Shift before you stand: As you ramp up for your sprint, you should be shifting into harder gears while you are seated to increase your power output. Right before you stand, shift one or two gears harder so you have more resistance to matched the increased power output you get when you are standing on the pedals.
Keep shifting: While you are standing and sprinting, you might find that your cadence is getting too fast and your power output is leveling off. To keep accelerating, make sure you continue to shift into harder gears. If you are shifting while in the midst of your sprint, remember your gears are under load. Shifting under load could result in skipping gears or even breaking a chain. Before a race, make sure your gears are in tip-top shape and you have a new chain on your bike to avoid any big problems. You can also lighten up on your pedals for a half stroke while you shift, which will take some practice to perfect!
Arms control the bike and add leverage: As you sprint, pushing and pulling on your handlebars (and thus moving your bike from side to side underneath you) will help you control the bike and increase your leverage – helping your legs provide more power!
So how do you get faster at sprinting? Practice! Set aside some rides specifically for sprint training. Whether you are practicing hill sprints while seated or standing, flat sprints where you give an all-out 10-second effort, or you challenge your friends to sprint to the town limit sign, the more you practice sprinting, the better you’ll get!