Sprinting: love it or hate it, it's a part of the sport we love. We use it in everything from our workouts to group rides and races.
Below are some quick techniques to focus on during your next sprint.
1. Your core is your best friend.
A strong core helps produce power and pedal stroke efficiency. Engage your core by bringing in the elbows towards your chest on each upstroke. This will not only help produce power but also keep you in that fast aero position.
2. Maximizing your pedal stroke
I see a lot of people sprint by stomping on the pedals to try and get the most power. For me, I’m a smaller rider, so creating high power numbers in a sprint is a little more of a challenge. What I found works best for me is focusing on the knees, hip flexors and really getting a full pedal stroke. So you drive down with the quads on the balls of your feet with your heels up, then on the upstroke, you are pulling up with your hamstring, calves, and glutes.
3. Finding the proper gearing
Finding the right gear can be a challenge. Sometimes you are over-geared and end up being bogged down on your initial acceleration, or under-geared being spun out too early and having to lose those precious milliseconds of momentum shifting to a harder gear. Practicing your sprint from many different speeds and scenarios like gradual downhill, uphill, fast, slow, headwind or tailwind can help you find that gear that works for you.
Also being aware of what the terrain is coming up ahead is key to a good sprint
For example, take this scenario: There are 200m to go and at the last 50-60 meters there is a quick punchy climb.
First, you will need that initial acceleration, so getting the gear you can get on top of quickly is key. Then you hit the climb, but your gear is just too hard and you lose momentum. So just before we hit that initial point where we start losing the moment, we must shift to a slightly easier gear to keep our cadence high and all the momentum we created on that initial acceleration to the line.
This Article was Written by CINCH Cycling coach Quintin Chiapperino
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