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Too much of a good thing (spinning)(4 posts)

Too much of a good thing (spinning)DougSloan
Aug 15, 2002 6:35 AM
From today's Newsletter

"We're fans of the high-cadence pedaling technique that Lance
Armstrong has made famous. We like to see riders give it a
try to find whether it suits their physiology.

The goal is to achieve speed by turning a smaller gear
faster. This puts more emphasis on the cardiovascular system
and less on leg muscles. As Lance shows, it's possible to
ride real far real fast.

But even Big Tex overdid it in the Tour de France's stage 9
time trial this year. It was his first TT loss (not counting brief
prologues) in four years.

In that stage, Santiago Botero beat Lance by 11 seconds. And
the Colombian did it on a regular road frame fitted with
aero bars. He didn't even wear an aero helmet.

What happened? Analyzing the loss, Lance admitted he went
overboard with his cadence. In fact, his pedaling rate hit
120 rpm on the flatter parts of the 32.2-mile (52-km) course.

Even so, Lance covered the distance in 1:02:29 at an average
of 30.9 mph. Not too shabby! To go this speed with a
120 cadence, it takes an 87-inch gear. That's a bit higher than
the 53x17-tooth combo that's probably on your road bike.

If you want to appreciate Lance even more, go try pedaling
53x17 at 120 rpm for an hour!

Lance vowed to gear up for the Tour's second TT (stage 19)
and slow his cadence to a max of 110 rpm. That was the
ticket. He dominated that stage to extend his overall
winning margin to 7:17."

It seems that all good things have a limit...

Now I'm just confused...Wayne
Aug 15, 2002 7:14 AM
seems to me everyone on several of these sites were convinced that the reason LA lost the TT was because he meant to, either by not riding hard (remember this is the guy who in the first mountain stage didn't let Heras go for the win b/c Beloki might get an 8 second time bonus) or (even more preposterously) by intentionally selecting less than optimal aero equipment.
Or taking LA at his word he just didn't have a good day which was reflected in his inability to get his HR up to it's normal place for a TT.
Now it's all because he was spinning too fast in a couple sections of the course?
why would they put a cadence m. on his bike for the final TT?853
Aug 15, 2002 12:56 PM
another spin on thisJohnG
Aug 15, 2002 7:26 AM
I read that one reason LA spun at a higher than nominal rate was so that his legs would be fresher in the following days. I.e. high cadence ===> low stress loads and quicker recovery.

The last TT was a final "blowout event" and he wasn't concerned about "saving" his legs since the following day was flat.