Video: How to perfect a sprint lead-out

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl gives us a glimpse behind the curtain at its fearsome sprint train, and the practice that hones it.

by Iain Treloar

It’s fair to say that Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl has a bit going for it as a team. Quite apart from being the poster boys of laminate flooring, alcohol-free beer and sensible shoes, Quick-Step win a lot of bike races. They’ve got Julian Alaphilippe. They’ve got the crumbs from Remco’s pizza endorsement. They’re a force to be reckoned with in the cobbled classics. They’ve also got one of the best sprint lead-out trains in the sport.

A lot of sprinting comes down to daring – who’ll find the right gap at blistering pace. But as Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl shows in this illuminating video filmed at a training camp in Algarve, a lot of it also comes down to practice, perseverance, and teamwork.

The team’s sports director Tom Steels – himself a handy sprinter of the past, and a nine-time Tour de France stage winner – oversees proceedings, coaching his charges on how to execute the perfect lead-out in a variety of race scenarios. It’s a fascinating mix of theory and torque, with a sprinkling of awe when Michael Mørkøv swings off the front and Fabio Jakobsen takes flight.

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