Sports400 watts and a lot of faith in the sensations

    400 watts and a lot of faith in the sensations

    Like all cyclists born in the 21st century, Carlos Rodriguez is what could be said to be a native of watts and data, of highly measured training, of controlled performance. Like all great talents, he also knows how to run the old-fashioned way, by sensations, because he perfectly knows the signals that his body sends him, and he knows how to interpret them. “Yes, more or less we can know at the intensity that I can go, but the legs will be the ones that say if I can go faster or slower”, summarizes, without the need for words, the cyclist from Almunecar, who will leave at 4:00 p.m. 56m, two minutes before Tadej Pogacar, four before Jonas Vingegaard, with a bike of more than eight kilos and a development of 58/44 in front and 11/34 behind. The custom handlebars, the clothing, brand new, tested in June in the wind tunnel in Milan. And he won’t switch to a lighter, climber’s bike with no time trial handlebars to climb the Domancy hill. “Castroviejo will be his reference,” says Xabier Artetxe, Carlos Rodriguez’s trainer, who will follow him in the car along with director Steve Cummings.

    “In the days of the watts, in which you can fix a pacing determined, a number of watts, according to the capacity of each one, the time trialist must, above all, know himself, as he has been all his life ”, abounds Inigo San Millan, Tadej Pogacar’s coach. “Sometimes the potentiometer is poorly adjusted and tells you, for example, that you are going 10 watts less than you actually are, and you force yourself to do 10 watts more, and you cross the red line, or, vice versa, it gives you too much and you discover in the end that you have lost three minutes On D-day you have to get to know each other, above all”.

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    San Millan confesses that a few hours before the test neither the rider nor his team, the UAE, have yet decided if he will change his bicycle to climb the Domancy pass, when they went to test it and meet it, at the end of June, with the intense traffic of the area, it was impossible for them to complete a complete route with a goat and another changing on the ascent. They did it in sections and verified that there were hardly any time differences. On Monday, together with David Herrero, the team’s aerodynamics specialist, Pogacar tested the material again, but the doubt persisted. “It is a very complicated route, with a lot of power, which I think favors Pogacar”, says San Millan. It is very important not to choke or get stuck on the first climb, the Cascada de Corazon, which is faced in the cold, and then measure yourself well in the 10 flat kilometers, the only ones in which aerodynamics will be decisive”. Pogacar prefers to climb with a lot of cadence and will use a small 36t chainring with a 30 sprocket on the hardest. His hope is to win by 30s, lead by 20s and defend the lead until Paris in the two remaining big mountain stages, La Loze and Courchevel, on Wednesday, and the Vosges des Ballons and Markstein, on Saturday.

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    Silent as a grave the Vingegaard camp, except for promotional interviews, nothing transpired of the plans of the yellow jersey.

    “It will be a very tough time trial, one like any other, but above all, a time trial for the strongest, not for specialists,” explains Ivan Velasco, the engineer who prepares the time trials at Movistar. “It will be for cyclists capable of maintaining more or less, depending on their weight, 400 watts for 35 minutes, and in a third week of the Tour there are not many.” Velasco knows good time trials thanks to the precise monitoring of the programmed watts, and others, like the last Dauphine for many in which miscalculations were lavished. Velasco, who sees Vingegaard as a favorite despite the apparent equality so far, has divided the 22 kilometers into four sections, and in each one, a certain intensity. “The first four are a climb that you have to do hard but without reaching the limit, at 95% capacity; then comes a technical descent, about five kilometers, in which you can take a breath and go down very fast, with only two curves in which you will have to brake, to do 80-85%; then come seven kilometers of flat, with a couple of 90 degree curves, in which you will have to control not to exceed, at 90% or so, to reach the final climb, six kilometers, which will be 13 minutes of effort maximum, without rest 110%”, says the Movistar coach of Nelson Oliveira and Matteo Jorgenson. “He pacing It will be key, yes, but more always the cyclist’s ability to understand their sensations”.

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    Source: EL PAIS

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