How to train like a sprinter

Every rider can benefit from sprint sessions to increase power and ride faster

An effective sprint requires both power and high leg speed. Sprinters, particularly track sprinters, do more off-the-bike weight lifting and plyometrics than any other type of cyclist, but they also do high cadence leg work to make sure they can turn that power into acceleration once on the bike.

Sprinting can take many forms, and training is very different depending on the cycling discipline. Winning a bunch sprint at the end of a 200-mile classic is very different to the short, powerful sprints required on the track.

A track sprinter such as Robert Förstemann is hugely muscular, whereas a road sprinter such as Peter Sagan, whilst powerful, is less stocky and very lean, as he still requires the endurance to cover the distance before he gets the chance to unleash his sprint power.

True sprinters are genetically gifted with the type of muscle fibres that allow fast and explosive pedalling, but even the skinniest climber can benefit from sprint style training. Training like a sprinter, even if you aren’t one, will help to increase your leg speed, improve your peak power output and, in the case of Tabata-style training, will also benefit your endurance by boosting your V02max.

There are three key types of sprint training. These can be added into longer endurance rides or sessions on their own.

Sprint sessions that really work

Power Sprints from a slow start

This helps you to develop explosive power from a slow speed. Good for attacking, standing starts or on a climb.

  • Get into a big gear and roll slowly till you are almost at a standstill.
  • Either in or out of the saddle, accelerate and hold it for 20 seconds, or until you start to spin out.
  • Ease back into an easier gear and spin for five minutes.
  • Repeat up to 8 times.

Super Speed – sprinting from a fast pace

If you are sprinting against other riders, then chances are you will already be moving fast. This session will really help to increase your leg speed, which allow you to accelerate from speed to get the gap you need.

  • Use a safe downhill slope to increase your speed, and when you get close to the bottom of the hill, shift gears and increase your cadence to accelerate.
  • Keep the speed up as you hit the flat, or the bottom of the next hill if it is a rolling stretch of road.

Tabata style sprints – repeated high speed efforts

These repeated bursts of maximum speed with little recovery between them will improve your sprint and also boost your endurance for longer distance events.

One sprint is seldom enough in a race situation, so this session will help with repeated sprints out of corners or if you have to go again to make an attack stick.

  • Sprint hard for 30 seconds, then pedal easily for 30 seconds, and repeat five times.
  • Make sure you don’t stop pedaling between efforts, as you need to maintain momentum to keep the speed high.
  • Recovery spin for five minutes and repeat up to five times in a session.
  • End with a good cool down.

A week in the life of a top sprinter

In 2014, Cycling Weekly spent a week with sprinter Jess Varnish to see how she trains for explosive speed on the track.

On a ‘strength week’ like this one, Varnish rode outside only once, and see little other daylight, except while walking her dog, Hugo. The rest of the time she was holed up in the Manchester Velodrome, either on the track or in the gym.

Jess Varnish wins bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games team sprint (Photo: Jones)


Gym session in the morning; track in the afternoon.

“I’m in a strength phase of my weight training now, so that means things like deadlifts and other stuff for my legs, plus some upper-body lifting,” says Varnish. “They are fairly heavy lifts too.

“The afternoon was spent on the track doing sprint accelerations. That’s riding steady then accelerating like you would at the beginning of a match-sprint effort. You back off when you reach full speed, then roll around the track to recover.”

Watch: Strength and conditioning for beginners


Track in the morning; rest in 
the afternoon.

“The track work was cadence work, really fast pedalling, sprinting in a much smaller gear than I’d normally use. It’s not quite as simple as that, because it also involves something else we’ve discovered that helps but which we don’t want to share. Basically this is work to increase leg speed.”

CW says: Sprinting is about increasing force on the pedals and increasing the speed with which that force can be applied, then increasing pedal rev speed. Apply lots of force over a short space of time and you have a fast-accelerating sprinter with high top-end speed. Varnish’s strength training is designed to increase the force she applies to the pedals. Accelerations and leg speed sessions increase the speed with which that force 
is applied.


Gym in the morning; Pilates in the afternoon.

“The gym session was the same as Monday’s, working on strength. Our weight training goes through different phases depending how far out we are from a target.

“I did Pilates in the afternoon. I’ve just started this and I’m doing it because I had a back injury earlier in the year that cost me a lot of time out from training. I think sprinters are prone to back injuries because we put our backs under a lot of strain when doing standing starts.”


Gym in the morning; track in the afternoon.

“The gym training was dynamic strength training. It’s like plyometrics running and standing jumps and stuff like that. In the afternoon, I did standing starts. That doesn’t sound much but it’s full-on.”

