Balance: The Key to Winning
To compete at the very top in cycling, you need to have balance in your life. Nowhere is this truer than in a Grand Tour raced over three weeks, or even in the hunt for an Olympic Gold. Just ask Bradley Wiggins - the first ever Brit to win the Tour de France and the first cyclist to add a Gold Medal to the yellow jersey in the same year.
Too much exertion and you will blow any chance of beating the rest of the field. Conserve too much energy, and they will leave you behind. Finding the optimum balance between the two will be key to crossing the line first.
Your fluid and food intake must be similarly balanced: too much and you will be lethargic, too little and you will run out of energy - probably when you need it most.
Hopefully you will have the chance to feel the jubilation of winning a bike race, even if it is with friends around the park. If so, you will know that balance isn't something just for the top professionals.
It may be second nature, almost intuitive now, but balance is the key to cycling. Do you remember those first turns on the pedals, those wobbles when the stabilisers were removed from your first bike? Building up confidence required those obligatory scratched knees, finally leading to that sense of liberation.
From those gaining the glory at the top to the first time rider, balance is the one thing we all have in common.
Sam Norman is a freelance cycling journalist and enthusiast. He keeps a blog at TheWheelsucker.com where he shares his thoughts and insights on professional road cycling.
Photo: Seb Daly - sebdaly.co.uk