Do you ever just watch races like the Tour de France in awe thinking you wish you could climb like the Pro's? Maybe you will not climb AS fast, but you there are some key takeaways from the racing you can use to improve yours.
I love to sit with my my coached athletes while watching the races and point out techniques and strategies that few know about that make the difference.
I've got eight unique tips from this year's Tour de France that I would like to share with you to help improve your climbing!
- When climbing look ahead, not down at your front wheel. Just by simply looking where you want to go you will ride faster as well as find the climb goes by quicker.
- To accelerate use high power and high cadence while standing. The most effective way to make an attack or an acceleration is to stand to increase your power and match with high cadence.
- Don’t hesitate, react right away. Too often people see a move and question if it is “the right move.” Just go. After you follow then you can decide what you are doing to do (like pull through or sit on.)
- Climb with thumbs forward and elbows bent. Moving your thumbs forward locks the hands and elbows so you engage your core and add more power to your pedal stroke.
- Ride slightly off to one side of the wheel in front of you. This smooths your riding out as you do not have to brake and accelerate with the person in front of you’s every move!
- Life heel up and pull up on upstroke. By lifting the heel you engage your calves, hamstrings, and glutes in your upstroke, adding much more power.
- Drop your body weight into the downstroke to increase power. This is a climbers secret, but yes learning how to do this will help you to increase your power when you need it like here to win the fist yellow jersey of the TDF.
- Sit up straight to ride no handed with ease. Ok few will use this riding uphill, but you might need to when you win a race after trying this tips. But seriously... You can balance much easier when you sit up straight on the bike while riding no handed. You can see he starts with his hands too far forward and then sits up straight and finds his balance to do the finish line salute.