Train yourself hard, keep going hard, and then dig deep to sprint at the end.
by Alison Powers ALP Cycles Coaching
Looking for a workout that will help you win a bike race? Look no further than Race Winning Intervals. These intervals will help you attack and get off the front of the race, then be able to stay on the gas to stay away, and finally, sprint for the win. After a good warm-up you will do 4 intervals of 3:40 min. Each interval consists of a 10 sec sprint (the initial attack to create separation from the group), 20 more seconds of really hammering in zone 6 (to create the gap between you and the group, then you settle in zone 5 VO2 for 3 min. This is how you maintain the gap that you just created between you and the group. The interval ends with a 10 sec sprint as you sprint to the finish line.
You can vary these intervals by changing up the length and intensity of the "settle in" part (i.E. go hard, then settle at Zone 4 lactate threshold for 9 min, then sprint for the win).
Here is an actual race winning interval - my 2014 US Pro Road Race win. This is 16 min long and you can see the initial separation. This was a technical downtown circuit so there were a lot of corners and small hills; that's what all the coasting followed by hard efforts to get up to speed, stay on the gas, and stay away are. I also tried to surge up each little hill to maintain speed and then "recover" once my speed was up on the downhills. Halfway through was a steep little climb that required more effort/watts than my finish effort (which made it feel like I was doing two RWI's back to back).
Train yourself to go hard, keep going hard, and then dig deep to sprint at the end. You'll be pleased with the rewards.