The key to strong cycling is strength and pedalling efficiency. Both are critical to improve your performance. Nowadays many triathletes are using power to gauge their cycling performance, so being able to improve your power numbers has become a big goal. In cycling, power is maximum force applied quickly. Training to generate lots of power involves performing short, intense intervals. However, without strength, less force is applied to the pedals no matter how fast they are turned. So power can’t be developed without improving strength, too. Similarly, if you’re inefficient when you are pedalling, force is lost. Without both fundamentals (strength and economy), power improvement is not possible.
The disciplines of triathlon that truly demand large bursts of power are draft-legal racing and cross triathlon. For non-drafting triathlon events the objective is to slow down the least. This is largely determined by strength, as the power must be applied in a controlled fashion rather than in explosive bursts. All disciplines of triathlon require skill development, as pedalling economy is key to efficient power transfer. You can improve your pedalling efficiency through drills. Strength training is accomplished through strength work, hill repeats and overgear efforts.