A climber is a road bicycle cyclist who can ride especially well on highly inclined roads, such as those found among hills or mountains. In the series, climbers are portrayed as cyclists who excel on slopes and are not as efficient on flat land. They compete for the second checkpoint on each day of the Inter High.
Role of climber in a race
In a sustained climb, the average speed declines, the aerodynamic advantage of drafting is diminished and the setting of the group pace becomes more important. A good climber modulates their speed and chooses the best line on a climb, allowing the following riders to have an easier job. If the group maintains a high tempo, it is more difficult for a rider to attack and ride away from the group.
Another important role in climbing is that of attacker or counter-attacker, like a puncheur, they specialise in rolling terrain with short but steep climbs. Climbing specialists use their superior abilities either to attack on climbs and thereby gap the competitors, knowing that only other climbing specialists will be able to stay with them, or simply to maintain a high pace that others cannot match. A successful escape can help the climber achieve a victory if the race has a mountain-top finish, or even in a flat finish if the climber is able to maintain their lead after the climb is over. Climbing stages, along with individual time trials, are key stages in winning long stage races.