CW says: For a number of reasons, sprinting puts the back under incredible loads. Sprinters’ powerful muscles exert huge forces during the first few pedal strokes of a start, and that force has to be transferred through bones and soft tissue before it reaches the pedals.

Sprinters have the power to practically pull themselves apart. They train using heavy weights, and the fact that they unleash maximum force very abruptly means the strain can be enormous. Plyometric training helps a sprinter build on the naturally explosive nature of their fast-twitch-fibre-dominated muscles.

>>> How to prevent and treat back pain


Gym session in the morning; rest in the afternoon.

“The gym was strength training using weights again. This was my first week of full-on training since fully recovering from my injury, so I needed all the rest I could get.”

Jess Varnish battles Anna Meares at the 2015 Track World Championships (Photo: Jones)


Road ride.

“My one and only road ride of the week. It’s nice to get out and enjoy the countryside. Even sprinters need a bit of endurance and an extended stint of pedalling.”

CW says: Varnish does three big weight sessions a week, lifting free weights in classic moves like squats, dead lifts and cleans. All Team GB sprinters do this and they all have great technique. Some of them even perform well enough to compete with weight-lifters without getting out-classed. Her regular road ride is as beneficial for Varnish’s morale as it is for her body.

Like many other sprinters, Varnish entered sprinting from a general cycling background and was drawn to the sport because she enjoyed cycling in the countryside. Sprinters vary this aspect throughout each training cycle and sometimes do more and longer road training sessions. Many go on training camps in Majorca and put in quite big road mileage.


Rest day.

“This is the one day I can take it easy and relax all day, and along with Saturday it’s an opportunity to get outside, which is even more important during the dark winter months.”

CW says: This is a very specialised week in training done by a sprinter, but there are things all cyclists can take from it. The most important thing is specificity. As much as Varnish enjoys cycling outdoors, she can only do it once a week during this key block of training.

The rest of the time she must lift weights, do other gym stuff and warm up and down between a few flat-out efforts on the track. But that training is the essence of sprinting, and British Cycling sprinters are brought up with the mantra that every sprint or start-gate effort must be ridden full-on – as if it were a World Championship or Olympic final.

Importance of conditioning

Aside from specificity, there are other things to be learned from looking at Jess Varnish’s training week. One is that weaknesses must be addressed and rectified. Varnish’s back has to bear incredible loads, and she has already been injured because of it, so she’s conditioning and supporting her back by doing Pilates.

That should build the smaller muscles that support her back and keep it aligned properly, and so prevent her bigger power muscles causing damage. She also uses plyometrics as a way of improving the explosive side of her sprint. It sometimes pays to look outside your sport for something that might provide a gain, however marginal.

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Taxi driver fined ‘inadequate’ £955 for ‘car-dooring’ incident which led to cyclist’s death

Farook Yusuf Bhikhu will pay weekly instalments of £20 to pay the £955 fine after being convicted of ‘car-dooring’ which led to the death of Sam Boulton

The father of a cyclist who died in a ‘car-dooring’ incident last July has slammed the Government for trivialising the offence after a Leicester taxi driver was fined £955 for his son’s death.

Sam Boulton, a school teacher, was cycling past Leicester train station on July 27, 2016, when passenger Mandy Chapple opened the car door which hit Mr Boulton and knocked him into the path of a Citroen van; he was taken to hospital but died later that day.

Car-dooring is an offence but is only punishable up to £1000. Both the person who is operating the vehicle and the person who opens the door can both be charged.

Ms Chapple pleaded guilty in court in March and was fined £150, but

>>> Cyclist died in collision with van after being doored by taxi

At Loughborough Magistrates Court today (June 5), though, the taxi driver was convicted of the crime and given a £955 fine. £625 goes towards court costs, £300 for the offence and £30 for victim surcharge. He will pay the money in £20 weekly instalments.

Jeff Boulton, Sam’s father, said. “It’s heartbreaking that an offence which has ended a life and caused untold trauma for my family be treated so lightly under current legislation.

“Car-dooring must be taken more seriously, and the only way to do that is to change the law. Only then will we see people taking the time to think before they act.

“Until we have an appropriate offence in law, I call on the Government to start investigating how they can better educate and train drivers about the dangers of car-dooring and the techniques that can prevent it from happening.”

Cycling UK – formerly the CTC – has also called on the Government to introduce tougher penalties and better educate people.

“How many Sam Boultons have to die before the Government takes note, and stops treating avoidable deaths as ‘accidents’? A maximum £1,000 fine is derisory, and trivialises these preventable tragedies,” Duncan Dollimore, the organisation’s road safety and legal campaigns offer said.

