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The Puncheur is an explosive athlete who uses this ability with unmatched short, explosive power on climbs of 2-8 minutes in length. They are the most feared rider on the short climbs due to their ability to drop both the sprinters and the mountain climbers with incredible bursts of power uphill. They thrive on rolling to shark-tooth profile rides, but are able to hold their own on flat high speed routes because of their strength. Puncheurs also can use their short but explosive power bursts to do well in short TT’s or long, hard, field sprints. These riders are quite well built, as far as cyclists go, with broader shoulders and bigger legs; they tend to seem the most balanced, physically. Their attacking style of riding often comes into play nearer the end of long stages as the day’s break is being reeled in, or in stages that end in a short, steep climb.


Puncheurs are the Hollywood Actors of the group. Puncheurs are all about the show. That’s not necessarily a negative thing. They just love a platform to showcase their abilities. They are great storytellers and don’t subscribe to what everyone else is doing. They love the thrill of putting it all on the line. But at the end of the day they are in it for the experience and notoriety. They don’t stress too much about the end result. But they are confident in their abilities and perform with panache. Puncheurs are highly aware of their strengths and don’t fall into the trap of comparing themselves to other rider types. They will try for the win and if it doesn’t happen, they chill out and wait for the next one. Even if they are dropped, you won’t see them pouting or throwing their bike in the bushes. They are out their having a party whether it’s off the front or in the groupetto. But they aren’t willing to take on a role that’s not the leading role. You won’t see a puncheur racing for 18th place. They want to be the star of the show and if they don’t get the opportunity, they accept it and look for another role. But they aren’t going to become an extra in someone else’s film.


Pro Rider Example:

Alejandro Valverde, Philippe Gilbert, Coryn Rivera



Shorter; solid frame


Ideal center of gravity


Physical Strengths:

Explosive speed for longer efforts

Strong at producing power both in and out of the saddle

Prefers variable-pace riding

Can do both short explosive efforts and is a good sprinter

Strong on short climbs

Strong in very short time trials


Physical Weakness:

Powerful sustained efforts on the flats


Multi-day stage races or hard efforts

Long time trials

Endurance and recovery is not as good as that of the climbers or GC Riders


Mental Strengths:




Strong mental endurance

Intense short-term focus


Mental Weaknesses:

Often too focused on other riders

Struggles with intense focus for long periods of time

Uncomfortable with physical pressure on long climbs


Ideal Races/Events:

Endurance events with short, punchy climbs

Short time trials


Shorter road races with explosive uphill finishes


Ideal Race-Winning Strategy:

Explosive, surging race that comes down to a small group in the finish. Ideally the finish is an uphill in which the Puncheur wins the sprint from the small group

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