'I was going hard while Geraint was sitting up chatting': Five types of riders to help you succeed

There’s no mightier influence on your fitness than fellow cyclists — friends and foes. Sports psychologist Dr Josephine Perry identifies five archetypal riders who could prove pivotal to your progress

Nice: When Richie met 'G'

If comparison is the thief of joy, as the quote suggests, then cyclists should be pretty miserable. As well as the race results and club ride sprints, we have Instagram, Facebook, Strava and Zwift constantly in our face highlighting other people outperforming us. We see the newbies who have already beaten our FTP and grind our teeth at the guy who seems to have all the free time in the world to collect new Strava segments.

Comparing our cycling successes to others’ usually ends in tears; the envy we feel makes us no faster, only bitter. Checking out our rivals, stalking their Strava accounts and constantly considering their form actually means we lose one of the biggest benefits of being a cyclist — the brilliant people we meet. So, instead of feeling grumpy and second best, perhaps we can embrace others and compare ourselves in a systematic, helpful way. We found five archetypal rivals — and instead of only trying to beat them, let’s find ways to join them.

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