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How to train for the Tour de France – The Yellow Jersey

2013 TDF Winner Chris Froome

Chris Froome – Winner of the 2013 Tour de France

The Tour de France has concluded and the yellow jersey (le maillot jaune which identifies the overall race winner) Has been awarded.

The Yellow Jersey recognizes the best racer overall.

Chris won the tour by being at the front during the flat stages

  • Performing well in the time trials
  • Chasing down break-aways with competitors that posed a threat
  • And of course taking time from everyone on the mountain stages.

For our final article in the series we will look at intervals that will develop your ability to climb, time trial, and ride at the front.

The yellow Jersey Awarded to the tour de France overall winner

The Coveted Yellow Jersey

Descending Intervals – will help to increase Anaerobic power, lactate threshold, and repeat-ability to short intense efforts.
How to do it:  I prefer to do these on an indoor trainer but a flat stretch of road will work as well.
Use a moderate gearing and a high pedal cadence of 110+ rpm for each interval.  Attack each interval as hard as possible then jump out of the saddle and continue to go all out if you need to shift to a lower gear but do not allow the intensity to drop. You will be at you max heart rate these intervals are designed to not allow for complete recovery and to train your body to buffer lactic acid better. Perform 2 sets of 4 consecutive intervals. Ride and recovery are the 120 seconds ride time 120 seconds recovery then 90,60, and finally 30
Rest for 5 min between sets.

 Muscle Tension Intervals – will develop cycling specific strength for climbing.
How to do it: Perform on a long moderate climb or  trainer with the front wheel raised. Cadence will be low between 50-55 rpm.
Gearing is high 53×12 to 53×15. This gearing and the incline will put stress on your muscles especially your quadriceps make sure your form is good engaging the core pulling with your arms and pedaling circles not squares

OverUnder Intervals – Build power above lactate threshold.
How to do it: On a relatively flat road or trainer use a moderate gearing and a high pedal cadence of 100+rpm lowly bring your Heart rate up to your lactate threshold (80-85% of your max hr) Maintain this intensity for 5 min then increase your Heart rate by 3-5 beats and hold at that intensity for 1 min then drop the intensity back to Lactate threshold. Continue this pattern for 3 cycles a total of 18 minutes. These intervals will train your body to buffer lactic acid and improve your tolerance.

Training Notes:
Do not perform any Interval without first establishing a good foundation of base miles.

Other articles in the series

Sprinting
Climbing
Young Rider

HOW TO TRAIN FOR THE TOUR DE FRANCE – Best Young Rider

The White Jersey - Awarded to the Best Young RiderBesides the yellow jersey (le maillot jaune) which identifies the overall race winner, there are three other contests that play out during The Tour de France.

Each Jersey recognizes the best racer in their respective category.

By incorporating interval training into your rides you can develop your tour winning fitness.

Each article in the series will cover a different Jersey – Today we will look at the Best Young Rider Category.

Best Young Rider - White Jersey

The White Jersey is awarded to the best rider under 26 years of age.
The Tour de France is a race like no other with 21 stages and over 3,000 Kilometers many stages include climbs that are beyond categorization, strong headwinds, crashes, and crazy fans and caravans that can take out a rider in an instant. Experience plays as much a role as fitness and tactics.

The best young rider needs to have an excellent base fitness and handling skills. – below are some intervals and training tips to help develop these.

Tempo – will help to increase your aerobic capacity and prepare your body for more explosive workouts.
How to do it:  After warming up ride at around 80% of your Max HR cadence should be low at around 70-85 rpm during climbs stay seated to strengthen connective tissues and supporting muscle groups.
Ride time at tempo can be between 30 to 120 minutes depending on development stage.

Steady State – will increase your lactate threshold.
How to do it: Ride between 80-85% of your max HR and a cadence between 85-90 RM on flat road and 70-80 RPM while climbing.
Perform 2 intervals of 20 minutes each with 15 min of recovery
Steady state intervals can be incorporated into your Tempo workouts.

Aspects of a TurnBike Handling

  • Practice cornering
    • Control your speed – Brake prior to entering the turn a free rolling wheel tracks better and allows you to carve a turn.
    • Weight the outside pedal down to increase pressure on the wheels and improve bike stability.
    • Pick your line – Identify the apex of the turn and pick a line that has straightest arc (Entry,Apex,Exit)
    • Pedal out of the turn – Pump the apex of the turn and pedal through the turn exit.

