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

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