Cycle guides

Youth category ratios

Instructions on how your bike is measured

  1. Your bike must be in the maximum gearing.
  2. The position of you bike must be at a zero point on level ground with the cranks in a vertical position.
  3. Roll the bike backwards (rear wheel leading) for one full revolution of the crank until the crank is vertical and exactly in its starting position.
  4. Measure the exact distance the bike has travelled, using the crank as the start and stop point.

Check your gearing they have restrictions when racing.

YOUTH A 6.93 metres 6.93 metres 7.93 metres
YOUTH B 6.45 metres 6.45 metres 7.40 metres
YOUTH C 6.05 metres 6.05 metres 6.94 metres
YOUTH D 5.40 metres for all events.
YOUTH E 5.10 metres for all events.


Racing Nutrition

Day before

Eat normally the day before a big ride but pay particular attention to hydration. You want to make sure you are optimally hydrated in the 24 hours leading up to a ride rather than having to try and play catch-up in the morning which will tend to result in more toilet stops than is necessary. If you are travelling to a sportive the day before, don’t rely on service station food. Pack a healthy wholemeal bread sandwich, some fruit and unsalted nuts as a mid-afternoon snack.


The evening before a sportive or long training ride, avoid eating too late, or it might impact on the quality of your sleep. There is no need for the vast plates of pasta commonly consumed for the outdated concept of “carb loading”.

Your body can only store a certain amount of energy in the form of glycogen and, a combination of your normal diet and a taper or rest day, will mean that it is more than likely already full. Avoid heavy and hard to digest red meat, but instead opt for lighter proteins such as chicken or fish. Don’t overdo the fibre and steer clear of highly spiced food. Some carbohydrates, in the form of pasta, rice or potatoes are great, but remember you don’t need to overload.

A glass of wine or a pint of beer won’t be detrimental to your performance and, if you are nervous, it can help you to relax, but just stick to the one. A milky hot drink can also help you to relax and get to sleep.

Ride day – 7-7.30am

Aim to have your breakfast 90-120 minutes before you start riding. If you know that the ride will start at a very easy pace and does not have a significant climb early on, you can push this to 60 minutes. Porridge is the perfect pre-ride breakfast but, for longer rides, an additional 2-3 egg omelette will give you some more slow release energy. Many cyclists can’t function without coffee, but ensure you keep hydrated and sip at 500 ml of water or isotonic sports drink in the time leading up to your ride.


Pacing and fuelling are intrinsically linked. If you ride too hard, your body won’t be able to absorb and use the fuel you are giving it. Settle into an intensity early on, that you know is sustainable and realistic. Sip at your bottle right from the start of the ride.

You should be aiming to consume 500-1000 ml of fluid per hour depending on your build and conditions. If you tend to forget to drink, which many riders do, especially in cold conditions, set an alarm to go off every 5 minutes as a reminder.


Carbohydrates need to be consumed early, in small amounts and frequently. Thirty minutes into a ride might seem too early but you are not eating for that moment, but for 15-30 kilometres down the road. You will need 0.5-1g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight each hour depending on intensity, and you should aim to spread that over 2-3 micro feeds every 20-30 minutes.

500 ml of typical sports drink mixed at 6% will give you 30 g of carbohydrate, as well as essential electrolytes, so, on top of this, a 80-90 kg rider might also consume:

  • Two gels (30 g of carbohydrates each) = 60 g
  • Five fig rolls (12 g of carbohydrates each) = 60 g
  • Three mini pitta breads with peanut butter (18 g of carbohydrates each) = 54 g
  • Two brioche rolls with jam (28 g of carbohydrates each) = 56 g

Read more about nutrition before, during and after a race British Cycling