“Cycling UK wants to see the Government introduce a new offence of causing serious injury or death by car-dooring, with tougher penalties. It is not right or just that tragic cases, such as Sam’s, see inadequate penalties handed down.

“Tougher penalties, including the option of custodial sentencing, should be an option for the court in life-changing or fatal cases, which in turn would hopefully encourage the police and CPS to prosecute.”

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Watch: Critérium du Dauphiné stage two highlights

Catch-up with highlights of the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné

The second stage of the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné would provide the sprinters with an opportunity to take a victory, after a first stage which favoured the breakaway riders.

A plethora of strong sprinters are lining up for the prestigious week-long race, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) all aiming for a stage win or two on the few sprint stages at this year’s Dauphiné.

In traditional Dauphiné style, riders would still need to contend with four categorised climbs along the 171km route from Saint Chamond to Arlanc, including a category two climb early on.

But the finish provides a kinder run-in for the fast men, with a flat road into the finish line.

It’ll be another day for the GC riders to try and safe, with Thomas De Gendt holding the overall lead going into the second stage after his victory on stage one.

Catch-up with the highlights of the second stage above, or read the full report here.

The Critérium du Dauphiné continues on Wednesday with stage three, which should provide another opportunity for the sprinters.

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Arnaud Démare sprints to win on Critérium du Dauphiné stage two as Thomas De Gendt retains lead

The Frenchman sprinted ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Nacer Bouhanni to take the win

Arnaud Démare (FDJ) sprinted to his second WorldTour win of the season on stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné, beating Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) to the line.

The Frenchman was perfectly dropped off by his teammates on the right-hand side of the road by his FDJ team-mates as Katusha powered on the front in aid of Kristoff.

As Démare was left by his last leadout man, he was able to grab Ben Swift’s (UAE Team Emirates) wheel before jumping round him with a powerful sprint and leaving everyone in his wake.

Kristoff, who started ahead of Démare, was able to hold his sprint to grab second, with Bouhanni sneaking in for third.

2016 Milan-San Remo winner Démare adds the Dauphiné win to the opening stage victory he took at Paris-Nice in March.

Behind the sprint finish, race leader Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) was able to retain his lead ahead of Axel Domont (Ag2r La Mondiale) after finishing safely in the main bunch.

How it happened

As the flag dropped the breakaway immediately attempted to get away.

Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Mickaël Delage (FDJ), Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac) and Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) were the chosen quartet to initially get away, establishing a maximum gap of 3-45.

Delage dropped out of the break shortly after with 142km remaining, with his FDJ team likely to have called him back to help team-mate Démare to victory.

Astana clearly wanted to make the break and having missed it, increased the pace on the front of the bunch to bring the gap down to 1-30, which allowed their rider Alexey lutsenko to bridge over to the break with 72km to go.

The gap remained relatively steady but Bowman and Combaud began to look tired, Lutsenko attacked and went solo with 30km remaining.

While his former breakaway companions immediately sat up to be caught by the peloton, Lutsenko managed to hold onto a minute advantage for some time before Dimension Data began the chase in earnest.

Lutsenko was eventually caught after a determined effort with 3km remaining, with the sprint teams in full swing to try and set things up for their fast men, where Démare ultimately proved triumphant.

The Critérium du Dauphiné continues on Tuesday with stage three, a 184km route that once again should suit the sprinters.


Critérium du Dauphiné stage two, Saint Chamand – Arlanc (171km)

1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ, in 4-13-53
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
4 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
7 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
8 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
10 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie, all same time

General classification after stage two

1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal, in 8-30-47
2 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 48s
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 1:03
4 Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 1:07
5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1:09
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
8 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
10 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, all same time

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Mark Cavendish to make long awaited return at Tour of Slovenia

Mark Cavendish is to race the Tour of Slovenia, his first race in three months, from June 15-18.

Mark Cavendish is to race at this month’s Tour of Slovenia – his first outing in three months.

The Dimension Data rider was struggling with an ankle injury after the season’s opening Monument, and then was diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis – more commonly referred to as glandular fever – after a routine blood test

Cavendish hasn’t raced since but has now added the Tour of Slovenia to his race programme. The four-day race begins on June 15 and there are three stages that will be targeted by the sprinters.

>>> The world’s top sprinters ‘love’ this year’s Tour of Britain route

The recently-turned 32-year-old is also racing the British National Championships on June 25 which take place in his home island of the Isle of Man.

After that, Cavendish is hoping to race the Tour de France, but if he does take to the start line in Düsseldorf on July 1, he will do so having only raced at most five times since mid-March.

Rolf Aldag, Dimension Data’s sports director, said last month that Cavendish had been training again but that the team were reluctant to rush him back.

