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Tour de France

65 Posts authored by: ActiveTdF

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!It was a classic day on the Tour de France today as we are in the observation round.

 

A massive sprint has logically ended up this stage as all the teams are really close to each other in rankings. It was clear that no one was willing to show either their motivations nor goals. We could obviously see that the teams that have great sprinters were trying to hold the peloton and retain any serious "echappée" to play the victory in the final sprint. I feel like we will have one more day at least like this as all the favourites are playing it strategic so far. The Tour de France is just about to start so be ready for some real action in the coming days.

 

There was definitely lots of stress and tension in the peloton today and I guess there will still be some on the boat that will take us this evening from England to France...it will be interesting to live.

 

Well, the Tour de France has only spent two days in England but it was warmly welcomed by thousands of people along the roads. Organisation was amazing and I think people really enjoyed the show today. It's been a great experience on both sides of the Channel!

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the great Tour de France is still alive, so stay tuned for some more hot news!

--Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in eight Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

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Dr. Allen Lim: Prologue 2007

Posted by ActiveTdF Jul 8, 2007

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/lim150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/lim150x150.jpg!Although the prologue is the shortest event in the Tour de France it is by no means the easiest. At 7.9 km, the 9- to 10-minute all-out effort involved in the prologue is excruciating, requiring the complete utilization of both oxidative and non-oxidative energy systems. Generally speaking, this means that the athletes who do best in the prologue have the best combination of both aerobic and anaerobic power. That said, every athlete is different and for this time frame, some athletes better known as long time trial specialists or climbers may produce the majority of their power through aerobic systems while other athletes better known as sprinters or as pure prologue specialists may rely more on their anaerobic power.

 

Regardless, the prologue is a gut-wrenching effort that requires extraordinary effort, focus and, of course, fitness. Historically, this means that the winner of the Tour will generally make the top 10 in the prologue despite not being a prologue specialist. Still, the short time frame of the prologue means that a lot can go wrong. One bad corner, a slight loss of concentration, or a mechanical can mean the difference between making the top 10 or settling for the top 50. In addition, at between 30 to 33 mph, aerodynamic drag is the primary form of resistance holding back the riders on the essentially flat prologue course. Thus, decreasing aerodynamic resistance is as important if not more important than an athlete's ability to produce power during the prologue.

 

In today's prolgoue, Fabian Cancellara put in a truly amazing performance. In fact, I can't recall a rider putting in that dominating of a performance in the prologue since Chris Boardman set the Tour prologue speed record of 55.12 kph on a 7.2-km course in 1994. At 53.59 kph (33.2 mph) over today's 7.9 km course, I estimate that Cancellara had to maintain an average power of 541 watts (See this chart ). This would give him a power-to-weight ratio of 6.94 watts per kg. If all of his power came from only aerobic energy sources, then his maximal aerobic capacity or VO2 max would be, at the very least, a stunning 88 ml/kg/min (average Tour rider is about 75 ml/kg/min).

 

In contrast to Cancellara's performance, the next fastest time was Andreas Kloden who was almost 13 seconds slower. Though not as fast as Cancellara, Kloden's ride makes him one of the main athletes to watch at this year's Tour. For his time, I estimate that Kloden needed to average 462 watts. This gives him a power-to-weight ratio of 7.11 watts per kg, which is extraordinarily high for an athlete not known as a prologue specialist. What's more interesting is that despite finishing 3rd overall in last year's Tour, Kloden only finished 24th in the 2006 prologue--a 7.1-km flat course very similar to the course in London. In last year's prologue, I calculate that Kloden only averaged 400 watts. Thus, his estimated 62 watt gain is fairly remarkable and if he maintains that form through the next three weeks, my thought is that he could easily be this year's winner depending upon how his Astana team decides to play things tactically. With Vinokourov's seventh-place ride, there is no doubt that Astana is the strongest team in this year's Tour.

 

Another interesting result I noticed in today's prologue was the fact that only two riders from last year's top 10 made the top 10 again this year. Those riders were George Hincapie (464 watts in 2007 vs. 460 watts in 2006) and Vladimir Karpets (485 watts in 2007 vs. 465 watts in 2006) with Dave Zabriskie (434 watts in 2007 vs. 423 watts in 2006) just missing at 11th place. The rest of the top 10 was made up of four riders not in the 2006 Tour (Cancellara, Gusev, Vinokourov, and Dekker) and four riders making from extremely significant improvements to slight improvements over their performance in 2006.

 

Finally, I couldn't help but notice the strong ride of Bradley Wiggins (4th) and David Millar (13th) in their home country. Both riders made improvements over their prologue performance from last year. In an event with so little allowable margin of error, it's nice to see riders still elevate their performance when it really counts. In the end, this year's Tour won't only be made with great power, equipment and tactics, it will be made with the heart and passion of some truly incredible athletes and support staff. In the end, it's not so much about the science as it is the intangible spirit of the human will. With that in mind, I look forward to not only giving Active readers some scientific insight at this year's Tour but to also shed some light on the more human side of the greatest race in the world.

