Monday, February 18

Week Seven Review

Yea, I didn't do anything this week, just a few junk miles. I spent the week getting over strep or whatever that was, then the weather was just abysmal. In lieu of physical training, I exercised the muscle I think with over my latest amazon purchase, Racing Tactics for Cyclists. It's basically a playbook for various situations that come about in road racing, such as how and when to catch a break-away, how to deal with the racers when you're there, how to lead out a sprint, and a lot of other tactics for various situations on the road. The tactical aspect of road racing is one of the things that got me in to it in the first place; I am one of those few people that finds watching road racing on television a thrill.

Sunday marked the prologue day of the Amgen Tour of California. A prologue is a very short time trial, where each rider races individually against the clock. The prologue determines who gets to wear the yellow leader's jersey on the first day of actual racing and is otherwise meaningless and mostly just there to get spectators excited. This prologue was 2.1 miles, and was won by the world champion time trialist from Switzerland, Fabian Cancellara, in 3 minutes 51 seconds. That's an average speed of over 32 miles per hour!

Time trials are, however, pretty un-exciting to watch, since the racers are not in contact with each other at all, they are just sort of, going. The upside is those silly-looking helmets they wear. Millions of dollars of research in low-speed wind tunnels go in to making those helmets as aerodynamic as possible, and even a .2% edge over the competition can make the difference between wearing the prestigious world champion's jersey for a whole year, or just taking home a silver medal. Below is a picture of Fabian Cancellara wearing such a helmet, and such a jersey, at last year's Tour of California.

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