“He has to be very careful about training, not training too much. It’s small steps – after each training session we see how he feels,” Aldag explained.

“Every day, he does a questionnaire indicating how he slept, how he feels, whether he is tired, and each time he has to indicate on a scale what his feelings are with each of those questions. He also receives regular blood tests to check his values.”

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Victor Campenaerts date request at the Giro d’Italia hasn’t quite gone to plan

LottoNL-Jumbo rider Victor Campenaerts asked a girl for a date during the Giro d’Italia time trial but things haven’t gone to plan for the Dutchman.

One of the most memorable moments of this year’s Giro d’Italia wasn’t the dramatic final day time trial or the explosive week in the Dolomites, but something far more romantic.

On stage 10’s time trial, Victor Campenaerts sacrificed a great time to ask Carlien Cavens on a date, writing on his chest “Carlien daten?” which he showed on the start ramp and when he crossed the line.

It all seemed to be going so well for the 25-year-old LottoNL-Jumbo rider with Carlien agreeing to the date.

But since returning to the Giro, it appears that Carlien, who is five years Campenaerts senior, just wants to be friends.

“We’ll just stay friends,” Campenaerts, who quit the Giro after stage 16, has revealed to Het Nieuwsblad.

“Nothing will be done. I have said everything about it. Will she continue to support me? Of course. Friends do that for each other.”

Despite the end result not being what Campenaerts had hoped for, he does the see positive side of his stunt: publicity.

“It has had quite a bit of media attentions over the past few days,” he added, before joking: “I think I was in the newspaper more than if I had won that time trial.”

The rejection was the second blow for Campenaerts, for his date request also earned him a 100 Swiss francs fine. 

There’s always Tinder, Victor. Get swiping.

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Elia Viviani could leave Team Sky a year early after Giro d’Italia snub, reports suggest

The Italian sprinter is reportedly unhappy with his race programme and could leave Sky at the end of the season if his needs aren’t met

Team Sky‘s Elia Viviani, excluded from the Giro d’Italia team and pushing for a Vuelta a España spot, reportedly could transfer at the end of 2017 if the team fails to meet his needs.

The 28-year-old from Verona won the Omnium gold medal in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games last summer. This year, he sprinted to victory in the Tour de Romandie and placed ninth in Milan-San Remo.

>>> Team Sky sponsor explains why Gianni Moscon’s wheel collapsed in dramatic TTT crash

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote that he met with Sky boss David Brailsford over a week ago, after the Giro d’Italia Piancavallo stage. They reportedly discussed his plans for the remainder of the season.

Viviani had said in April that he felt burned and upset with the team’s Giro decision. He had raced the last two editions, winning a stage in 2015.

Elia Viviani at the 2017 Milan-San Remo (Sunada)

The team, instead, selected a team for the overall with Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas. Both lost their chances due to a crash on stage nine to Blockhaus.

Sky sent Viviani to the Tour of California and to Limburg, where he helped the team win the first Hammer Series event on Sunday. However, Viviani wants bigger events on his calendar.

The Italian daily newspaper reports that he wants to line up in the Vuelta a España on August 19, when Chris Froome should be trying again for the Spanish title.

Another plan could see him race a series of one-day and short stage races like in 2015, when he took home six victories.

Hours after Sky’s Mikel Landa won at the Piancavallo ski resort this was the topic at dinner as well as the 2018 season.

Viviani has helpers like Lukasz Wisniowski, Jonathan Dibben and Owain Doull, but wants a robust lead-out train and a clear and prestigious race schedule.

If the team and Viviani cannot agree, the newspaper reported that the conditions could exist to allow him to leave his contract one year early. His agent was unavailable when called for comment on this article.

Viviani has ridden for Sky for three years, joining in 2015 when the Italian Cannondale team folded.

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Garmin Edge computers: everything you need to know

Garmin is undeniably at the head of the bunch when it comes to cycling GPS computers. We help you choose the best Garmin Edge for you

You could say that Garmin is a forerunner of the GPS market or that its GPS products are cutting edge (both puns intended). However, although Garmin’s success can’t be questioned, for many riders there are so many Garmin Edge devices available that it is hard to know which is most suitable for your needs.

To help you select the best Garmin Edge for you, we have set out below an exhaustive list and description for each Edge product.

Note: if you are struggling with some of Garmin’s features please see the Jargon Buster at the end of this article.

Garmin Edge 20 and 25

In short: For the rider that wants to track performance, but is not hung up on data and likes a minimalist look
Price: £109.99 and £139.99 respectively
Weight: 25g
Display size: 2.3 x 2.3 cm

The Edge 20 and 25 are aimed at cyclists that are fairly new to using GPS devices and all they really want is to monitor their time, distance, speed and GPS position.

