How to Become a Professional Cyclist: Tips and Tactics for a Newbie

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So you want to become a professional cyclist huh? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Cycling has become the ultimate sport for everyone who wants to get a full-body workout, while simultaneously toning and building muscles.

With its riveting routine and technique, it has been the saving grace for many worldwide and is quickly gaining traction as one of the most physically and mentally rewarding athletic activities.

While many go into cycling as a way to get some good exercise, professional cyclists are becoming more and more common every day.

It’s becoming easier for you to break into the professional cycling ranks, because of the increase in events, equipment and training in many countries, and if you’re naturally competitive, professional cycling may just be the best sport for you.

Before paving your way to becoming the next best Tour de France cyclist, there are a few things you need to consider, including the nutrition, training & physical activity required. You may also need to take a look at the cycling equipment and gear you will need and how to get integrated into your niche.

Now, here’s everything you need to know about becoming a professional cyclist!


As with most professional athletic sports, your diet has a huge role to play in how successful you become and how well you’re able to perform.

The truth is that you are what you eat, and despite the number of hours you put in doing training, exercising and practicing to become a professional, your diet could erase that in as little as a week. Eating the right blend of nutrients allows your body to perform to the best of your ability, so what should you be eating?

1. Carbohydrates

I know carbs may be your enemy, but if you want your body to perform well when cycling, you’re gonna have to make them your friend.

Before you go wharfing down some pasta or bread, you have to ensure that the carbs you’re taking in won’t be counterproductive to your body. This is easily done by knowing what carbs are the best to eat, and at what time.

Foods like quinoa, brown rice and potatoes are great for obtaining the carbs needed to perform and are best when eaten on a regular basis, or the day before an event, but when it comes to event days, pro cyclists opt for more easily digestible carbs, such as high energy bars.

The major difference in these carbs is their glycemic index, which speaks to the impact of glucose levels in the body after digesting particular carbohydrates.

When you consume an energy bar, glucose levels rise much quicker than the 2 hours it would take if you had eaten rice or bread, allowing you to have more energy to use right away.

2. Protein

Now, this doesn’t mean all meat and seafood, but also lots of green leafy vegetables, beans, and nuts. Because of consistent training, the protein will be needed to help rebuild muscles after exercise, and you cannot afford to leave it out of your diet.

When doing weight lifting or strength training, ensure that your protein levels are met each day to prevent medical issues and muscle tearing.

Of course, a balanced diet is needed to make sure you’re at optimal health, but once you place emphasis on obtaining the adequate nutrients from everything you eat, your body will be rising up to what your mind has set out to do in no time. And don’t forget to hydrate, your body needs enough fluid to do its job, whether on or off your bike.

Training & Physical Activity

Now here comes the hard part, training. Most experts indicate that to become a professional cyclist, you need to get on your bike and ride for 2 hours, 5 – 6 days per week, as a beginner.

When you become more seasoned in the sport however, your training should increase, going as much as up to 6 hours a day, including weight lifting and strength training.

Methods of riding can be changed daily, just to make you more excited for your journey; cyclists go from changing their routes constantly to switching to an indoor stationary bike when necessary.

Strength training also plays a very important role in developing and building muscles and improving endurance.

Ensure that you prioritize leg and core muscles and that you do a lot of leg workouts such as squats and lunges. In many cases, getting a personal trainer or cycling coach will significantly improve your craft, as they are versed with the knowledge to ensure you improve your technique and skill set.

You may find a cycling coach at your local cycling club, or by searching popular cycling websites or magazines in your area.

Professional cyclist

Getting your Cycling Equipment and Gear

Once you decide to go professional, you’ll need to get a top range bike. I must say you need to research a bit on this as some bikes are just made for fun and comfort while some are for professional. Start with this comfort bike guide to avoid misconception.

I would also say incorrect biking gear will do you more harm than good, causing aches and pains that could otherwise be avoided, and make your cycling experience more painful than enjoyable.

If you train with a coach, it would be much simpler for him to walk you through the process of getting the equipment, but if not, head to your local cycling store and get yourself a professional bike fitting.

