It used to be that cycling soigneurs were more handymen than athletic trainers, ready to do everything from drive the equipment truck, to hand out musette bags, and administer the odd massage.

But as the cycling community learns more about the importance of recovery, priorities behind the scenes are shifting: Soigneurs are increasingly coming into the business with physical therapy and massage backgrounds.


Cycling-specific massage today requires intimate knowledge of the way riders of all levels use their muscles.

That’s the hard part to learn,” says Sara Clawson, who runs a sports massage practice in Greensboro, North Carolina, and who has worked the last few years as a soigneur for the USA Cycling junior and elite development teams.

While the research on the health benefits of massage is ongoing, several studies have found that it decreases inflammation and helps with mitochondrial repair, which ultimately helps with recovery—in the long run making us faster, too.


“Cycling is such a sport of marginal gains,” Clawson adds. It’s also a sport where small injuries and muscular imbalances can create big problems over time.

Clawson has found that, when dealing with cyclists, certain injuries are more likely to crop up.

Not counting crash-related pains, knee problems account for a significant percentage of use injuries, with lower back problems a distant second.

Knowing that, she’s able to focus on muscles most connected with knee stabilization and core strength.

Those of us who aren’t full-time cyclists endure plenty of other things that make us tight, too, and most don’t have coaches making sure we train correctly.


That’s why we need massages to work out kinks and help recovery.
Clawson suggests doing the following in order to get the most gains out of your regular massage.

A note: If you don’t want someone else working on your body, make sure to try self-myofascial massage on your own with a foam roller or massage stick.

Otherwise book an initial consultation to discuss any issues and have your posture assessed.

Book regular appointments to work through those issues with your therapist and follow their advice regarding stretching and exercise.

Set up

Have you had your bike set up properly? Places like Black Bikes in Eastbourne can help and advise you with the best set up for you.

To book a consultation and assessment of your postural and injury needs call Jason on 07980339864

Some more on the subject here