Essential Pre-Race Checklist

by Russell Cree of Upper Echelon Fitness

It’s hard to believe it, but the 2012 racing season is well underway. The Banana Belt Road Races are complete and we are moving toward a big month of road racing in April. Nothing is worse than training hard for an event only to show up unprepared by forgetting a key piece of equipment or having the wrong clothing. There are many variables in cycling that are hard to prevent – once the race begins there are many things that can go wrong. So do yourself a favor take the time to prepare in the areas that you can control. Use this checklist as a guideline when filling your race bag the night before the event.

The list may seem long, but trust me, you’ll be glad to have all these items, and to not have to think about what to pack on the day of the race.


• Cycling shoes – Most Important! You won’t be able to borrow shoes at the race.
• Helmet – Important!
• Socks: Tall socks or thermal socks for cool weather
• Shorts or Bibs
• Knee warmers
• Leg warmers
• Arm warmers
• Vest
• Full length tights
• Skinsuit (for time trials, crit, short track, or cross)
• Short sleeve jersey
• Long sleeve jersey
• Sleeveless undershirt
• Short sleeve undershirt
• Booties/Thermal shoe covers
• Wind/aero shoe covers
• Rain jacket
• Fingerless gloves
• Thin gloves for mild weather
• Thermal gloves for cold
• Cycling cap
• Racing glasses with lens options
• Post race casual clothing including team jacket and podium wear.


• Race Bike
• Race wheels
• Spare wheels – You may need to put these in the follow car if there’s not neutral support.
• Powermeter or Heart rate monitor
• Floor pump
• Rollers or trainer
• iPod for trainer warm-up
• Tool box
• Chain lube
• Rags
• Mussette bags and feed zone supplies


• Racing license or rider release print-out from website
• Money, cash, or check (most races don’t take credit cards)
• Race number (previously pinned to jersey/skinsuit if possible)
• Safety pins
• Rider release forms
• Race flyer and directions
• Cell Phone
• Plastic trash bags
• Toilet paper

Pre and Post Race Kit

• Towel
• Baby wipes
• Soap
• Chamois cream
• Sunscreen
• Lotion
• Lip balm
• Embrocation
• Large water container
• Medical/First Aid kit


• Pre-race food
• Pre-race drink
• Race food
• Water bottles
• Post race food and drink
• Large water container

Team Items

• Tents
• Changing tent
• Chairs
• Cooler + Bottles
• Nutrition supplies
• Bike Rack
• Trainers

Russell Cree is the owner of Upper Echelon Fitness, a sports medicine and training clinic for all levels of endurance athletes. He is a cycling training coach with extensive personal competition experience.

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