Types of Pacelines used in Road Cycling

  • Learn to ride in the group
    • Take your turn pulling – maintain the groups speed, hold a straight line, look ahead and call out obstacles.
    • Drop off – After your pull is over quickly look back to check for traffic then move to the left of the paceline about a shoulders width and slow your pedal cadence enough to allow the paceline to pedal past.
    • Drop back – Don’t move out too far to the left. stay close enough to the paceline to maintain wind protection as the last rider pulls through smoothly transition back into the line.

Training Notes:
Do not perform any Interval without first establishing a good foundation of base miles.

Click here for more on riding in a paceline

How to train for the Tour de France – King of the Mountains

TDF Stage 2 Climbing

TDF Stage 2 – The main Field Chasing down Thomas Voeckler

Besides the yellow jersey (le maillot jaune) which identifies the overall race winner, there are three other contests that play out during The Tour de France.

Each Jersey recognizes the best racer in their respective discipline.

By incorporating interval training into your rides you can develop your tour winning fitness.

Each day we will cover a different Jersey – In honor of today’s stage we will focus on climbing.

tdfJersey_KOM
The Polka-dot-Jersey is given to Best Climber. Known as the King of the Mountains This rider Posses an excellent Aerobic Capacity and Strength to weight ratio.

To help develop these attributes – here are three intervals that you can add to your workouts.

Climbing repeats – will help to increase your climbing lactate threshold which determines your endurance performance.
How to do it: Find a long (1 mile or more) steady climb and perform 2 intervals of 12 minutes each at 78-83 % of your max HR recover for 10 minutes between each interval.

Hill Sprints – will increase your power for uphill accelerations.
How to do it: Find a flat road leading into a steep uphill ride into the hill at about 15-20 MPH as you reach the hill, jump out of the saddle and give it all you have for 8-12 seconds allow a full recovery of about 10-20 minutes between intervals. When performing interval focus on your form and gearing to ensure that all your power is transmitted to the pedal and your are not wasting energy with superfluous movements.

Hill Accelerations – Build power and acceleration at lactate threshold.
How to do it: Begin slowly on a long moderate climb as you reach the last 500 yards of the climb gradually
increase your speed Try to time it so that at the end of the interval you are near your max hr.
perform 2 hill accelerations with full recovery between efforts.

Training Notes:
Do not perform any Interval without first establishing a good foundation of base miles.

If you live in northern NJ a favorite place for climbing intervals is the Alpine boat basin to the top of 9W

How to train for the Tour de France – Sprinting

TDF Stage 1 Sprint Finish winner Marcel Kittel

Stage 1 Sprint Finish winner Marcel Kittel

Besides the yellow jersey (le maillot jaune) which identifies the overall race winner, there are 3 other contests that play out during The Tour de France.

Each Jersey recognizes the best racer in their respective discipline.

By incorporating interval training into your rides you can develop your tour winning fitness.

 

Each day we will cover a different Jersey – In honor of today’s Stage we will cover Sprinting

 

The Maillot Vert - Green Sprinters Jersey

The Maillot Vert – Green Sprinters Jersey

Sprinters Posses explosive power for fast accelerations, high top end speeds, and high pedal cadence.
To help develop these attributes here are three intervals that you can add to your workouts that will have you crossing the line first..or at least be first to the coffee shop.
Power Starts – will increase your power to the pedals
How to do it: Start in a high (hard) gear at very slow roll, then jump out of the saddle and begin to stomp the pedals as hard as you can; pulling on the bars for leverage and tilting the bike back and forth to position your body over each pedal as you drive it down.
Perform 5 power-starts of 10-12 seconds each and recover between 5-20 minutes between efforts.

High speed Cadence – will improve your pedal stroke and train you to keep your body “quiet” while your legs are moving like crazy.
How to do it: I prefer to perform this interval on a trainer but you can perform on a long flat stretch of road. Pick a low gear (easy) and ramp up your cadence to 100-120 RPM.
Start with 3×5 min intervals and a 10 minute recovery. As you get better with these, increase the time up to 1×15 minute interval.
Your HR will be extremely high during these but focus on the RPM.

High Speed Sprints – will increase your top-end-speed and peak power.
How to do it: On a slight downhill pedal at a high speed. (not your top speed) Then, Jump out of the saddle and accelerate to your top speed. Return to sitting but maintain Speed for 8-12 seconds.
Be sure to employ proper form and a high cadence (110+)
Perform 5 High Speed Sprints of 8-12 seconds with 5 to 20 minutes of recovery between efforts

Training Notes:
Do not perform any Interval without first establishing a good foundation of base miles.
Perform one of the above intervals 1-2 times per week.