The criterium is the only discipline that is not self-explanatory based on its name. A criterium is similar to a road race, however the lap lengths are significantly shorter, making cornering a significant element in the race.
Traditionally a criterium course may range in distance from 1-2 km. The Exeter Road course that is used for the local series is just over 800m long, with a "D" shape that makes it more forgiving than the standard rectangular course.
In a criterium a rider may cover 40 to 60 laps before reaching the end; this may sound like a lot but it is approximately the same distance as any of the local road races.
The pace in a criterium may appear a little faster than in a road race, however, this is due to the shorter length of a lap, and constant accelerations out of the corners.
In the criterium bike handling skills are quickly improved upon.
LCW criteriums are run for an "A" and a "B" group (the latter including women and U19's). During the longer days of the year, the groups are split; otherwise they race simultaneously. Please refer to the specific regulations governing split and combined criteriums under Training Rules.
Road racing in London is a friendly competition put on by the members of the LCW. There are a number of road courses used by the club that will challenge any level of rider. The races are conducted by completing a predetermined number of laps of the course which range from 5.5 km per lap for the Scotland Rd. loop to 30 km for the Police and Fire Games loop. The race normally ranges from 20-60 km depending on the weather, and the time of year.
Races are conducted as "pursuits" between ability classes divided in such a way as to prevent a large group of participants from being present together on the road at any point during the race, particularly the finish, which experience has proven to be more dangerous when contested by riders of mixed abilities. To keep everyone excited there are points awarded to the top five in the A and B groups and to the top 5 elite/master women and to the top 5 U19 boys and top 5 U19 girls. Women and U19's who finish in the top 5 of an A or B race also receive A or B points. The same holds for U19 women who finish ahead of the 5th woman in the women's competition. These points are maintained and go towards a trophy at the end of the year for the top rider.
Please refer to the specific regulations governing road races under training rules.
Time trialing is exactly what it sounds like; it is a race against time. This it the only discipline in cycling where a rider will ride as hard as he or she can, so that they may have the highest average speed obtainable for them on that day over a predetermined distance. Otherwise known as the individual time trial (ITT) some will say that the ITT is the "race of truth" because there is no help or shelter from other riders. In the ITT drafting other participants or vehicles is strictly forbidden and a rider will be disqualified if caught. Whether there is a personal goal that one is trying to beat, or you are trying to top the field of competitors these races are always measured on time so the improvements can be accurately measured. In London a number of different courses, and different distances are used to test a rider’s ability. Starting with 15km ITT's in early May and topping out with 40km in the middle of the summer, no matter what the distance it is just you and the clock. The ITT is likely the most challenging discipline in cycling as it taxes both one’s mental and physical capacities, yet ironically it is the most accessible for all levels of ability to enjoy.
If you would like to come out and try one or all of these scheduled events please feel more than welcome. Training is geared towards getting new people into the sport.
Note to riders: For safety’s sake please ride responsibly and respect all other vehicles on the roads during these events. It is only with this respect toward all users of the road that we can continue to enjoy our sport to the fullest. In particular this applies to the start and finish of rides when riders are gathered in one area. Please line the right hand side of the road and do not fill the lane in this situation. Please refer to the specific regulations governing time trials under training rules.