Most races end up in a bunch sprint, which normally is exclusively for the sprinters. But it is only a small percentage of Training4cyclists.com’s readers who are pure sprinters and play a role on the last 200m. I will now make a short description of how you can win the next bunch sprint – at least in the theory…
1. Pick your parents carefully
When it comes to true sprinters, genes play a central role. Sprinters are born to be sprinters. It is said that you can turn a slow donkey into a faster donkey, but you can never make racehorse out of a donkey. This animal is simply born to be slow and this is also the situation for many non-sprinters.
Natural born sprinters have a higher percentage of fast twitch fibers than normal people. Road cycling sprinters are not as pure sprinters as you see them in track and field. This is because the sprinters have to carry themselves a long distance before they can see the finish line.
Before you give up, it is important to note that in many races, stronger riders use the terrain to challenge the sprinters before the final 200m. They attack on the hills and make jumps in the crosswinds. That is their chance to beat the sprinters.
“So if you already know that the sprinters are faster than you, then you basically have three options: attack, attack, attack… Got it?”
Save your energy for the final kilometer. Until then, your job is to get through the race as easily as possible. Many riders who could do reasonably well in a sprint, make the mistake that they spend energy in desperate attacks because they do not believe in themselves as pure sprinters. So make your decision before the race and stick to it. If you decide to go for the sprint, do it 100%, otherwise forget about it and make a different strategy.
Sprint is all about position. If you are not in a good position you will never win a sprint even if you are the fastest sprinter. Keep the wheel of a sprinter you know is going to be among the first riders. If you are lucky or talented, you may have team-mates who will help you get in a good position.
Power is always important, and for sprinters power is essential. If you want to make an incredibly fast sprint, you need to train for it. That means specific sprint and anaerobic endurance training, and maybe also strength training.