Firstly, it was a sad day for the 5th stage of the Tour de France as Jack Bauer crashed out and fractured his hip. With Greg Henderson crashing heavily two days ago, it has been a rough few days for the kiwis. Wishing Jack a speedy recovery (and Hendy too)!
Recovering while racing
You may hear some stages being referred to as transition days, recovery days or a sprinters stage. These are usually flat with relatively straight forward courses (read that no cobbles or hills). A lot of the riders will look to recover a little during these as it may be a little time away from their regular duties.
How to recover while racing
How do they do this you ask? Well it is probably better referred to as minimizing any load or fatigue the stage will likely bring.
Here are some of the steps they may take:
- keep your nose out of the wind:
- follow wheels
- predict crosswind sections and position well for them
- use “free trains” to move around the bunch, by following others
- keep a position in the pack that has you sheltered – if you are the team leader, this may be provided by team mates
- keep aero: when you find yourself in the wind, get low and aero to minimize effort and get sheltered fast! See: Aerodynamics of Cycling Playlist on FitlabTV
- keep cadence easy (probably in the 90-100rpm range – not pushing a hard gear or spinning too fast)
- relax on the bike: loosen shoulders, relax grip, breath deep and enjoy the ride!
- eat and drink as per your race plan: see our blog post on during race recovery and nutrition
- be lazy: if in doubt of what to do, be lazy and think “what is the least effort possible?”
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