Having a professional fitting ensures that you buy the correct bike according to your size, weight and optimal performance, which results in a reduction of possible injuries and an increase in comfort while riding.

It also allows for improvement and a peak in overall performance, as the comfort and suitability of the bike allow riders to go faster, quicker.

The experience of the person doing your fitting is integral to whether you get the proper equipment, as techniques and theories for excellent performance vary from person to person.

To avoid mishaps, ensure you also do a little reading on the subject and test what you’ve learned with what the fitter knows, to ensure that both ideals and goals align.

Getting Integrated into Cycling; Finding Cyclists around you

Finding a local cycling community may be the competitive edge you need to perfect your niche and improve your performance. This also gives you the opportunity to get criticism that you couldn’t see yourself, by virtue of having more seasoned athletes around you, to provide feedback.

More importantly, find athletes that are better than you to train with and learn from. Having an active and friendly cycling community will help you to build on your craft, and make training more enjoyable.

Start Competing Locally

Entering local cycling events such as 5K’s and triathlons or just general obstacle course events can build your confidence and give you a feel of how you will fare in more serious international events.

These competitions also allow you to build technique and assess your competitiveness against more seasoned riders, which can provide tips for what you need to do differently.

The better you get, the bigger the contest you can enter as your craft improves, and you can move from community and club based events to national competitions.

It’s important, however, that you seek out a sponsor, as many professional cyclists are not compensated well enough to make a living off this sport.

Having a sponsor will help to compensate for things such as equipment and traveling to different competitions.

There you have it, all the information you need to transform your cycling hobby into a professional sport. Remember to train hard, eat right and find lots of cycling friends, to make this journey an enjoyable lifestyle. Happy cycling!

Here is a story of a professional cyclist:

Do professional cyclists live longer?

Professional cyclists have the potential to live longer than the average person due to their rigorous training and healthy lifestyle. Many cyclists are known to have an exceptionally long lifespan, with some living well into their 80s and 90s. Ultimately, this is due to the fact that cycling is a low-impact activity that puts minimal strain on the cyclist’s body.

According to studies, elite cyclists typically have healthier body compositions, lower blood pressure, and better cholesterol levels than non-exercisers. Also, they are more likely to consume a diet high in vitamins and minerals, which aids in their continued good health. Mostly, cyclists have access to the best medical care available, which can help them prevent and treat any health issues that may arise during their careers.

Furthermore, elite cyclists frequently participate in endurance events that can enhance their cardiovascular health and lower their risk of contracting chronic illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. Therefore, by living a healthy lifestyle and taking advantage of modern medical treatments, professional cyclists are able to extend their lives significantly. The best part about cycling is you can do it outside or on a stationary bike, so there are no excuses.

Do professional cyclists make money?

Yes, professional cyclists do make money by competing in races, winning prizes, having sponsorships, and through product endorsements. Cycling is a lucrative sport that can generate significant income for its athletes. Mostly, they make a good living by competing in races worldwide. Prize money is awarded to professional cyclists who compete in events such as the Tour de France or any other major cycling race.

Usually, the prize money for winning races can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the race and the cyclist’s ranking. Sponsorships are also a great way for professional cyclists to make money, as companies will pay them to ride their bikes with their logo or brand name.

Sponsorships are the primary source of income for professional cyclists, with most riders signing contracts with apparel companies, bike manufacturers, and even energy drink companies. Additionally, professional cyclists may also receive endorsements from sports brands or be featured in television commercials or magazine ads. All these sources of income help to make professional cycling a profitable venture for its athletes.

Which time of day is riskiest for cyclists?

Cycling is a great way to stay active and reduce your carbon footprint but it can also be dangerous if you are not careful. Knowing when the riskiest times of day for cyclists is important so you can plan your route accordingly. According to a survey, the most dangerous times for cyclists are during peak traffic hours in the morning and evening.

That’s because more cars are on the road, which increases the chances of an accident. Additionally, drivers may be in a hurry and not pay attention to their surroundings as much as they should. Therefore, cyclists can take extra precautions to stay safe while cycling by understanding when these risks increase.

Also See: What is the perfect time to buy a bicycle?