This is not a fully formed blog thought, but I wanted to throw it out there. I love the Tour de France. Stop laughing and/or sputtering in anger because you remember when I told you to stop doing long slow distances endurance activities. Part of me enjoys watching anything that is the best people in the world competing on the world’s biggest stage. Part of me is astounded at what these guys do in the same way I am impressed with a sword swallower. Part of me respects anyone who is willing to nearly disfigure their body for their sport.
All that aside, what I find fascinating is that some of the most successful cyclists are sprinters. These aren’t the guys who will ever win the overall race, but they will win stages of the race that are over 100 miles long! Right now the man in the race with the most stage wins (4 as of this time) was previously the world track sprint cycling champion. This is not like when you talk about a marathoner who has a good kick at the end of the race. It is more like finding a guy who used to be a 100m champion in track and field who decided to start running marathons and won by outsprinting everyone in the last few hundred meters. They had to survive the first 25.9 miles before they could do that.
When you look at these guys, they don’t look like the climbers. They have quads as big as my waist. Though a little narrow shouldered, they have some muscle in there arms and chest. This is a kind of endurance training I can get behind. Be in good enough shape to finish with the pack over a long distance, but be strong and powerful enough to sprint at 90% of what a dedicated sprinter sprints at the end. Be a sprinter who survives the long ride, not an endurance runner who picks up the pace at the end.