A “match” is an elusive term used by riders, and coaches within the bike racing world. When you burn a match, you have done a hard effort. It’s an effort that in which you had to dig deep, or you had to really push yourself.
Any bike racer knows what it feels like to have burned a match
Why do you need to know what a match is? Well, you as a rider, start out the day with a full set of matches in your matchbook, but every time you go hard, do an attack, have to hammer over a hill, you burn one of your matches.
All of us have different size matchbooks, but nobody has an infinite number, so it’s important to burn your matches at the right time during a race or in training. Otherwise you are left with an empty matchbook and then your chances of performing well have been drastically reduced.
Burn all your matches before the end of the race and it’s unlikely that you’ll win.