Training with a partner really helps. That’s what I have found now that I’m training. I go out with my boyfriend [cyclo-cross ace Lars van der Haar] a lot and we sprint next to each other.
We’ll say, ‘right, we start at the next lamppost’ and then just go. That’s where I’ve got my best wattage – just sprinting against someone – because it really pushes you.
It’s always nice sprinting against someone slower than you too! But, actually, if you want to get better at sprinting, it’s so much better if you go up against someone faster.
You can definitely tell the difference it makes, though it’s really hard to measure your output. In training, I will put out more power than in a race.
It’s quite strange actually but, because in training you’re going pretty much fresh into the sprint, it’s different to in a race where you will be tiring towards the end.
To be honest, when I’m sprinting, I never look down to see what watts I’m doing. It’s just post-ride I can see my peak wattage. It’s really different actually training and racing.