In my last article, I have talked you five effective ways to enhance your cycling power. I hope you cyclists have trained the skills already. So in the following part, I would like to share something else with you- that is, how to become a great sprinter.
The term "sprinter" is relatively self-explanatory, but what are the qualities that you need to be a successful one. The first component to being a successful sprinter is having a high short-term power output. The best road sprinters will put out somewhere in the region of 1400 to 1800 watts over a five second period. However, since some amateurs are able to put out similar powers for that duration, there is obviously more to it than that.
Sprinters must also have a high anaerobic capacity, that is the ability to produce a high amount of power for fifteen seconds to two minutes. The speeds and professional peloton are so high over the last couple of kilometers that as a sprinter, you have to sustain a high power output even when you're sat on the wheels before you come to unleashing your sprint.
Position on the bike
Your position on the bike is also important whilst climbing sprinting speed is dictated by your power output versus your overall drag. This is one of the reasons that Mark Cavendish has been so successful. He doesn't have the raw power output of dry floor, but his position is so low that when he does sprint, he doesn't create as much drag. It also means that his rivals don't get so much benefit from sitting in his slipstream. Cavendish has also benefited from a very quick acceleration(another great quality for a sprinter). when he jumped, he often puts meters into his rivals which again means they're not able to take advantage of slipstreaming.
Position in the bunch
Whilst your position on the bike is important, your ability to position yourself in the bunt is even more so. It doesn't matter how fast you are if you get to 200 meters to go in the fiftieth position, then you aren't going to win the race. The best sprinters have a sixth sense where they need to be and when and for maintaining the right position in the group with the minimal effort. It might sound easy, but rubbing shoulders with other riders at speeds of 65 case now is something only the skilled and brave can do.
Top sprinters also possess a high level of tactical nouse. If it's a tailwind, they may jump early. If it's a headwind, they'll leave it until the last possible moment. They can also read race situations in a split second and jump from one wheel to another if the need occurs. A great example of this was the final stage of the 2013 tour of Beijing. I'll go Shimano rider, Luka Meza. It had a good lead-out from his teammates but his last man ended up on the front too early. Had message started sprinting when his teammate started slowing. It would be far too early and he Vince wanted by the other sprinters. However, he quickly read the situation and jumped onto the wheel of F DJ's NASA boot on E. He was then able to save energy in the French when his slipstream before making his own sprint and comfortably taking the victories.
Sprinters are also arguably the best bike handlers in the bunch. Not only do they need to make sudden moves at high speed to avoid crashing, they also need to maintain a high-speed possible trough corners so as not to lose vital momentum whilst some riders are more nervous and leave a small safety gap. Sprinters will often be seen just millimeters behind the wheel in front of them.
Finally, a sprinter must have a certain lack of fear. It's not a job for the faint-hearted. As a sprinter, you cannot really afford to put your brakes on in the last kilometer or your race may well be over. Crashing is a hazard of the job. This does not deter the best in the world. The role of each domestic will also depend on their strength experience specialty and tactical nuance.
To sum up, to be a great sprinter, you are in need of high anaerobic capacity, right position, tactic, bike handling, and bravery. Come on buddy, believe in yourself, you will be a great sprinter.