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.

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