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How to take control in crosswinds and use the conditions to your advantage

British Cycling has produced a video supporting its Racesmart campaign that shows you how to race in strong winds.

Strong winds can be a tactical challenge and often have a big influence on the outcome of races at all levels. In the video, former professional rider Daniel Lloyd explains on-the-bike strategies, and talks through positioning, effort levels and equipment choices to help you take control in these conditions and use them to your advantage.

Positioning is crucial in crosswinds and the video concentrates on getting it right. If you’re not positioned correctly you’ll never move from the back of the bunch to the front in a crosswind, no matter how strong you are.

The video advises you to study the route and the forecast ahead of time so you know where the wind is likely to come from and how strong it will be, allowing you to plan accordingly.

It also tells you the best position to ride in an echelon in order to get the most shelter from the wind, and how to ensure you get into that position just before the start of a section where a crosswind is likely to make itself felt.

You might want to make equipment choices to take account of crosswinds; the video suggests that you swap from a deep-section front wheel to something shallower to make your bike’s handling more manageable.

Mat has in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.