Below, we've broken down five tried-and-true cycling positions optimized to give you the best speed and endurance during specific portions of a road race. Remember, these positions were developed and tested (Chris Froome notwithstanding) by the very best in the business, so don't be afraid to give them a whirl on your next ride.
All information from an infographic provided by "Infographic Guide to Cycling," Bloosmsbury, 2015.
1. Sprinting1 of 6
When: Cyclists normally sprint at the finish line, to breakaway from the peloton or during intermediate sprints for points.
How: Raise your posterior out of the saddle and place your hands in the drops. Position your weight over the front of the bike and pedal as hard as possible in a smooth, circular motion.
Who: Andre Greipel, Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan
2. Seated Climb2 of 6
When: Long climbs with a shallow gradient require a seated climbing position.
How: Position your posterior in the middle of your saddle and place your hands on top of your handlebars.
Who: Chris Froome, Tejay Van Garderen, Bradley Wiggins
3. Standing Climb3 of 6
When: Some cyclists go into a standing position on steep climbs. This is, however, more costly on the cardiovascular system than the seated climb, but the more aggressive position allows the cyclist to transfer more power through his or her pedals.
How: Place your hands on the hoods, lift your posterior and pedal while slightly shifting your weight from side to side in a snake-like motion. You should feel the roll from the top of your head down through your pedals.
Who: Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde
4. Descending4 of 6
When: Traversing a steep downhill portion when, no matter how high your gear, you can no longer pedal.
How: Raise your posterior, place hands in the drops, tuck and bend elbows and knees in towards the frame and lower your chin toward the stem.
Who: Vincenzo Nibali, Samuel Sanchez, Cadel Evans
5. Extreme Descending5 of 6
When: Fast, straight and steep descents.
How: Shift your body weight forward and place your chest close to the stem. Your hands should rest on 'tops' of handlebar, push your bent elbows inward and tuck your posterior just above the top tube and in front of the saddle.
Who: Peter Sagan, Damiano Cunego, Thor Hushovd