FTP vs Sprint power - genetic or tunable

I’m a fairly new cyclist - started road biking in Nov '20, kept doing random rides till May '21, then did some structured training for about 4 months which was focused around a 1 hr climb. I’ve never done any sprint specific workouts (I just do some sprints on some weekend rides). But I find the ratio of my sprint power to my FTP much higher than what I see usually (either on online forums, or even per the statistical bike power curve/chart). My FTP is somewhere around 230-240 (3.29-3.43 W/kg), but a couple of weeks ago I did a personal best peak sprint of close to 1300 W and a 5 sec of 1250 W (17.86 W/kg). I’m also not a bodybuilder type with too much muscle (which, I guess, is one case where the sprint power could be much higher). I was into professional swimming growing up, and played soccer and hit the gym for ~1 year after that.

How much of this is tunable (i.e how much of the ratio is skew-able), as I wish to be more of a sustained power rider? Given my fairly low FTP, I think it’s safe to assume that there’s enough to be gained, but could it be the case that I’m naturally/genetically more of a sprinter and so FTP gains would be harder for me to get?
I’m 5’7 and weigh about 70kg

It’s all trainable, it’s just about working on the areas that matter to you.
You might have a lot of fast twitch fibres which will help in sprints and / or a lot of muscle where it matters.

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You have a predisposition to be good at sprinting, but I don’t think that means you will have a hard time at increasing ftp.

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Genetic but it can be trained but even if train hard if you have TT you will never compete in the Olympics in a sprint discipline


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Development in endurance sports is about years of consistency and dedication. If you’re under 3 years in, I’d still consider you in the newbie-gains period of your development. The ratio of FTP:sprint power is, in my opinion, largely meaningless at this point as you’re so new you haven’t had the time to really develop your aerobic power.

Maybe, but does it matter? Genetics are a factors we have zero control over so I wouldn’t worry about it. You have years to turn yourself into your version of the kind of rider you want to be for the kind of riding you enjoy.

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I’m similar to you. As of a few months ago I have a 1 sec power= 1520 watts and 5 sec= 1370 watts and my FTP is 260. The main difference is I have been training with TR for several years and my FTP has fluctuated between 240-270 for the past 5+ years. I don’t believe I’ll see anything really beyond the 270ish range ever but I’m ok with that. I have seen improvements in things like repeatability which are arguably more important for what I focus on(cyclocross). Oddly enough, both of those sprint power numbers were PR’s for me this year and I’m 35 years old. My previous was about 100 watts less from 2018 and I attribute that to focusing more on heavy strength training earlier this year.

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Similar numbers at nearly sixty yrs old, and I’ve only been on a road bike for six years. Nearly all my short power PRs are from 2016-2017, and 2020-2021 with peak at about 1275W and 5-sec at 1150W (during both those time periods). My ftp in 16-17 peaked at 280, and peaked at 265 over 20-21 and now it appears to be close to 275+ (Jan 2022). Sandwiched between those two periods was TR, and with TR my ftp was between 220-250 so a bit lower and I struggled with short power (under 5 minutes).

I’m probably too old to do much more tuning on the short power. Did a lot of weight training in 2020 and early 2021, didn’t really move the needle. My legs are NOT large or muscular. Definitely have seen higher short power during those times when I was doing more endurance work. Too much TR sweet spot or vo2 repeatability work, and it seems to blunt my training response. Fewer intervals and more endurance work, where I consistently average 6-8 hours/week has seen the biggest gains in long power (FTP), and power under 5 minutes.

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All these numbers are meaningless for comparison purposes when not normalizing for weight.