10 simple tips for sprinting

CYCLING : SCHELDEPRIJS-VLAANDEREN 2008

1 . Always sprint on the drops.
You will be safer and faster unless it’s a steep uphill finish when it’s acceptable to use the hoods.

2. Look where you’re going.
Keep watching where you are going and what’s in front of you.

3. Train for sprinting.
You will never become good at something that you don’t train for. The same applies to climbing, time trialling, etc. Find a quiet, flat, straight 400 meters of road. Warm up for 20 minutes. Do between 4 and 6 two hundred meter sprints from a standing start at 110%. You should be borderline throwing up and have screaming legs if done correctly. Warm down for 20 mins spinning in a very low gear to flush out the lactic acid. You are now in the top 10% of your category.

4. Sprint to the line.
If you are sprinting for a finish line never ease up until you have crossed that line no matter what position you are in. Many races and placings have been lost by riders who quit before the line.

5. Committ.
Once you begin your sprint give it everything that you have. Be 110% committed and make an effort you can be proud of.

6. The fastest guys don’t always win.
Anything can happen in a sprint. It doesn’t matter if there is a guy much faster than you in the race. If he gets anything wrong you have to be prepared to take your chance to win.

7. Know your bike.
Have your bike in top condition so that you will not have a gear jump or slip when you make your effort. If you doubt your bike you cannot sprint.

8. Know your own sprint.
Know where the point is that you can launch your sprint from and sustain the effort all the way to the line. There is no point having a fantastic sprint for 200 meters if you launch from 300 meters out.

9. Know the finish.
Warm up before the race on the finish straight if possible. Take note of wind direction, surface of the road on different sides, where the potholes are, etc. Is it up or down hill ? What is the last corner like ? What position do you need to be in coming around that corner ?

10. Enjoy it.
There is a great feeling of exhilaration from a sprint finish. Enjoy the rush of adrenaline and savour the moment. You will be reliving it with your club mates for weeks to come.

Barry
www.thecyclingblog.com

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