sprinting distances

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by lennyk, May 14, 2007.

  1. lennyk

    lennyk New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's is a typical sprint distance at the end of a road ride ?
    Our weekend club rides usually end with a sprint between 2 traffic lights near our end point,
    the distance between them is about 800 meters.

    At end of road races what is the typical distance before the finish line when riders start sizing up their position and starting to hammer ?
     
    Tags:


  2. djk202020

    djk202020 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    no exp here but from watching racing it seems like it depends on the situation. If there are only 2 or 3 sprinters the distance may be shorter becasue there is no lead out man so it seems like they play games with each other until one gives in an launches.. good question though I would like to hear what others have to say.
     
  3. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmmm. Well, "sizing up their position" and "starting to hammer" are two very different things. Most sprinters will begin moving to the front 5, 10, or even 20+ km from the finish depending on the nature of the finish (straight roads or turns, wide or narrow, etc, etc). Then it's a matter of staying in position, jockeying for wheels, blasting through corners, etc. Most sprinters actually start their jump at around 200 meters out. Of course, that has to be adjusted for the riders talents and situation. Are you a jumper or a drag racer? Is it an uphill, flat or downhill sprint? Headwind or tailwind? Where's the final corner? Are you further back, or further forward then you would like to be? Those are all things that go into consideration.
     
  4. carpediemracing

    carpediemracing New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    On one of my many trainer rides, I figured I would study how the pros sprinted (as this is the only thing I can do decently on the bike). I watched various Tour finishes from a while back, I think the Tour where Fabio Baldato won the Champs stage. What surprised me was how few pedal strokes the winners went - usually 8 or so - in the wind. This means they were sheltered until then. The exception was the last stage where the winner went 21 revs. This puzzled me until I realized it was a slight downhill sprint - so top speed beats the jump.

    A long time ago I read a rider can do 40 revs at max effort before blowing up. Since I can't do 40 (I blow up earlier) I used to count pedal revolutions backwards from the line - 20 to 30. So depending how far back I was in the field, I'd sprint early (30 revs) or late (20 or fewer).

    One race I did well I experimented with the very short pro sprint - 10 revs in my case. I did well (3rd or 4th) but I felt like if I'd gone earlier, I'd have been in contention for the win. I prefer a 20 revolution sprint.

    I cut the sprint time almost in half for headwinds (so 10 or so). And stretch it to 30 or more revs in tailwinds.

    So the actual sprint lasts anywhere from 8 to perhaps 30 revolutions. If you're a good tactician and have decent threshold strength (or you have a really good leadout rider), you can safely hold a 3rd-6th position going into the final 300 meters - and at that point you can probably choose your jump point and therefore your sprint distance.

    Figure out what gear to use and the corresponding distance to the line and you have your ideal sprint start point.

    For getting into position - if you're skilled at slicing through the field (not just moving up on the outside) you might be able to wait till a mile or two to go (or even less - but keep in mind you will be using sprint reserves to move up in the last half mile). In very intense sprints it might be better to move up 5 or 6 miles before the sprint. In crits I figure I should be closer to the front at 2 to go. The crits I do are usually not totally strung out so moving up is reasonably easy.

    Finally, remember you can shift while you're sprinting - this is especially important if you're jumping from a lower speed. I usually shift once when I jump then once as I start winding up speed. Practice this on your own before you do it in close quarters.

    hope this helps and good luck at the next sprint,
    cdr
     
  5. lennyk

    lennyk New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for the good info there, our club ride is not a race at all but that portion is officially a sprint workout and usually everyone goes all out in a non tactical way.

    but of course there are some guys who usually end up in a "winning position" which as I suspected has a lot to do with their decision making along with their sprint capability.

    cheers
     
  6. Animator

    Animator New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've not heard this term before. What do you mean by slicing?
     
  7. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like a knife, slicing/cutting through the field. It's taking advantage of very small openings that people give you and making room for yourself. Not cutting them off, but squeezing into spaces with which most people aren't comfortable.

