What's Your Rider Type - Are You A Classics Sprinter?

What's Your Rider Type - Are You A Classics Sprinter?

The Classics Sprinter is an athlete who converts unmatched short, explosive power into a potent sprint. They are also hardmen and -women of cycling who embrace difficult terrain, harsh conditions, and adventure. They can make the key selections on short climbs, crosswinds, or rough terrain, and can ride at a high level in the peloton. Then, this rider closes the deal by beating everyone in a finish-line sprint. The career most similar to the Sprinter is a fighter pilot.

We’ve all seen the film “Top Gun,” right? To be a fast jet pilot, you must be confident and quick, and able to do what’s needed, even when the going gets tough. If you’re a fighter pilot, you have to be ready to fight and stay calm amongst the chaos. You have to have the right height-to-weight ratio to fit in the cockpit— and be ready to jump out in emergencies. Fighter jets can go more than twice the speed of sound, or 25 miles in a minute. Only the best pilots in the world can fly a plane that fast: You have to be able to think and act very quickly.

You must be comfortable flying in the pack but also flying solo. Classics sprinters frequently have to put out giant efforts at big speeds in a very chaotic and dangerous environment. They hide in the peloton, conserving energy and waiting until it’s their turn to launch. They rely heavily on their teammates, but ultimately it’s up to them to get the job done. They cover moves, following the train to out sprint the less-explosive riders at the end of a grueling race. They do not give up easily and might try lots of different approaches until they get the result they want. They have a keen ability to read the race and react accordingly.

Their downfall is that they are often overconfident in their own abilities, so they don’t always do the necessary positioning to set themselves up for the win. They aren’t afraid of situations others would deem dangerous, so they are predisposed to taking risks unnecessarily, leading to crashes. Classics Sprinters are ready to risk it all in the name of glory. 

Pro Rider Examples:

Tom Boonen, Peter Sagan, Kirsten Wild, Greg Van Avermaet 


Shorter, more solid rider, muscular, ideal center of gravity.

Physical Strengths:

Strong endurance, powerful, strong at producing power both in and out of the saddle, prefers non-steady riding, explosive ability, can do both short explosive efforts and is a good sprinter, good on short, explosive climbs, and strong in super-short time trials. 

Physical Weaknesses:

Long sustained climbs, long climbs with terrain changes, multi-day stage races or hard efforts, and long time trials.

Mental Strengths:

Gritty, aggressive, determined, resilient, strong mental endurance, and intense short focus.

Mental Weaknesses:

Often too focused on other riders, struggles with intense focus for long periods of time, and uncomfortable with physical pressure on climbs.

Ideal Races/Events:

Endurance events on rolling terrain, events with rough terrain or difficult weather conditions like rain, wind, cold, and mud, gravel races, short time trials, criteriums, and shorter road races.

Ideal Race-Winning Strategy:

Explosive, surging race that comes down to a small group in the finish, from which this sprinter will win the sprint.

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