5 Tips to Winning a Road Sprint Champion Jersey
I don’t know about you, but I love watching pro cycling season every year. Until this pandemic year, the start of the Tour de France was my reason to jump out of bed at 5 am to catch a bit of the live feed before I was off to work.
Watching the top riders battle for the yellow jersey was fun, but I really like following the riders out to win the King of the Mountain and Sprint jerseys. What were their tactics? Which segments did they compete for? When did they launch their attacks? So much excitement!
The 2020 Cancer Journeys Foundation Sprint Championship
Unless you are a pro cyclist competing in one of the grand tours, the Cancer Journeys Foundation Sprint Championship is your only chance to win one of those coveted green sprint champion jerseys. Click the following link for full details: event details for the 2020 Cancer Journeys Foundation Sprint Championship.
Tactics That Will Help You Win a Sprint Champion Jersey
Now that you know the location of this year’s sprint sections, here’s how I won my jersey last year and how I plan to repeat in 2020:
- Know when your segment has the least traffic. I ride the segment at various times of the day to find the time with the least amount of traffic. Vehicle or people traffic can cause you to slow and lose your moment. Sprints are won or lost by the hundredths of second so you need an absolutely clean run.
- Know the prevailing wind. I’m a pilot and I know that runways are layed out to match the prevailing wind. It won’t blow that way every day, but generally it will. A tailwind will help your time so you want to ride the segment as often as possible with the wind on your back. The alternative is a day when the wind is calm. This usually happens early in the morning before solar heating creates wind currents.
- Have the right equipment. There aren’t any bunch sprints in this competition so you likely will have your best time riding a time trial bike. Your sprint segment likely will be between 500 meters and a mile. All or much of the sprint will be an anerobic effort so you won’t need your water bottles or air pump. Lighten your bike as much as you can.
- Train on your segment as much as you can. The competition runs through midnight, December 31, 2020, so ride your segement as often as possible. We all have good and bad days. The more runs you log, the better your chances of a great day and a green jersey!
- Build a training plan. Based on your segment, consider building a training plan that will let you peak at the optimal time of your year. Execute the plan and then ride your segment on your target day. I use TrainingPeaks.com to track my program.
- Know your competition. We use Strava.com to track our participants and we will use Strava.com times to select the winners on January 1, 2021. Once you register for a segment, follow the top three riders on the segment in your age group to stay in first place.
If you live in LA, our segment is the Flying 500 along Ballona Creek – https://www.strava.com/segments/651605. I’m currently sitting #1 in my age group. I do HITT sessions on Zwift twice a week and ride my segment twice, as well.
My personal geat is pretty basic. My bike is a yellow, 1990’s Elite T-Class with a 9-speed cassette. I nicknamed it “Zonker” after the Screaming Yellow Zonker popcorn my daughter liked when she was young. [Likely still would if they were being produced.]
I’ve never ridden the segment in a skinsuit and aero helmet, but I will if someone begins to get close to my time!
Well, those are my tips. Send me yours and I’ll post them here on the page.
This contest is all about having #funwithbikes. But, it also about reminding everyone of the importance of taking those annual tests for common cancers, particularly breast, prostate, and colon, and doing what we can to help cancer survivors on their journey.
So, click the following link to review our sprint competition segments and signup: 2020 Sprint Competition Segments2020 Sprint Championship Segments
The GCN video in the block below talks about the sprint jersey competition in the Tour de France that inspired our own sprint competition.