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How do they do that?(7 posts)

How do they do that?Brian C.
Jul 13, 2001 7:52 AM
How do they keep on a straight track when looking over their shoulders?
How do they keep their revs up after four or five hours?
How do 100 cyclists going like gangbusters in a tight pack seldom knock each other over?

These questions are, in part, rhetorical: This Tour has been amazing to watch. Man, I wish I could ride like that.

Seriously though, how does the peloton 'reel in' a breakaway pack? Would not the handful of cyclists a minute or two ahead of the main group be going like gangbusters just to stay ahead?
The Power of the PelotonMel Erickson
Jul 13, 2001 8:34 AM
When one or more teams decide to reel in a breakaway the pace picks up considerably. Essentially it's aerodynamics. A group of 100 riders will ride faster than a group of ten, with the same effort. Therefore, to stay away, a group of 10 has to work harder than a group of 100. This tires them out more than the riders in the peleton. So, there are two things at work. The peloton decides to work as hard, or harder, than the breakaway and the peloton has superior aerodynamics.
Thanks. Must be some interesting physics at work there. (nm)Brian C.
Jul 13, 2001 8:59 AM
The Power of the PelotonSpyder Ryder
Jul 13, 2001 1:58 PM
Yeah if you can, try this, get a friend with a van or big truck/car drive slowly on some long flat country road, allowing you to draft him. Have him pick up the speed until you cannot pedal any faster and ask him to tell you the speed you are going. I dont know how good a rider you are but I would say going as hard as you can with a draft like that you will probably be going about 40-45mph. Then pull along side him outside the draft and see how fast you can go then. I'm pretty strong and have a good bike and can go 25-30 easily at about a 10-15 cadence when I'm drafting a car.

Thats kinda what its like in the peloton. They just rotate the riders at the front so no one has to cut the wind for very long then go back and draft and rest.

In a break you dont have as many people to break the wind and people have to rotate more often so basically it comes down to 5 riders vs. 180 riders. If I was in Vegas I wouldn't touch those odds, ya dig?
The Power of the Pelotonbonfire
Jul 13, 2001 10:27 PM
I am a new tour watcher, what is the peloton? what does the word mean? Is it the group of riders?
The Power of the PelotonLBS Guy
Jul 15, 2001 6:08 PM
The peloton is the main group of riders, ussually the one with the most riders in it, unless in the mountains, then there's not ussually one because the riders are so seperated
re: How do they do that?GregJ
Jul 13, 2001 11:16 PM
Any experienced rider can go in a straight line while looking over their shoulder.

They keep the revs up cause they are the best. And sometimes they get dropped cause they're human.

Be careful what you wish for. I was certainly glad I was not a pro racer when I was watching the stage into Verdun, that was some of the hardest riding I have ever seen, for hour after hour. If this is the first Tour you have seen, you are getting a good initiation. The racing has been very exciting for week 1.