Video: Double Rás stage winner’s winter sprint training session

Posted on: December 27th, 2018

Robbie McCarthy sprint training

Robbie McCarthy winning stage 2 of the Rás Tailteann back in May. He took victory in a sprint finish and has been working on that kick during his December winter training (Photo: Bryan Keane – Inpho)


Maybe we can’t all have a finishing sprint like Robbie McCarthy, but we can all have a look at what he does to improve his gallop.

And if we incorporate just a little of how he sharpens his finishing kick into our own training, we may just reap the rewards.

A significant number of road races in Ireland come down to bunch sprints, especially in the A4 and A3 categories.

And even if we’re away in a breakaway that survives to the finish; chances are we’ll be sprinting at the finish rather that arriving at the line out front alone.

McCarthy has won two stages at Rás Tailteann during his career. Having previously been an Australian international, he also took the national junior title there; ahead of Caleb Ewan.

He’s a very fast finisher and he’s offered us an insight in some of the training he’s been doing to ensure his sprint will be powerful when he calls for it in 2019.

McCarthy has ridden the past couple of seasons with JLT-Condor; a UK Continental team. And he’ll ride for Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes in the UK next season.

The Corkman, who spent some of his childhood and teenage years in Australia, recently shared the video below featuring his standing start sprints out on the open road.

We asked him to explain exactly what he was doing, and also any other sprint training he was undertaking.

As it turns out he’d been to the gym on the day he shot this video; performing his sprints after a session indoors.

“In the gym I performed a 20-minute warm up, going through mobility work and body weight exercises,” he said.

“I then moved on to the main workout and started with the trap bar deadlift; four sets of five reps at 115kg.

“Then I did an upper body circuit of incline bench press, bent over row and single arm row. After that came the muscular endurance set; four times 2 minutes of continuous squat reps with 50kg. Then I did a core routine to finish.

“On the bike I warmed up for 30 minutes before a set of six 12-second standing start sprints. The gearing I used was 54 X 13, which was followed by a cool down.”