Are you a climber?

Climbers are almost the physical opposite of the sprinter. The climbing experts in the Tour de France often look like horse jockeys. Small, ultra-lightweight and delicate in appearance, these guys charge up the hills with excellent power-to-weight ratios, leaving the other riders struggling and in pain once the racing goes uphill. Climbers also need really good endurance capabilities to be able to keep the power on all the way up a mountain. One thing which counts more than anything once the roads start to climb is weight. Both rider and bike need to be as light as possible to carry themselves upwards.

Simon Yates

Featherweight climber Simon Yates. Credit: Cor Vos

If you struggle with love handles you’re either going to have to lose some of that extra weight or decide you are really a rouleur (a good all-rounder). Some of the peloton’s climbers may have a natural advantage: many talented climbers over the years come from Colombia (Nairo Quintana and Egan Bernal, for example). These guys were born and bred at high altitude, providing them with an innate suitability, as some might say. Here the height/ weight numbers of some riders to give you an idea of the current fashion in climbing physiology: Roman Bardet is 1.85m tall and weighs 65kg, Thibaut Pinot is 1.8m tall and weighs 63kg and Simon Yates is 1.72m tall and weighs 58kg.