Category Archives: stretching anatomy

Cycling – Trends in Tour Races

In this excerpt, we learn about “Trends in Tour Races“, reprinted with permission of Human Kinetics.

“Since the beginning of the 20th century, three-week tour races have been extremely demanding. Compared to the old days, the current trend is toward shorter, more intense daily stages. In the years to come, it is expected that the average amount of time a cyclist spends in zone 3 per stage will be more than 30 min.

Physiological Demands of the Different Phases of Tour Races
In general, three-week tour races have three main competition requirements: flat and long parcours (usually ridden at high speeds inside a large group of riders), individual High Tech Cycling - Science of riding fastertime trials (40 to 60 km over level terrain), and uphill cycling (high mountain passes).

Every tour race includes seven or more flat stages of about 200 km, lasting four to five

In this excerpt, we learn about “Trends in Tour Races“, reprinted with permission of Human Kinetics.

“Since the beginning of the 20th century, three-week tour races have been extremely demanding. Compared to the old days, the current trend is toward shorter, more intense daily stages. In the years to come, it is expected that the average amount of time a cyclist spends in zone 3 per stage will be more than 30 min.

Physiological Demands of the Different Phases of Tour Races
In general, three-week tour races have three main competition requirements: flat and long parcours (usually ridden at high speeds inside a large group of riders), individual time trials (40 to 60 km over level terrain), and uphill cycling (high mountain passes).

Every tour race includes seven or more flat stages of about 200 km, lasting four to five hours. Most of the time, cyclists ride in large groups of 150 to 200 cyclists. This considerably reduces the major force—air resistance—to be overcome in this type of terrain. As a result, the energy requirement of cycling can be decreased by as much as 40% (McCole et al. 1990), making the overall exercise intensity low to moderate. The proportion of the total stage time spent in zone 3 barely reaches 5% (Lucia, Hoyos et al. 1999).

A great mastery of technical skills (such as drafting or the ability to avoid crashes) would seem most important in this type of stage, in which most riders are able to finish within the same time. In fact, these stages usually do not determine the final outcome of a tour race.

The high average speeds (approximately 45 kph) at which riders are able to cover these stages require that they push high gears (53 X 12 to 11) during long periods. This inevitably results in some muscle damage. Previous research has reported increased levels of muscle damage markers during cycling tour races (Mena, Maynar, and Campillo 1996). This phenomenon may have a negative impact on performance during the second part of a three-week race, during which accumulated muscle fatigue may considerably limit performance in the phases of competition that determine the winner—the time trials and high mountain passes.

Tour races typically include three time trials (TT) performed over overall flat terrains: a short, opening TT of 5 to 10 km and two long TT of 40 to 60 km. This phase of the competition usually influences the final outcome of the race.

Air resistance is the main force that the cyclist encounters during TT. Thus, aerodynamic factors (the cyclist’s riding posture, the size of the frontal wheels, etc.) play a major role (Lucia, Hoyos, and Chicharro 2000a).

Those who seek top performance (average velocity of 50 kph) must tolerate high constant workloads, mostly in zone 3, during the entire 60 min of the TT (Lucia, Hoyos et al. 1999). Some authors have estimated that the mean absolute power output sustained during long TT averages 350 W, although TT specialists probably generate much higher power outputs (greater than 400 W) (Padilla et al. 2000).

Some mass-start stages of approximately 200 km (the so-called high mountain stages) include three to five mountain passes of 5 to 10% mean gradient, and thus require cycling uphill during several 30- to 60-min periods over a total time of five to six hours.

When climbing at low speeds (about 20 kph), the cyclist must mainly overcome the force of gravity (Swain 1994). Because of its effects on gravity-induced resistance, body mass has a major influence on climbing performance. A high power-output-to-body-mass ratio at maximal or near-maximal intensities (6 or more W/kg) is necessary for professional road riders (Lucia, Hoyos, and Chicharro 2000a; Padilla et al. 1999).

In addition, rolling resistance resulting from the interaction between the bicycle tires and the road surface increases considerably at lower riding speeds and on the rough road surfaces of most mountain routes (Lucia, Hoyos, and Chicharro 2000a). To overcome these forces, cyclists frequently switch from the conventional sitting position to a less economic standing posture to exert more force on the pedals. Climbing specialists perform high mountain ascents at intensities in zones 2 and 3 (Fernández-García et al. 2000; Lucia, Hoyos et al. 1999). Because of team requirements, however, some riders are not required to perform maximally during high mountain stages.”

Improve Your Time Trials Results

This was sent to me in email and I thought I would pass it along. I’ve done this cycling time trial several times and it’s really cool doing it at Lowes Motor Speedway.

How Will You Improve Your 2008 Time Trials Results?

If you’re time trialing as well as you ever thought possible, or
you know all there is to know about time trialing, stop and delete
this e-mail. For the rest of us, you must be at the Time Trial
Seminar @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway, February 9, 2008 – 1:00 – 5:00
p.m.

Okay, so Saturday afternoons is the time when you ride your bike with
your buddies. So consider this, in a few short months, you’ll be back
on the track riding until you’re about ready to drop. The information
you learn at the TT Seminar could make the difference between an okay
and a GREAT Time Trial season. What’s it going to be for you? Come
learn how to improve your time trialing, or just do another bike ride
with your buddies?

Lowe’s Motor Speedway Media Center

February 9, 2008 – 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

$25.00 adults – $12.50 under 18 and collegiate

Preregister click here > ActiveZach

Don’t get left out. Seminar limited to 150 people.

If not sold out – $35.00 at the door for everyone

Some of the topics that be will covered:

How to make sure your TT is a success

Do’s & Don’ts on the track

Buying speed – Items that will get you the most speed for the
investment

How to focus on your TT & Lap counting techniques

Drink & Food for Basic Training

Basic set-up of your road bike – How to improve your position for a
TT

How to identify your weakness and set up a TT self vs. formal
training program

Do’s/Don’ts on food and hydration types and use of sports
supplements

TT bike/rider position optimization

Pre-race prep and warm-up for 10 mile & 40k TT events

Wind Tunnel Testing – What is it & what can it do for cyclists?

Learn From the Best

Chad Andrews – Per4mance Training

Andy Applegate – Velosports Performance Center

Mike Giraud – A2 Wind Tunnel

Bruce Guild – Cool Breeze Cyclery

Jim O’Brien – The Right Gear

The Speedway Media Center is located in the infield of the track,
behind the Sunoco gas pumps and the Winners Circle. Doors open at
noon and the seminar starts promptly at 1:00 pm

Pre-register click here > ActiveZach