Three attributes of cycling champions

Becoming an elite cyclist is one of the toughest goals for those entering the competitive world of sport. The good thing is that anyone can have a go at it, with the only gear required being a bike and the road ahead. That said, there are some special attributes that separate the leaders from the pack, and it’s not about having the most sophisticated technology available.

To reach the top at the Tour de France you need to be determined and driven to succeed, as there are so many largely uncontrollable factors in elite cycling. Jonas Vingegaard used a number of disciplines to help him win the yellow jersey in the 2022 event, and is backed by cycling betting odds of 4/5 to win successive titles.

The Dane certainly has the attributes of success, and now we will detail three key elements that competitors need to win the Tour de France and other elite competitions at the peak of competitive cycling.


The different stages of the Tour de France are not short by any means, as even the time trials are a minimum of eight miles long: the longest stage of the 2022 event offers a grueling 140 miles of competitive cycling. This would be long enough on smooth, pancake-flat roads and pathways, but that is certainly not the case in this race: the mountain stage of the Tour de France puts competitors and their equipment to the test as they endure hundreds of miles of uphill cycling.

It would be easy to give up or slacken off, especially in the heat of the summer. But it is resilience that separates those who win the stages – and the athlete who ultimately claims the yellow jersey – from those at the back of the pack. The ability to power through the toughest moments, when both body and bike are on the brink, is what delivers titles, and this was certainly evident for Vingegaard at stage 11 of the Tour, up in the mountains.

Clinical approach to timing

All great sportspeople know when it is time to up the ante, put their feet down and go for the kill. At an elite level, the difference in speed between competing cyclists is minimal: every rider in the pack is extremely fast and they would not have reached the top of their game if they were any slower.

However, the difference between victory and failure can rest with how this speed is deployed over the course of a race – or in the case of the Tour de France, at which stage. If you let rip when you need to be conserving your energy, it can be catastrophic for your hopes of winning.

This is a competition where every action and every second counts. If you go at just the right moment, this perfect timing could be the deciding factor to clinch that often narrow victory. Being smart and taking a clinical approach is a key attribute of all champion cyclists.


Finally, the factor that nobody can really control – is luck. Competitive cycling, perhaps more than any other sport, does call upon athletes to be able to ride their luck at times. The Tour de France, along with other leading cycling events, sees a huge amount of collisions and crashes, which can occur for a variety of reasons.


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    If you are unlucky enough to get caught up in the melee, your best hope is to get out unscathed and continue the race. Some cyclists can break free and carry one, but the unluckier ones might face injury or problems with their equipment that cut short their chances of getting the trophy.

    Cycling can be a cruel sport, but that part of the excitement of competing in an elite event embraces all the challenges of an outdoor environment.

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    Three attributes of cycling champions — Bike Hacks