Taking the plunge: How to nail your first race

Taking the plunge into racing is a landmark moment in the life of any competitive-minded rider. Rookie racer Charlie Graham-Dixon finds out what it takes to make the leap of faith pay off

(Image credit: DaveHayward)

After cycling on the road for eight years, starting out as a commuter on a single-speed bike before buying my first road bike four years ago, I finally took the plunge and started racing this March.

Why did I make the step up? Looking back, it’s clear that my competitiveness — comparing myself to other riders — predated any specific racing urge. Even as a commuter, I couldn’t resist sprinting away from traffic lights or beating fellow riders up false flats on the way to work.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).