--Allen

 

Dr. Allen Lim received his Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to obtaining his doctorate, Dr. Lim did his undergraduate training in Exercise Science at the University of California at Davis and completed his master's degree in Exercise Physiology. Dr. Lim has extensive coaching experience. He guided the UC Davis Cycling Team to its first national championship and coached the resident national cycling team at the US Olympic Training Center. He has also coached numerous amateur, professional, and Olympic athletes. He founded and acted as the full-time director of the Celestial Seasonings Professional Cycling Team and serves as the Director of Education for the Saris Cycling Group, Dr. Lim is also a partner of ThriveHFM, a health and fitness management consulting group, as well as the Director of Development for the Boulder Life Performance Center.

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!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/fredrod.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/fredrod.jpg!I am stuck rooming with my Italian teammate Cioni !

 

Very nice guy, and we actually have something in common other than the bike. He makes a very nice olive oil. I told him we have to start a boutique shop together.

 

We also share the common interest in cycling politics. I would say he probably is a bit more involved than I am, but with my foundation, I probably have a different interest as well.

 

Stage 1 coming. Robbie and I both feel confident for tomorrow. We know it’s the first stage and anything can happen, so we’ll just stick to our plan as always---hit them late and hard.

 

It has been nice taking the tour out of France. It shows the level of support that top-level cycling has. They estimated 1.5 million people out on the course. I think that has to be a record for the tour prologue. Nice to see.

 

Freddie

 

Colombian-born Freddie Rodriguez is a professional American road racing cyclist. He is a three-time US national champion and currently races for team Predictor-Lotto. His Fast Freddie Coffee, the Fast Freddie Foundation, and his new Team Fast Freddie raise funds to support youth cycling in America. Freddie resides in Emeryville, California, and Girona, Spain. Freddie is riding this year's Tour and will give us an insider's perspective on life inside the peloton. He welcomes questions and will try to respond during the Tour.

2,158 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: 2007-tour-de-france, fast-freddie-rodriguez, freddie_rodriguez

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!First of all, I must confess I have not been so excited like this since a few years!

 

I can tell you that this '07 Tour de France will be one of the most open, uncertain and exciting to watch, for sure.

 

It’s clear that there are many players in the field who could win in three weeks' time. There is no team today that will have the control of the peloton and I think this is why teams will have to play it strategic, will have to be offensive, and riders will have to be able to create and catch opportunities along the race!

 

Everybody has been talking about Vinokourov here for weeks, and all the media are already making him champion. Well, I can tell you that there is a lot of pressure on his shoulders; I could feel it today when he was talking to the media, and I think the media will not actually help him to raise his level to win this Tour. We will see how it goes, but today, it is Klöden who really impressed me.

 

We have a potential champion here. No one is talking much about him so he is in a very good position to create some surprises. And as I said, this Tour de France is going to be full of surprises!

 

Ladies and gentlemen, there is 3,570 km to get to Paris now and I’ve not felt so excited like that for some time now. If I was listening to my heart, I would jump on my bike and run one more!

 

Back tomorrow with some more hot news, meanwhile enjoy the show!”

 

Ronan Pensec participated in eight Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

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Travel is always fun NOT!

 

Kind of a funny story. Been racing George Hincapie from Girona to London. His team flew him out of Barcelona while my team flew me out of Girona where we all live. I checked in with him this morning (July 4) to see how he was. He was on his way to the airport as I was finishing breakfast before an easy ride.

 

I just sent a message to his Blackberry telling him that we had a little traffic, so it would be 10 minutes before I arrived at my hotel. He was still at the airport waiting for his bags.

 

I think I am going to win this race. He flew business class on a normal airline, while I flew one of the vacation economy lines out of Girona. So I had to travel tight and light. But I'd rather be fast than comfortable.

 

Final score: I win.

 

I was halfway through dinner before George arrived at his hotel.

 

That goes to show you how crazy our travel plans can be. Sometimes you get a good flight, and sometimes it can be a long day off the bike.

 

--Freddie

 

Colombian-born Freddie Rodriguez is a professional American road racing cyclist. He is a three-time US national champion and currently races for team Predictor-Lotto. His Fast Freddie Coffee, the Fast Freddie Foundation, and his new Team Fast Freddie raise funds to support youth cycling in America. Freddie resides in Emeryville, California, and Girona, Spain. Freddie is riding this year's Tour and will give us an insider's perspective on life inside the peloton. He welcomes questions and will try to respond during the Tour.

508 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, tour-de-france, fast-freddie-rodriguez, freddie_rodriguez
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