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climbing, sprinting, and T'ing(5 posts)

climbing, sprinting, and T'inggala7516
Jul 8, 2003 4:13 PM
I am relatively new to cycling. I have been riding for about a year and a half. This weekend I rode with some guys who were execellent climbers. I quickly learned that I need to lose some weight and learn to climb well. I am good on the flats thought, I can sprint and bridge gaps pretty well.
Now, in the Tour, you never see a rider that is good at climbing, sprinting, and TT'ing. Why is this??? Is it just a matter or fast twitch vs. slow twitch? It seems like that discrepancy should be able to be solved with an adjustment to cadence. Or are these guys just operating on such a higher lever of competition that cadence cannot compensate?
Eddy Merckx?Kerry Irons
Jul 8, 2003 5:25 PM
Merckx won the Yellow, Green, and Polkadot jersey in one of his tours (his first?). Guys like Armstrong and Ulrich can climb and TT, and can beat many riders in a sprint. Pure sprinters are all about large thighs and explosive power (fast twitch) and barely making it over the climbs due to low power:weight ratios. Sprinting is about power, since the aero drag of riders doesn't vary that much from one to the next in a sprint. Climbing is about power:weight. TT speed is about high power output, great position, and riding at your max.
will anyone every try to contest all three again???gala7516
Jul 8, 2003 6:45 PM
Will any rider/team ever try to contest all three jerseys again? Is the competition better or do peloton politics and sponsor obligations prevent this?

So to summarize:
To climb:
A good power/weight ratio is necessary since you are trying to overcome gravity.

To TT:
Weight is not as much of a factor; however a good aero position is required, and adequte power is required to overcome aerodynmic drag.

To sprint:
Power and a good setup are necessary.
will anyone every try to contest all three again???swvegg
Jul 8, 2003 8:48 PM
The thing is, these guys are the best in the world. To be able to do everything better than everyone is pretty much impossible. Climbing and TTing go well together requiring many similar physical requirements, you can have someone like Lance who can dominate both disciplines. Sprinting requires more fast twitch. While some good climbers and TTists can sprint well, it's hard to have the physicality to be able to be at the top level of all disciplines, when you have people that are just pure sprinters, etc.
re: climbing, sprinting, and T'ingreklar
Jul 9, 2003 2:20 AM
Plus it seems like it gives GC contenders time to rest a bit...If they went after the sprints like Petacchi it would take something out of their legs in the mountains and TTs...

Cycling is becoming more specialized. There is a reason that Cipollini has a team built around him. That he rarely finishes the major stage races is somewhat irrelevant. On a given day (or several given days in a row on occasion) guys like him can win 200km races in the flats. Winning stages is where it is at as far as a racing team is concerned...gets sponsors the exposure they are looking for...