As is quite standard with entry-level GPS devices the Edge 20 and 25 allow you to customise your chosen data fields and they include Garmin’s Auto Lap, Auto Pause and Auto Scroll features.

However, what is a little bit different and stands the entry-level Garmin devices out from the crowd, is that in addition to standard GPS tracking they also use GLONASS which increases the speed and accuracy of location data.

>>> Cycle computers: a complete buyer’s guide

The battery life of up to 10 hours is low compared to the other Edge devices, however for many it will be enough to monitor short rides for up to a week or one or two longer outings before charging.

To get more out of the Edge 25 you could purchase a Garmin heart rate monitor and cadence sensor (the Edge 20 does not have any ANT+ compatibility).

Unlike the Edge 20, the Edge 25 can be linked up to a smart phone to wirelessly upload to Garmin Connect Mobile, receive notifications of incoming calls, and utilise Garmin’s LiveTrack.

>>> Read our full review of the Garmin Edge 25 here

>>> Buy now at Chain Reaction Cycles for £94.99

Edge 200

garmin edge 200

In short: Entry-level GPS device with a good-sized display screen
Price: £109.99
Weight: 58.5g
Display size: 3.0 x 3.7 cm

The Garmin Edge 200 is effectively a larger version of the Edge 20, for example it also does not have any ANT+ compatibility. It is therefore fair to say that the Edge 200 is also a good option for cyclists that are focused on just reviewing their time, distance, speed and location.

The only function that the Edge 20 has that the Edge 200 does not is the ability to customise the data fields.

On the other hand, there are two main instances where the Edge 200 does separate itself from the Edge 20 and 25. The first is its increased battery life of up to 14 hours which could equate to a week’s riding or three longer rides. However, the most impressive difference is the Virtual Partner function which is said to be great for a rider with a competitive streak.

>>> Read our full review of the Garmin Edge 200 here

Garmin Edge 500

garmin edge 500In short: Solid mid-range cycling computer with more than enough data options to satisfy a cyclist wanting to anaylse their performance
Price: £169.99
Weight: 56.7g
Display size: 3.0 x 3.7 cm

The Garmin Edge 500 is a substantial step up from the Edge 200 and Edge 20/25. For starters, it has a battery life of up to 18 hours. Also, despite having the same screen size it weighs a bit less than the Edge 200.

It is really the first Edge that is for cyclists who strive to improve their performance and want a large amount of data to assist them in doing so.

As you’d expect with a GPS device costing over £150 you can customise the data fields.

>>> Seven amazing things you didn’t know Strava could do

Although the Edge 500 does not link up to a smartphone, you can still upload your workouts and sessions to a computer. This is where the Edge 500 is a big move forward, as along with monitoring your key statistics (namely time, distance, speed and GPS position) you can use Garmin’s Advanced Workout and Interval Training options to aid training and hopefully ensure perpetual improvement.

The Edge 500 may also appeal to riders that are regularly riding up large hills and mountains since it includes a barometric altimeter and temperature sensors.

>> Read our full review of the Garmin Edge 500 here

Edge 510


In short: Includes most of what you could want from a GPS cycling computer along with great battery life and Garmin’s LiveTrack
Price: £249.99
Weight: 80g
Display size: 4.4 x 3.5 cm

The Edge 510 has the longest battery life of all the current Edge devices. It is in many respects the predecessor to the newer 520. Its colour touch screen is a good size and is only slightly smaller than the newer 520.

Although the Edge 510 does not include any base mapping or the ability to add maps, it is accurate to say that it is aimed at riders that want to be able to monitor their performance to a high level.

Firstly, it uses standard GPS and GLONASS technology to ensure fast and accurate location tracking. It also offers the performance metrics most riders could want or need, such as distance, speed, ascent/descent and it gives the option of using a heart rate monitor, cadence and power meters.

>>> 12 cool things you didn’t know your Garmin could do

You can wirelessly transfer your ride details to Garmin Connect Mobile where you can choose to analyse and share your performances.

A nice feature is the ability to not only customise your data fields and device settings, but that you can switch profiles during a ride just by swiping the touch screen to show the data you want for that ride.

Save for the Edge 25, the Edge 510 is the first Garmin Edge product to offer LiveTrack. Using LiveTrack you can invite your friends and family to follow your rides and races in real time. This is not only a performance feature but also potentially a safety function.

Following a recent software upgrade the 510 is now compatible with Strava Live Segments. This  means you can upload segments directly from Strava and get real time feedback (against your own best performances, friends, or the KOM) when riding your selected Strava Segments.

