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Perfecting a Lead-out Train

July 01, 2015

Anyone familiar with road racing knows how crucial a role is played by a team's lead-out train. These are basically the cyclists whose job it is to position their team mate as best they can so that their rider is able to take out a win. They're the players who work to create the perfect cycling storm.

An ideal lead-out team will comprise various riders of slightly different qualities and strengths which combine to create an ideal support network for the rider designated to ideally take out the win at that race.

These days lead-out trains tend to kick in some time before the finish line - up to around 5km out. Riders in the lead-out train have big engines who will be able to carry their rider at really high speeds right up to the moment she or he will commence their sprint to the finish.

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Just prior to this happening it's usually the job of the very last lead-out rider to take their team mate to this final stage. The ideal qualities this rider will possess usually are a cool lead and an ability to think very, very fast and navigate around - or circumvent entirely - all manner of scenarios that start to unravel near the end. This rider will also have sensational sprinting ability, but sprinting at a more drawn-out distance, allowing the 'winning' cyclist to sit in their draft until the very last moment.

Christian talks about some great Orica-GreenEDGE lead-outs that have been happening for the team of late, sharing great advice around ideal scenarios for starting a lead-out. He goes on to explain how the team decides who is leading out whom, talks about ideal lead-out equipment and more.

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