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

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