unassisted speed of a good sprinter on the road

Mar 10, 2009
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I'm just wondering what a good sprint speed is on a flat piece of normal bitumen road (not smooth or rough) on a normal multi gear road bike without any assistant from other riders, wind, etc.

The reason I ask was that I was talking to a B grade sprinter who told me the Elite A grade roadies in Qld Australia are only sprinting unassisted at about 58 to 60km'h on a flat. I find that hard to believe (quite slow). Looking at the Power profile for that speed it is only a little above 850W which is only average. But not many riders seem to be able to hit 60km'h by themselves. In fact most riders I know (B and C grade riders) hit somewhere near the mid 50's. I'm not talking so much about track riders on the track. Just the standard Roadies.

Would be intersted in what you guys here hit in a similar unassisted sprint. Please put your grade in also. No crap. Just the hard cold truth.
I am an overweight C grader and am currently sprinting about 58, 59km'h when fresh. Hope to get quicker.
 
May 20, 2010
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I would like to add to above question:

. for how many seconds do you sustain said speed or
. is this the max speed that you hit (less than a second or so).

Hope this doesn't impose on your OP Indurain...
 
Jul 16, 2009
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38.3mph, hold it for about 4 seconds.
If I can get my endurance to hold 33-34mph for a few miles leading into a finish, I'd probably be a good racer.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Yes I was talking about a top speed. But recognise that it is important to be able to hold it. 64km'h unassisted on the road is fast!! Is that the speed for the Elite Cat 1 Men?
 
Apr 10, 2009
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Indurain said:
Yes I was talking about a top speed. But recognise that it is important to be able to hold it. 64km'h unassisted on the road is fast!! Is that the speed for the Elite Cat 1 Men?
That sometimes is the speed of So Cal Masters sprints, although 38 mph is more likely.
 
Oct 28, 2009
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im a c grade rider in melbourne, one place off B (if only i could get a few weeks of uninterupted training in!!!) during 300m flat sprints with a few hundred meters wind up in training i get to 57.5kph, but it all changes during a race coming out of a corner and dealing with the extra fatigue and other riders, i got a 3rd place with a top speed of only 52kph at the start of the year
 
Sep 10, 2009
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Masters 35-40 Cat. 3. Fastest I hit according to my Garmin this past season in interval workouts was 56.8km/hr. I am not built for sprint speed, I am a more of an barouder. I tend not to work on top end sprint speed very much.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Indurain said:
The reason I ask was that I was talking to a B grade sprinter who told me the Elite A grade roadies in Qld Australia are only sprinting unassisted at about 58 to 60km'h on a flat.
Seems a bit slow but depends on the definition of unassisted. I have several times hit 65-68km/h in sprints I won. And one with a tailwind (my definition of assisted) I have hit 72.8km/h in the finishing straight.

Just as a guide our B grade bunches go up the finishing straight at over 55km/h every lap of the race as long as there is no headwind, so the winner has to go significantly over that to win on the last lap.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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M Sport said:
Seems a bit slow but depends on the definition of unassisted. I have several times hit 65-68km/h in sprints I won. And one with a tailwind (my definition of assisted) I have hit 72.8km/h in the finishing straight.

Just as a guide our B grade bunches go up the finishing straight at over 55km/h every lap of the race as long as there is no headwind, so the winner has to go significantly over that to win on the last lap.
That's a pretty good speed 65 - 68 in a pack finish. But how fast can you get up to alone on a flat stretch without any other rider, pack, etc around to sit on. No assistance whatsoever.

If someone is hitting 60km'h by themselves will they be considered to have sprinting potential? I wonder how fast Cavendish gets up to by himself in training.
 
M Sport said:
Seems a bit slow but depends on the definition of unassisted. I have several times hit 65-68km/h in sprints I won. And one with a tailwind (my definition of assisted) I have hit 72.8km/h in the finishing straight.

Just as a guide our B grade bunches go up the finishing straight at over 55km/h every lap of the race as long as there is no headwind, so the winner has to go significantly over that to win on the last lap.
You didn't tell us what level you are racing at but I presume it's B Grade since that is the example you quoted?

I think your B Graders are racing at a significantly higher level than in my own club if they are riding down the straight at "over 55km/h every lap of the race". (Unless you neglected to tell us that your straight is downhill). In my own club the B Graders average around 42km/h for a criterium race and during the race within surges they might get into the low 50's a few times. However these surges are misleading. The guy at the front might only accelerate to 48km/h, the guy behind him has to do 49km/h to get back onto his wheel, the guy behind him has to do 50km/h to get onto his wheel etc, and so you have this concertina effect as the bunch is trying to bridge gaps caused by getting caught out by the change of pace. However these speeds are still largely protected from the wind by the bunch. Not quite the same as what you're describing though I think?. To win the race you would need a sprint in the high 50's or low 60's

Many of the pros sprint around the 70km/h mark. At 68km/h you're not far off.
 
Jul 29, 2010
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I'm gonna say mid-30's (mph) is where most ppl would top off.
If you can hit 40mph even briefly I'd say you have a good chance of winning any field sprint shy of a ProTour event.
 

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