's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

PURE climbers on flats? How do they do?(9 posts)

PURE climbers on flats? How do they do?nestorl
Oct 7, 2001 7:18 PM
Hello all, Anyone know why the 'racing' board is almost dead? everyone is here! there are like 2 messages per week on that board...ANYHOW...My question:

How do the little colombian climbers do on the flats?(OK OK botero is not little)
OR how do PURE climbers do on flats? Do they struggle like big guys do on the mountains? or do they get the best of both worlds by being able to keep up on the flats and then destroy everyone on the mountains?

What's your take? Anyone wants to provide a sport physiology lesson?
re: PURE climbers on flats? How do they do?Allen az
Oct 7, 2001 8:28 PM
I would say I'm a pure climber. I'm a 120 lb Italian...I could have those special genes! Watch out! :) Anyways...I usually cruise up the hills. On flats, I don't have any problems, (usually pulling in fact). Spinning is very important is for me, (& probably for most little guys). Decsents are more of a problem than anything else, but's not like I'm suffering. Best of both worlds!

keep spinnin'
No physiology lesson, butmickey-mac
Oct 7, 2001 9:43 PM
take a look at what three(?) time polka-dot jersey winner Richard Virenque did on a largely flat course into a headwind at Paris-Tour:
Reeshard was never PUREnm
Oct 8, 2001 6:04 AM
re: PURE climbers on flats? How do they do?cyclequip
Oct 7, 2001 11:29 PM
All other things being equal, the smaller riders will suffer on the flats. Ignore Virenque's P-T result - he had someone to help him. Unlike climbs where power-to-weight is the determinant, on the flats overall power is the determinant. Strangely enough the overall drag coefficient of a small rider is not hugely different to a larger rider -not enough as, say, the effect of gravity on a rider's power to weight going uphill. So big riders who make big power have the advantage when overcoming the effects of drag. Look at ITT's. Nary a pure climber to be seen in the 'Race Of Truth" top results. It's the freaks like Indurain and Ullrich, both big men, who are able to climb, that are remarkable. Indurain was by far the biggest rider on the Banesto team, and the other riders all feared having to ride behind him n the TTT because they couldn't hold his wheel.
re: PURE climbers on flats? How do they do?Woof the dog
Oct 8, 2001 12:47 AM
at 135 pounds I suppose I am a climber, but hell yeah do I get my ass kicked on the same climbs by heavier people. If I had more lungs, then hell yeah, I'd be better. The point is, its more about training I suppose. I mash big gears on the flats just like in climbing. When going up a hill, you usually give it everything you got, right? Well, there is interval workout for you, but to be good at both, you gotta practice time trialing. As a matter of fact, good fast people in lower cats are those who have better indurance seems like - those who can climb long hills at high TT-like pace, not surge over short hills. That is what helps them win. Put them in a criterium, they will come in with the pack though. Unless you do only crits, you'd be better off riding really long hills - will be good climber and good TTer.

Of course, I never read any training books either, I just go by the feel, so don't take my word for granted. Maybe climbing and TTing are two totally different things, I have no clue, hehe. I should really look into buying one of 'em trainig books.


Woof the dog.
don't think it's physiologymr_spin
Oct 8, 2001 7:07 AM
I think for top riders, a lot of it is mental rather than physiological. After all, when Pantani won the Tour in 1998 he pulled off a surprisingly good time trial (3rd behind Ullrich and Julich), which pure climbers don't do well at. And Claudio Chiapucci won both Milan-San Remo and the King of the Mountains jersey in the Tour. Simoni, who used to be known as a pure climber, pulled off a huge upset in the Giro time trial this year (getting 2nd), and also took off on a solo flyer in the penultimate stage.

Climbers like to climb. Flats are just a nuisance to them, even more for the small guys because they generally are at a physiological disadvantage to guys like Ullrich. But that doesn't mean they can't do well. I suspect it becomes a learned response from a young age to hate flats. That's one more reason to have teammates with you in the mountains, by the way. They can drag you across the valley floor to the bottom of the next climb.

One the greatest climbers today is Lance, a great guy on the flats pre-cancer, who learned how to climb post-cancer. One example won't prove my point, but he sure is a good one. He never learned to hate flats, so as a result, he does it all well.
It's power/wight ratio vs. absolute power + mindset (nm)Jon
Oct 8, 2001 3:33 PM
we have to suck wheelsDuane Gran
Oct 9, 2001 5:24 AM
I fancy myself a climber type, but not in the pure sense. My weight is more middle of the road at 68kg, so I should have a shot at being mediocre on hills and flats. I tend to do much better on hills, and I find that on flats I need to guard myself from the wind in a race.

When you are a climber, generally to win races you require enough hills to rip apart any semblence of a peleton, or if it is flat you have to get involved in the breakaway that sticks. Even if you do that latter move, generally the slow twitch fiber makeup that excels in climbs will hose you in a sprint finish. Ah... you can't have everything.

I will say this though, as much as the clydesdales love hammering on flats and making us waifs suffer, every climber is a sadist (at least in a race) and loves to put the hurt down on the hills.