Love the feeling you get from riding your bike around your local area? Want to make it into a career like British rider Joshua Hunt has? It’s not an easy path, but by following the steps below, you’ll give yourself the chance to see if you have what it takes to make it happen.
1) Train hard (almost) every day
If you wish to compete at elite levels in cycling, you will have to adopt a professional attitude towards physical training.
This doesn’t just mean finding the time to ride your bike everyday, but it also means taking part in regular resistance training sessions to build up strength in your core and lower body.
To give yourself the fuel you’ll need to power yourself through all these physical activity, you will also need to pay close attention to your diet as well.
Avoid junk carbs, and seek out a diet rich in complex carbs, protein and vegetables. Race days are an exception to this ban on simple carb consumption, as you will need plenty of quick fuel to power your way to victory.
2) Join a cycling club in your area
After you have improved your fitness to the point where you can withstand long rides with little difficulty, go ahead and join a cycling club in your area.
Doing so will not only give you people to compare yourself against, but it will also provide you with fellowship that you won’t be able to find riding around town on your own.
With your new-found friends, you’ll be able to motivate them, and they will do the same when you go out on rides together.
3) Get a personal coach
As much as riding regularly with a bunch of cycling enthusiasts will help you fine tune your technique, there is no substitute for hiring your own personal coach if you want to become a professional cyclist.
Under the close supervision of an expert, you will gain insights into your form that amateurs rarely pick up on. By incorporating their suggestions into your game plan, you will get the edge that is needed to break into professional riding.
4) Find a job that is compatible with cycling
Unlike major pro sports, only a handful of pro cyclists makes enough money from racing to make it their career. The rest of the field holds down real world jobs when they aren’t racing in order to make ends meet.
As such, you will need an employer that will allow you to schedule work around your events and training sessions. While this is easier said than done, there are semi-pro athletes are doing this as we speak, so it is possible.
5) Enter local races
Now that you have secured a job that allows you to pursue your dreams part-time, the time has come to dip your toe into the pro racing pool.
Find a local race that offers cash prizes for the top finishers and buy in. Now that you have skin in the game, train hard and prepare yourself for the biggest race in your life to date. You are now a pro cyclist!
6) Seek out sponsorships
As you progress in skill, you may find yourself wanting to compete in races with bigger prize pools. However, lacking the ability to pay these entry fees up front is a common obstacle for racers that are looking to move up.
By securing sponsorships, you can solicit financial assistance from businesses that are looking to get their brand more exposure.
Use this money to compete in bigger races, and you’ll get the opportunity to move further up the pro-cycling ladder.