>>> Buy now at Hargroves Cycles for £249.99

Garmin Edge 520

Garmin edge 520

In short: The Edge for cyclists that want real time data and top end feedback
Price: £239.99
Weight: 59.9g
Display size: 4.7 x 3.5 cm

The Edge 520 really does sound like the Edge that can fulfil almost all cyclists’ needs. It has a commendable battery life of 15 hours and in addition to GPS tracking it also has GLONASS to increase the speed and accuracy of location data.

The Edge 520 has all the functions that the Edge 510 can offer. In addition, with its array of fitness and performance features, the Edge 520 is designed to provide you with the training guidance and analysis to quantifiably improve your performance.

The Edge 520 is compatible with Strava Live Segments which means you can upload segments directly from Strava and can get real time feedback (against your own best performances, friends, or the KOM) when riding your selected Strava Segments.

>>> Strava Live: everything you need to know

It can provide VO2 assessment by looking at your HR variation, your user profile and comparing this with your power output. It can also track your functional threshold power and provide your comparative wattage/kilo tracking over time.

Although there are other Edge products that are compatible with Garmin’s Vector pedals, the Edge 520 goes further and can work with Garmin’s Vector pedals to analyse the biomechanics of your pedal stroke. It looks at each pedal stroke to show where your power is put through the pedal and it can display how much time and power you are spending in and out of the saddle.

Impressively, you can also receive recovery advice. So, on your next ride the Edge 520 reviews your warm up to suggest what effort you should aim for in the ride.

>>> Read our full review of the Garmin Edge 520 here

>>> Buy now at Wiggle for £180.48

Edge Touring and Edge Touring Plus


The Edge Touring is designed for cyclists who like adventure.

In short: Designed for the cyclist who likes a bit of adventure
Price: £199.99 and £249.99 respectively
Weight: 98g
Display size: 3.6 x 5.5 cm

As the name suggests the Edge Touring and Touring Plus are designed for cyclists who like to explore, discover new routes and take on new adventures. The large colour touch screen suggests Garmin have taken into account that you may not be familiar with your route.

The battery life is a commendable 17 hours.

The only differences between the Edge Touring and the Touring Plus is that the latter includes a barometric altimeter and it is compatible with a heart monitor and the Varia ‘smart’ light and radar system. Whereas the Edge Touring does not have these functions.

The Edge Touring and the Touring Plus are the first price point where you get base maps as well as the ability to add maps and preloaded Garmin cycle maps. The mapping functions should allow the more adventurous amongst you to take the route less travelled without the fear of getting lost along the way. Although the Edge Touring and Touring Plus do not wirelessly link up to a smart phone, to assist you in transferring data to a computer they accept data microSD cards.

Unlike the Edge 500, the Edge Touring devices are not really aimed at cyclists who want extra training tools, this is shown by the fact they do not offer Interval Training, Advanced Workouts or Virtual Partner. Having said that, as said above, the Touring Plus is compatible with heart monitors.

>>> Buy now at Chain Reaction Cycles for £149.99

Garmin Edge 810

garmin edge 810

In short: Great features without having to break the bank
Price: £319.99
Weight: 98g
Display size: 3.6 x 5.5 cm

The Edge 810 is said to be the Edge product for regular cyclists. Its touch screen colour display is the same size as that of the Edge Touring which means it is slightly smaller than the Edge 1000. Its battery life of up to 17 hours matches up well with the other Edge devices.

The Edge 1000 can store up to 100 routes, whereas the Edge 810 is limited by the amount of available memory. Further, it does not use GLONASS technology.

In addition to having a battery life of two hours greater than the Edge 1000, the Edge 810 offers many of the functions and options of the more expensive Edge 1000. For example, it includes base maps, has a barometric altimeter, is compatible with Garmin’s heart rate monitors and Vector power pedals, and it can link up with your smart phone.

Some versions of the Edge 810 include a City Navigator microSD card and all devices have the ability to add maps meaning you shouldn’t get lost with an Edge 810 by your side.

>>> Cycle computers: a complete buyer’s guide

You can easily wirelessly upload your training data to Garmin Connect Mobile so that you can fully analyse your performances. It is for you to choose whether they are uploaded automatically or manually.

Now that the Edge 810 is compatible with Strava Live Segments you have another way of testing your performance. You can upload segments directly from Strava and get real time feedback (against your own best performances, friends, or the KOM) when riding your selected Strava Segments.

Just as with the Edge 510, you can switch profiles during a ride just by swiping the touch screen to show the data you want for that ride.

Garmin states that “there’s no better bike computer to guide your ride”. The Edge 810 is said to be rugged and waterproof while the touch screen is claimed to perform well even when wet or if you are wearing gloves.

