2009 TDF stage 15: Pontarlier - Verbier 207.5 km



IH8LANCE

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ilpirata said:
It will be interesting to see how Astana defends itself from now on, obviously the yellow jersey is the primary goal, but they could dream of a podium sweep, if Kloden and Armstrong defend themselves well on Ventoux.

I had the same thought. Bruyneel would love to stick it to everyone by sweeping the podium,but certainly that tactic could backfire bigtime if Amstrong/Kloden wear themselves out and Contador has the dreaded bad day.
 

poulidor

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Cobblestones said:
Armstrong: As expected following his Giro performance. He's better than he was in May, on the other hand, so is everybody else (except Menchov of course). He can definitely hang in there for a while, but his age has finally caught up with him. I expect him to lose the podium on Ventoux.

Armstrong had lost too much weight prior TDF by wanting to challenge Contador by being in good shape for the first ITT. I do think he is already rotten!
 

doctorSpoc

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poulidor said:
Armstrong had lost too much weight prior TDF by wanting to challenge Contador by being in good shape for the first ITT. I do think he is already rotten!

he is really skinny eh? his head looks like a skull.. cheek bones jutting out... maybe he did take it too far.
 

Cobblestones

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doctorSpoc said:
he is really skinny eh? his head looks like a skull.. cheek bones jutting out... maybe he did take it too far.

I'm surprised by the number of riders this year which 'lost weight' and are now riding far beyond expectation. If we assume that 'lost weight' isn't just some arbitrary euphemism but has some truth in it, do you think there's something out there which decreases weight (upper body mass) while preserving leg muscles? Weight loss makes only sense if you preserve muscle power. I always wondered how Rasmussen managed to get his 'concentration camp' look.
 

doctorSpoc

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Cobblestones said:
I'm surprised by the number of riders this year which 'lost weight' and are now riding far beyond expectation. If we assume that 'lost weight' isn't just some arbitrary euphemism but has some truth in it, do you think there's something out there which decreases weight (upper body mass) while preserving leg muscles? Weight loss makes only sense if you preserve muscle power. I always wondered how Rasmussen managed to get his 'concentration camp' look.

sustainable power is not dependant on muscle size... this is a common misconception. maximal power.. yes and anaerobic capacity somewhat, but sustainable power no.. just look to Rasmussen an other top climbers and top marathon runners as your proof... as you say, they have that "concentration camp look".

for climbing you want the highest power to weight ratio you can muster... to be as lean as possible yes, T-Rex bony girl arms yes ... but you also want your leg muscles to be as small as possible.. just enough to provide enough torque to the pedals to produce the necessary torque. cycling is not a strength sport at all (except for sprinters). to do 500 watts your muscles only need to be strong enough torque the equivalent to squat about 100lbs (50lbs per leg)... so as long as you have the strength of a pre-pubescent girl.. you're pretty much ok. it's not the strength of the muscle that is important in sustainable power it the ability to get oxygen and nutrient in and out of the cells in your leg muscles and utilize it as fast as possible, tiny torques to the pedals over and over again in quick succession and not bit torque outputs... to be a climber you just don't need big muscles. you'll just have to carry them up the hill with you and they don't provide any benefit for the climbing effort. if your an all rounder, larger legs might come in handy in launching attacks, winning sprints etc.

Wiggins has lost 9kg/20lbs over the last two years.. that is a huge swing in his power to weight ratio... look at his climbing in the tour.
 

poulidor

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There is some riders who have drop weight very rapidly... difficult to do cleanly when taining efficiently.
 

Cobblestones

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doctorSpoc said:
sustainable power is not dependant on muscle size... this is a common misconception. maximal power.. yes and anaerobic capacity somewhat, but sustainable power no.. just look to Rasmussen an other top climbers and top marathon runners as your proof... as you say, they have that "concentration camp look".

for climbing you want the highest power to weight ratio you can muster... to be as lean as possible yes, T-Rex bony girl arms yes ... but you also want your leg muscles to be as small as possible.. just enough to provide enough torque to the pedals to produce the necessary torque. cycling is not a strength sport at all (except for sprinters). to do 500 watts your muscles only need to be strong enough torque the equivalent to squat about 100lbs (50lbs per leg)... so as long as you have the strength of a pre-pubescent girl.. you're pretty much ok. it's not the strength of the muscle that is important in sustainable power it the ability to get oxygen and nutrient in and out of the cells in your leg muscles and utilize it as fast as possible, tiny torques to the pedals over and over again in quick succession and not bit torque outputs... to be a climber you just don't need big muscles. you'll just have to carry them up the hill with you and they don't provide any benefit for the climbing effort. if your an all rounder, larger legs might come in handy in launching attacks, winning sprints etc.

Wiggins has lost 9kg/20lbs over the last two years.. that is a huge swing in his power to weight ratio... look at his climbing in the tour.

You are absolutely right with your comment, I should have worded it better and concentrated on 'power output' instead of 'leg muscles'. Thanks for the correction.
 

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