To be a great sprinter not only do you need great tactics but you need the perfect sprinting technique.
Before you can even begin to sprint it is crucial to select the proper gear, it has to be one that you can accelerate very quickly, but not one that you are going to spin out of too soon. Gear selection will come with practice. Challenge yourself to mini sprints while on training rides to get a better feel for gear selection.
A more advanced technique to keep in mind is that suddenly changing gears can signal to people that you are about to get up and sprint, so try to soft pedal for a moment and then feather the gear change if you are trying to catch them off guard.
For regular people like us who do need to work on our sprint, here is a great sprint workout that focuses on technique and generating sprint power:
- 6 x small ring sprints to start – 50 meters each with no gear changes – wind the gears out and stand up focusing on technique. You should be spinning at 120rpm at the finish of these sprints. Rest for about 2-3minutes between each.
- Then do (3) x Big Ring- one gear change- Jump in the 53:17 from 32kph, and then wind out the gear and shift. Wind out that gear-(110-120rpm) and you are done. Rest for 3-5 minutes between each Big Ring sprint.
- Then (3) x big ring – From 53:16 at 37kph- 2 gear changes, again winding out each gear. And Finish with 1 x big ring 53:15- from 42-45kph, and jump hard and sprint til you wind out that 53:13 gear! (this last one can be on a slightly downhill grade to help you get up to speed.) One of the goals of this workout is to get you to realize that you do not need to ‘dump’ the chain into the hardest gear for a sprint.
- Sprinting starts out with a hard jump in a gear that you can turn over. Then as you ‘wind’ out each gear, you shift down one. You ‘work’ down the gears with the rpm’s reach the correct range.