The best of the best didn’t start by training power, they developed bike handling skills before they trained to win: 4x Tour de France winner Chris Froome and 3x UCI World Champ Peter Sagan developed their bike handling skills & their base as mountain bikers. UCI World Hour Record holder Bradley Wiggins and top sprinters such as Mark Cavendish and Fernando Gaviria developed their skills & base as track cyclists. 2x Pan-Am Cyclocross gold medalist Stephen Hyde started in BMX.
The first skills cyclists need to train are bike handling skills. No different than how we learn to drive, the priority at the outset is to learn how to anticipate and take appropriate action to avoid collisions and crashes. To be able to ride safely and defensively requires cyclists to focus on being comfortable on two wheels in all sorts of conditions. Once comfortable, confidence builds and cyclists can add skills of agility, balance and coordination. These basics set the best of the best to develop efficient pedal strokes which they leverage into speed, endurance and power. Proper progression is key to becoming a consistent peak performer in cycling, in any sport.
The place to start, is not on the road or off road, but in the safety of a parking lot.
The bike to start on is not a road bike, but a bike which makes handling skills fun and easy to learn, such as a mountain bike or dirt-jump bike.
The way to start is with experienced coaches who teach handling skills in a progression matching each rider at their level to build comfort, confidence and skill.