Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

How To Sprint Like Mark Cavendish – Cav’s Top 5 Sprinting Tips

Here on GCN we have done a couple of videos in the past on how to sprint well Now, bearing in mind that myself Si, Matt and Lasty, couldn’t really sprint to save our lives when we were full time we thought we’d rope someone in who sort of knows what he’s talking about a little bit… Meet Mark Cavendish He’s going to give us 5 tips for sprinters. Right, number 1… TITLE: JUDGE THE DISTANCE – DON’T GO TOO EARLY! If we [the pros] go for 250m, that’s 12 seconds, maybe you know? It’s going to be a fair bit longer for an amateur so judge your distance It’s not about your absolute maximum wattage because that will be a spike in your power but it’s about how long you can hold that high wattage for the whole sprint for, you know? You’ll know it, and you’ll have to train it. But don’t go too early – it’s easy when you see the finish line to go too early and although you might get a high wattage if you die at the end you’ll lose more speed than the others TITLE: CHOOSE THE RIGHT GEAR Number 2 again choose the right gear We use a 53 or 54 with 11 you know it’s a big gear to get around You have to really get on top of it I rarely use a 54 because I ride with shorter cranks I get the leg speed of the gear going, you have to get the gear going It’s not just grunting out a big gear and that’s a sprinter, you know? It’s getting over and on top of the gear and accelerating And that goes for selecting your gear before you start the sprints as well You don’t want to be changing gear mid-way through the sprint because, well, you’ll lose power then when you’re changing You’ll lose the force and the torque through the pedals TITLE: COMMIT TO YOUR SPRINT In a bunch sprint as soon as you’re going to go, as soon as you’ve picked your moment you go, you don’t wind it up, you go, and that’s it No pacing? No pacing in sprints, it’s a flat out effort and like I said, if you’ve done your homework and you know what you can do and what conditions – uphill downhill, headwind or tailwind you’ll know how far you can go for before you’re going to die TITLE: BRING YOUR BIKE TO YOUR FEET Number 4, right, you know you see a lot of bike riders and when they sprint they go and they are bouncing you know? And that’s because they are bringing their feet to the pedals like they’re climbing When you’re climbing, you bring your feet over the top and on to the pedals you know? When you’re sprinting although it might feel efficient and you may feel like you’re getting your power down I have always found it more effective to bring the bike to your feet if that makes sense So, you use your arms and you bring your bike to your feet instead of bringing your feet to your bike I’ve already found three mistakes that I made for a good 10 years! TITLE: KEEP LOW Right, last one, tip number 5 for any budding sprinters I think it’s what I’m most famous for and that’s keeping low To be fair I always did it naturally I don’t know if it’s because of racing the track, or because I’m short legged and long body but you saw Caleb Ewan doing that, how low he gets it’s crazy and there’s a massive aerodynamic advantage there you know? If you’re like this you’re really closing the hole here compared to if you’re sprinting like this The big hole, the big gaping hole to bring in the air So keep low and you are going to accelerate further Right, so, 5 tips which you can all use to make yourself faster in the sprint, so you can therefore either get more wins, or get better results I’m going to give it a go now, and see how I get on. I’m going to put all of Mark’s tips into this sprint right so when I go, go. Right gear, keep low right, 3, 2, 1…….. I told you to keep low, keep low! Right, well you might be able to put his tips to better effect than I did Now, on the other hand, if you’d like some climbing tips all you’ve got to do is click up there, and you’ll find Matt talking to Alberto Contador And if you haven’t yet caught the interview that we did with Mark, you can find that just down that side And to subscribe, click in the middle, there will be loads more good tips.

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