>>> Read our full review of the Garmin Edge 810 here

>>> Buy now at Evan’s Cycles for £329

Garmin Edge Explore 820

garmin edge 820 mapping

In short: An Edge 820 but without the performance features
Price: £279.99
Weight: 68g
Display size: 58.4cm

The Garmin Edge Explore 820 has an identical appearance to the standard 820 and in general has most of the same features such as the touchscreen, excellent turn-by-turn navigation, and impressive 24 hour battery life when in Battery Save mode.

However the Edge Explore 820 is aimed more at those interested in navigation, tracking their rides, uploading them to Strava, and generally enjoying riding their bikes and being out in the fresh air, rather than those looking to use their Garmin as a training aid.

For this reason the Garmin Edge Explore 820 loses many of the performance features of the standard Edge 820, so it won’t connect to a power meter,  won’t display and calculate performance metrics such as your VO2 Max and functional threshold power, and won’t connect with electronic groupsets to show what gear you’re in.

The upside of this is that it is £50 cheaper than the Edge 820, and for that you still keep features such as incident detection, weather alerts, and smartphone connectivity.

>>> Buy now at Wiggle for £279.99

Garmin Edge 820

garmin edge 820

In short: All of the features of the Edge 1000 but in a smaller, cheaper package
Price: £329.99
Weight: 68g
Display size: 58.4mm

The latest addition to the Garmin Edge range, the Garmin Edge 820 is effectively an Edge 1000 slimmed down to the sizes of an Edge 520.

The standout feature of the Edge 820 is the GroupTrack feature that connects your computer to your smartphone and allows you to track up to 50 riders within a 10 mile radius, helping you to keep track of your fellow riders on group rides and see if your mates are out riding at the same time as you.

This is also the lowest model in the Edge range (if you take the now defunct 810 out of the equation) that has a touchscreen, with the buttons around the outside only used to turn the unit on and offer, add new laps, and to start and stop rides.

Base maps mean navigation should be easy, while the Edge 820 is also compatible with all of Garmin’s other products, like Varia Vision, Virb action camera, and Vector pedals.

>>> Read our full review of the Garmin Edge 820 here

>>> Buy now at Evans Cycles for £329.99

Edge Explore 1000

Edge Explore 1000 updated

The Edge Explore 1000 has the same size display screen as the Edge 1000

In short: The Edge Explore 1000 for the serious adventurer
Price: £349.99
Weight: 114.5g
Display size: 3.9 x 6.5 cm

The Edge Explore 1000 is a recent addition to the Edge range. As you might expect from its name, in several ways the Explore 1000 is similar to the Edge 1000 – it weighs the same,  has the same size display screen, and also has a claimed battery life of up to 15 hours.

The main attributes that set the Edge Explore 1000 out from the crowd are its pre-loaded cycling specific maps and route options along with its safety functions.

If the pre-loaded cycling specific maps are not enough for you, you can download more maps and routes with the micro SD option. As well as the standard method of downloading routes from Garmin Connect and Strava etc, Garmin says you can create your own routes on the device using the pre-loaded maps and points of interest. The round-trip function is particularly helpful if you want to ride in area you are not familiar with.

In addition to the mapping functions, the Edge Explore 1000 is the first Garmin product to include incident detection capability. You can choose for your location to be sent manually or automatically to your selected emergency contacts in the event of an accident. Further, from a safety perspective, it is compatible with the Garmin Varia range of ‘smart’ cycling devices– including a rear view bike radar and ‘smart’ bike lights.

Aside from the mapping and safety functions, the Edge Explore 1000 also has many attributes to aid training and performance. It has ANT+ connectivity which means you can link it with Garmin’s Vector pedals, heart rate monitors, speed and cadence meters. Also, if you are keen to record videos or take photos whilst riding the Edge Explore 1000 is compatible to the new Garmin Virb action camera.

As you would expect for a device costing over £300 pounds it uses both GPS and GLONASS satellite technology and can link to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Simply, the Edge Explore 1000 is aimed at cyclists who want more than to just the same roads over and over again.

>>> Buy now at Chain Reaction Cycles for £305.99

Edge 1000

garmin edge 1000In short: If money is no object, it has nearly everything you could want
Price: £439.99
Weight: 114.5g
Display size: 3.9 x 6.5 cm

The Edge 1000 is unquestionably Garmin’s top of the range Edge product. It provides the highest level of mapping, monitoring and features. It is also the only Edge device that can use WiFi.

The colour touch screen display is the largest in the Edge collection and the battery life is up to 15 hours. As you would expect with the flagship product the Edge 1000 uses both standard GPS and GLONASS technology.

