The Grand Tour sprinters
Its Grand Tour time. So time to look at the very exciting and fearless sprinters. These are the cyclists who touch elbows, shoulders, bounce wheels off each other. And sometimes even head-butt at 70+ kph to be first over the line.
You will notice that in the Mountains Sprinters disappear into the background as the Climbers take Centre stage. As the little climbers danced their way to glory on the Giants of the Alps and Pyrenees what will the big sprinters be doing?
Well to put it bluntly in most cases they will be hauling up to 24 kgs more than the little climbersup all the Dolomites, Pyrenean and Alpine climbs.
Weight of Sprinters and climbers
Here’s examples of some of the riders height and weight for comparison
Sam Bennett Height 1.78 Metres Weight 69 kg
Egan Bernal Tour De France winner 2019 Height 1.75 m 60 KG
Carrying a Sack of potatoes
Think about it compared to Bernal , Sam Bennett is climbing with the equivalent of a small sack of potatoes extra up all the climbs and has to reach the finish line before the time limit each day to remain in the Tour.
Sprinters huge performance in the mountains
So in fact the sprinters stage wins don’t just occur on the flat days. They have to put huge performances in on the Mountain stages just to make the finish within the time limit. If they don’t beat the time limits, they won’t be around to contest the flat stages.
Now that must be really difficult and take a huge amount of determination and willingness to suffer for the opportunity of stage wins on the flat stage. It must also require huge self belief in their ability as a sprinter. Can you imagine having doubts about your ability to win a stage and have to go through those days in the mountains.
Its another great example for aspiring professionals, that being a professional cyclist entails a lot more than just the glossy pictures of the rider flashing across the line with the hands up in the victory salute. The sprinters stage wins are hard earned on their struggle through the high mountains.