The Art Of The Assist

Pushing is an art, for both the pusher and the pushee. Here’s how to do it right


Sometimes the key to team during the Old Mutual Wealth Double Century is a little push on the back on the climbs. Here’s how to do it just right.

  • The key is for the person being pushed to keep pedalling at the rate they were just surviving at, rather than trying to accelerate. Use the extra few watts to make it slightly easier.
  • All too often the person being pushed tries to match the effort of the pusher; which is a recipe for disaster, and for a guaranteed complete halt for both of you further up the road.
  • Think of it as an extra gear. Keep your breathing calm and see how long you can use the extra effort, rather than testing how fast it can make you go.
  • For the pushers: alternate sides, my friends, or you will be walking and sleeping like a crab for the rest of the weekend. Pushing kills your lower back and shoulder; so rather kill both sides slightly less, but evenly.
  • Push or pull? We prefer pushing, as it lets the more tired rider concentrate better, with both hands on the bars. Whereas having them hang on to a pocket is a mental challenge they might not have capacity for at this stage.

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