The Art and Science of Descending

There are many ways to ride faster uphill. The marginal gains industry supplies everything from lightweight helmets and shoes all the way to the frontier of eating disorders as cyclists, mindful of their power/weight ratio become dominated by the denominator of this crucial ratio.

But the search for every watt and gram seems one-sided, the effort to go uphill fast exceeds all thought about what to do once the mountain pass has been scaled and the descent awaits.

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Monday Shorts

Bradley Wiggins Pat McQuaid

Confronted with a challenger who was once a colleague, he’s looking for ways to stay in the job and keep his lucrative salary. Is this Bradley Wiggins or Pat McQuaid?

This and more, including Sylvain Chavanel’s possible new bike for 2014. And why do track and field athletes in Moscow often wear such unaerodyanamic clothing?

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Hot water? Fränk Schleck’s Camelbak

Fränk Schleck Corsica

Fränk Schleck won the Critérium International race, taking the lead after a powerful solo ride up the Col de l’Ospedale and defending his lead the following day in the short 7km time trial. Watching the event on TV I thought his chest looked weird and at the time put it down to hard breathing and his extremely thin state creating an avian-looking thorax. Plus I had my eye on Gent-Wevelgem and live coverage with the Pavé crew, that was a lot more exciting than a time trial.

But now it sees he was using a Camelbak. In case you don’t know, this akin to a small backpack with a hose and when filled with water the rider can drink from it. It’s popular with off road riders. Only the pouch is worn on the back but apparently Schleck wore it on the front, creating a bulge on his chest. As such this narrowed the gap in the area between the chest, arms and legs and made him more efficient.

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Bradley Wiggins: The Low Down

Look closely at the above image, click on it to zoom in. It was taken from the latest version of the excellent Vélo Magazine. It’s Brad Wiggins in profile during his pro career. Notice anything? Check out the head tube on his bikes, he is going from riding a frame the size of a farm … Read more