.
1. Always clip in with the same foot at a standing
start to build muscle memory.
2. Always clip out when you stop instead of doing a
track stand, so you can practice clipping in.
There’s always a guy who doesn’t clip in quickly. Don’t be that guy, and don’t get stuck behind that guy. This is especially important in short criteriums that start fast and stay fast.
August’s Downers Grove criterium is much like Snake Alley in this regard: If you’re not at the front by the first corner, you’re going to have a lot of ground to make up and not a lot of time in which to do it. (It just so happens that Matt won the 4’s race at Downers Grove in 2004 and came in 2nd in the 3’s in 2006, so he knows what he’s talking about.)