Reposted from Bicycling.com.au- Bruce Hildenbrand

Tips and Tricks from the Best

Bicycling.com asked some of the world’s savviest pro racers for the single piece of wisdom they received during their careers that made the biggest difference in their riding.
Andy Hampsten, 1988 Giro d’Italia Winner

“Wrap your thumbs around your bar. Even some pros just lay their thumbs next to their fingers on top of the bar when they’re not racing hard. But accidents seem to happen more often when people are relaxed than during the intense moments of a ride. Use your thumb as a hook, and you have a better chance of maintaining control during stupid accidents.”

 

Chris Baldwin, 2003 & 2005 U.S. National Time-Trial Champion

“When I was 13, my boss at a bike shop told me that when he was racing, his upper body was so relaxed that his lower lip would jiggle with the road vibration. To this day, when I time-trial or climb I relax my face, and my body tends to follow.”

 

Dave Zabriskie, 6-Time U.S. National Time-Trial Champion and 2-Time Tour de France Stage Winner

“Frank McCormack showed me how to dry my clothes. He laid out a dry towel, then he laid the wet clothes on the towel after he washed them. He rolled the towel up, then stepped on it, and finally wrung it as hard as he could. After that, you have to hang your clothes for only a little bit before they’re dry.”

 

Kimberly Bruckner, 4-Time U.S. National Champion and 2003 Pan American Time-Trial Gold Medalist

“Always wear gloves. I had a teammate who -never did, and her hands looked like they were 80 years old. If I forget my gloves, I can’t start a race until I find an extra pair. It’s just my thing.”

 
Christian Vande Velde, 2008 & 2009 Tour de France Top 10 Finisher

“Remember that all the other riders are human. They train, they suffer, they bleed, they cry. I got that advice from my dad–I had the luxury of being the son of a former professional cyclist–when I was a scared and intimidated junior racing against people from California, Florida and New York, and seeing license plates from people 2,000 miles away.”

Christine Thorburn, 2004 National Women’s Time-Trial Champion
“Plan ahead for shifting on climbs. If you put tons of pressure on the pedals when you shift, you can get stuck in a gear or drop your chain.”

 

Tim Johnson, 3-Time U.S. National Cyclocross Champion

“I was told by a very close friend, much older than I am, to listen to everybody and believe no one–which basically means that you have to figure things out for yourself.”

 

Ivan Basso, 2006 & 2009 Giro d’Italia Winner

“Eat early, go to sleep early. Don’t eat bad food.”

 

 Bjarne Riis, 1996 Tour de France Winner

“Suffer. Sacrifice.”

Jens Voigt, 3-Time Tour de France Stage Winner
“Eddy Merckx said, ‘Attack when it hurts you because you know you are going to get away.’ I just try to keep doing that.”

 

 Frankie Andreu, 9-Time Tour de France Finisher

“Take a nap every day. It’s the most important part of training. I napped every day. It made the difference on every training ride.”