Cycling is the least skill orientated of the 3 disciplines however being confident at cornering, riding fast and putting the power down will help you and your performance. A good place to start is your position on the bike!
Being professionally fit to your bike can save you many Watts, often more than buying aero equipment. It is paramount to find the right balance between comfort, power and aerodynamics as this will allow you to get the best performance on the bike leg.
You spend the most of your time in a race or training on the bike so it is important to be comfortable! The more comfortable you are in an aero position on the bike, the longer you will be able to stay there. It’s great if you are able to stay in that position for the whole duration of the race but this takes time and practice in order to be able to do that. If you are riding in the right position, your power output will increase, making you more efficient, comfortable and therefore more sustainable overall
Power starts in the saddle. When we start out on the bike fit, we are trying to achieve the optimal saddle height which allows us to to have an open knee angle at the bottom of the pedal stroke and the optimal closed hip angle at the top of the pedal stroke. If either of these are even just a little bit off we could be either over using the muscle or not using it in the correct way which could be an injury risk as well as robbing us of precious watts.
Once you are comfortable on the bike and able to generate good power you can then start to modify and tweak how to get even smaller on the bike so that you are reducing your frontal area and really chasing aerodynamics.Some of the ways to do this are:Helmets! Finding an aero helmet that is best suited for your position on the bike. Everyone is different and not one size works for all but generally speaking, being able to tuck your head in using the best helmet for you will make a massive difference.Finding the best arm and hand position will help you be able to stay in the position for a longer period of time while not compromising your handling of the bike.
And finally, learning to use your best position at key points in the race. For example, if there is a headwind or a tailwind section, knowing how to tweak your position in these conditions to save precious watts will save energy and leave you with more in the tank on the run.