training for flats


New Member
Oct 17, 2002
hi, i was just wondrin why people training for flat road races train so much on climbing? i mean, like, if you see Lance's program, he spends so much time in those French mountains, and yet, in the Tour, there are very few mountain stages. yes the day to day stages do have rolling hills and all, but the majority of those stages tend to be flat / slightly inclined. Arent you supposed to spin on flats more than you climb if you are training for flats? or is climbing really that helpful??
Thing about the flats is that there isn't much you can do to train for them that will differentiate you from the rest of the group until the sprint. You can't break away easily on a flat stage due to the wind resistance. How many times have you been dropped by people on the flat? it doesn't happen, because the guy in front of you is doing 10-30% more work. However on a hill the wind resistance effect is negated to a larger extent and this is thus where you can force out a comparitive advantage.
Although the Tour has few flat stages, these stages are the critical stages where the Tour is won or more usualy lost! Lance like all other sensible cyclists focuses on what will help him win his 'targeted' event. To win the Tour he needs to be very good at climbing (even for just a few stages) so he trains his climbing ability.<br /><br />Riders who race in flat races or on the track, have little need to train in the hills. Winning these events are all about riding fast not climbing fast!<br /><br />Your training should be specific to yur event.