    I have a huge burst of power (ie, cat2 sprinting power) from 100m out, but mid-cat3 from 200m out. I'm damn near non-existent from 300m. Instead of counting pedal revs (as gearing changes this a lot), I try to estimate distance to the best of my ability. It's hard racing w/o teammates, but you learn to judge a field during the race and get up ~5-7th near the end so that when the leaders jump, you have a perfect wheel for the final sprint. A lot of it is timing so you don't lose 2+ bike lengths at the beginning of the sprint.
     
  8. bobbyOCR

    bobbyOCR New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,357
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like 100m, I can still hold for 200m, I start to fade at 300m, so I guess I'm a short distance sprinter. I can put in a fair turn of speed instantly though.
     
  9. Animator

    Animator New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, that's what I inferred by the term but I wasn't sure. Are there any techniques you could share for doing this safely? I've often tried squeezing into small openings but it's a bit nerve wracking. Last thing I want to do is cause a crash.
     
  10. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Although I'm not cat 2, a bunch of friends are. They all note how if you want to move up in the field, it's all on you because no one will give you room to be nice. If you squeeze between two people, they won't move over and you'll sure enough rub elbows for a little bit.

    This is where having a team really helps...or at least a group of somewhat experienced friends. A good starting point is going to a grass field and bumping into each other and learning not to fall or panic. Make sure your left and right sides get bumped equally. Also practice rubbing tires (not slow drawn out, but as if someone slid in front of you and you barely touched).

    From there, move to the road at ~15mph and bump shoulders, lean into each other, and support the other rider with your weight for 10-15 seconds at a time. Again, make sure your left and right sides get equal time. Speed up to 25 and do it again. You'll be confident soon enough. It's a great feeling being in a race (or hell, even a fast group ride) when you can rub shoulders with people and neither of you flinch. It's also a nervewrecking experience (yet a good confidence booster) when you actually save someone from falling because they leaned into you and you didn't freak out and play dominoes.
     
  11. carpediemracing

    carpediemracing New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    As others have pointed out, I referred to "slicing" as a description of moving up through the field. The key is "through" and not "around". Through saves energy. Around is for emergency use only - you kill your reserves and it's usually unnecessary.

    There is a concept of "personal space" you need to respect - yours and the other riders'. If you violate this personal space, you endanger someone. I talk about it more here.

    Basically in all but the most tightly packed fields, there is room to move around. Learn to be comfortable close to others and you can take advantage of gaps that you may not feel comfortable filling now. I'm the one posting some of the helmet cam vids in another thread. There are bits and pieces of "tight" field riding - you'll see that even in the last laps of a hotly contested race, there is room to move up (or back). In particular I'd check out the 2005 Nutmeg State Games tape and the end (7:00+) of the 2007 Criterium de Bethel clips. I felt that those were "tight" races in the final laps yet I never felt unsure or threatened safety wise.

    A key concept I didn't mention is that you need to have some speed in order to fill gaps - if you can't move up at 35 mph in a 30 mph field, you can't fill gaps. The 2005 race we spent most of the time going 28-32 mph with bursts up to 35-37 mph. The 2007 race I mention we're going 28+ on the headwind side, 30-ish on the tailwind. 20-25 up the hill. In order to move up, you must have the speed to do so.

    One team at a race I did one of the racers refers to my move up through the field:
    "(For some reason, I can't explain Aki can dice through a field with his eyes closed. Want to learn how to move up in a pack? follow him)"
    Although I'd like to think it's a secret, I simply fill gaps and try and position myself to take advantage of natural group riding dynamics.

    I'm not a strong racer (I've gotten totally dropped in the last two races I've done) but I manage to do well here and there by "slicing and dicing".

    hope this helps,
    cdr aka aki
     
  12. lennyk

    lennyk New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well last Saturday, instead of starting too early as in the past I tried to limit my main sprint to about the last 400m
    but this time a bunch of guys started earlier and I was too late and the pack was a bit large so
    my deliberate late timing was too late but I was able to hold my full power to the end and actually caught up with a lot of them who were shutting down before the end
     
Loading...
Loading...