Tour de France Stage 8 - Wout van Aert Sprinting Technique

Tour de France Stage 8 - Wout van Aert Sprinting Technique

Wout van Aert took the win in Stage 8 of The Tour de France with an excellent display of technique to come out on top of Michael Matthews.  

Just like Van Aert this Tour, Matthews has also shown considerable form and class confidently being there on the tough sprint finishes.  Stage 8 looked to be Matthew’s day as going into the final 250 meters he was positioned far better than van Aert. However, van Aert made it happen using three key techniques to make up for lost ground on Matthews and win the stage. 

1. Snap Acceleration

Van Aert was able to make a very sharp transition from sitting to standing and create a snappy acceleration. This was done by aggressively adding his body weight into the downstroke pedal stroke while lifting himself out of the saddle. The leverage that is created in this motion sharply increases the total power output resulting in a boost of speed to accelerate. While van Aert was not as ideally positioned as Matthews, he was able to create a sharper transition and larger snap to build more speed.  


2. Standing High Cadence

After van Aert was able to effectively launch his bike faster with the out of the saddle acceleration, his effort did not stop there.  He was still behind Matthews and then used a super high cadence while standing to close the gap more to Matthews.  If you watch the two riders side by side you will see that van Aert had a visibly higher cadence.

3. Body Language (Swagger)

The last technique that van Aert used was his body language, which we call bike swagger.  This is shifting your weight around to increase your speed on your bike.  Remember as kids trying to see how far you could coast without pedaling?  That’s right, you ended up slithering your bike all around to keep it going!  Well, when you are pedaling at the same time, you get a much better “slither” standing.  Just like the cadence, when you look at the two riders side by side it is clear that van Aert put more Swagger into his sprint using more body language to move his bike around to create more speed. 

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