From a data perspective, it is very impressive. In addition to the standard time, distance, speed etc., the Edge 1000 includes a barometric altimeter and temperature sensor.

It is also fully compatible with Garmin’s heart rate monitors, cadence and speed monitors, Vector power pedals and also Shimano Di2 electronic shifting. To further enhance your training and riding experience the Edge 1000 utilises Garmin’s Advanced Workout and Virtual Partner functions.

You can customise the Edge 1000’s training pages with up to 10 data fields and use different activity profiles to allow for easy transitions when you switch your cycling activity, such as road, mountain biking or touring.

One thing that really does make the Edge 1000 stand out from the crowd is its integrated light sensor. To improve the screen’s visibility the light sensor alters the screen’s brightness to reflect the changing light conditions.

Further, the Edge 1000 links up to your smart phone meaning you can easily upload your rides to Garmin Connect Mobile and make sure you are kept up to date of any incoming calls and text messages.

Strava Live means you can convert your smart phone into a GPS cycling computer. However, Garmin point out that unlike your smart phone the Edge 1000’s display is designed to work with gloves and in the rain.

As you would expect with the flagship Edge, the Edge 1000 is compatible with the latest Garmin products, namely the Virb action camera and the Varia ‘smart’ light and radar system.

As you’d expect with Garmin’s top of the range Edge device, it too is compatible with Strava Live Segments. You can upload segments directly from Strava and get real time feedback (against your own best performances, friends, or the KOM) when riding your selected Strava Segments.

In short, the Edge 1000 has the ability to keep you on the right path, monitors your performance in detail and keeps you connected with incoming call and text alerts.

>>> Read our full review of the Garmin Edge 1000 here

>>> Buy now at Wiggle for £314.98

Jargon Buster

Advanced Workout: Using Garmin Connect you can plan and create personalised fitness routines that conform to specific training goals or targets.

Auto Lap: Automatically starts a new lap.

Auto Scroll: You can use the auto scroll feature to cycle through all of the training data screens automatically while the timer is running.

Auto Pause: You can pause the timer automatically when you stop moving or if you drop below a set speed. Good if your ride includes many junctions.

Garmin Connect: Garmin’s online platform to store and review your ride data.

Garmin Connect Mobile: This is the smart phone app version of Garmin Connect.

GLONASS: A Russian Aerospace Defence Force-operated satellite-based navigation system.

Interval Training: You can set up exercise and rest intervals.

LiveTrack: Lets your friends and family track your activities in real time.

Virtual Partner: This function allows you to set a virtual partner to race against, for example you can set the target speed or pace.

For more information go to Garmin.

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Adam Blythe forced to apologise to driver who he claimed ‘almost killed me’

British road race champion Adam Blythe has tweeted his anger after he claims he was almost killed by a driver, but the police informed him to apologise.

Adam Blythe, the reigning British road race champion, has claimed that he was almost killed in an training ride last week but was forced to apologise to the driver.

The Yorkeshireman, who rides for Aqua Blue Sport, was training in the UK last Friday (June 2) when he was involved with an incident with a Volkswagen.

The 27-year-old has said that he was “almost ran off the road” which left his bike with scratches but thankfully him without any injuries.

Blythe claims that he ran the police but was forced to apologise to the elderly driver for calling him a “stupid old man”.

The incident is the latest in a series of professional riders being involved in training ride crashes.

Astana rider Michele Scarponi who was killed by a lorry in a training ride in Italy just before the Giro d’Italia, while current and three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome had his bike written off in the French Alps last month after a collision with a car.

Meanwhile, Nicky Hayden, the former MotoGP world champion, died last month after a cycling crash.

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Watch the scary moment two track riders in Germany ride off the banking and into the stands

The two riders were racing one another when they both exited the track, falling over the boards and into the stand.

A video has emerged on Twitter of two racers exiting the track of a velodrome and careering over the advertising hoardings and into stand.

The dramatic footage shows the riders racing side-by-side to one another as they cross the start/finish line.

Then, the pair both make their way up the velodrome’s banking mid-way through the turn but instead of riding at a higher height and then returning to a lower part of the track on the back straight, disaster strikes.

The rider closest to the boards appears to ride on them and then rides off the track and flies through the air and into the stands. The second rider follows almost identically and the pair are seen crashing into the stand.

The duo crash at a high speed and land some distance beyond where they left the track.

It is believed that the race was part of the 3 Track Tournament in Germany, although CW couldn’t verify that. It is also not known whether or not the riders suffered injuries or not.

It looks as if only a few people were in the stands at the time of the crash, but screams can be heard as the riders veer off track.

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